71 photographs of people, buildings and grounds at the Civilian Conservation Corps camps in Petersburg, Virginia and Waverly, Virginia. The Petersburg Camp, a predominantly white camp, was Company 1364, and the Waverly Camp, a predominantly black camp, was Camp P-55, Company 376. Captain Joseph James Matthews was the commander and responsible for the construction and landscaping of the camp, plus the training of the men.
Alice Erickson, the daughter of Captain Joseph James Matthews, gave the following information about the camps.
Captain Matthews was commander of the two camps, the predominantly Black camp in Waverly, Virginia and the predominantly White Camp in Petersburg, Virginia.
Her father’s philosophy was that since the camps were home to these men, they should reflect this image. He initiated plantings of many trees, bushes and flowers to beautify the grounds. He also used stone to build walls, fences, water fountains and the entranceway columns. He wanted to create a pleasant atmosphere.
Gray Lumber Company in Waverly, Virginia was the supplier of the lumber for the buildings at the camps.
Captain Matthews had high expectations of the men in his company. He expected them to be neat and regimental in appearance. The men were required to send money home. Their primary jobs were building railroads, working in the camp kitchen and learning new skills.