1 Reply Latest reply on Jul 30, 2021 12:12 PM by Charleen Vocca

    Seeking records of WPA Appalachian Trail land survey crew in Maine

    david torraca Newbie

      On my hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2019, I stayed with a friend in Virginia that showed me pictures of her dad as a late teen working on a survey crew. He had told her he worked on surveying the Appalachian Trail and that there is a marker on the trail with his name on it. I never did find the marker but would like to know more about the survey crew he was on, eg what was their mission, who are the other members. I've done some preliminary work at the National Archives in College Park, MD just before the pandemic. It appears he may have been on a WPA project.

       

      I have several pictures of the survey crew and one of a telegram sent to him for his birthday while he was in Maine, in care of US Geological Survey, dated September 22 (no year), sent to Freeport, Maine. He is deceased and I only have second hand information from his children. His name is James L O'Connor, nickname Buck, and was with a survey crew in the 1930s. He was born and grew up near Lexington, Va. In the photo marked "Nat. Geo. Survey" Buck is the first man on the left.

       

      Picture of five man survey crew standing near a rural road.

       

      A telegram sent to him for his birthday while he was in Maine, Care US Geological Survey, dated September 22 (no year), sent to Freeport, Maine.

        • Re: Seeking records of WPA Appalachian Trail land survey crew in Maine
          Charleen Vocca Scout

          Dear Mr. Torraca,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series Administrative and Operational Correspondence Relating to Maine, 1935 - 1944 in the Records of the Work Project Administration (Record Group RG 69) that may include aspects of the Appalachian Trail project.  For more information, please contact National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at Archives2reference@nara.gov.

           

          We also suggest that you request a copy of his Official Personnel File (OPF). OPFs for individuals who worked for the U.S. government in a civilian capacity before 1952 are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL).  Please email RL-SL via email at stl.archives@nara.gov and  include the full name used during Federal employment, date of birth, Social Security Number (if applicable), name and location of the employing Federal agency, beginning and ending dates of Federal Service.  For more information, please check the Official Personnel Folders (OPF), Archival Holdings and Access website.

           

          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff.  As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2 and RL-SL. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

           

          Since some WPA records are held locally, we suggest that you contact the Maine State Archives and various Maine historical societies for additional information.

           

          We hope this is helpful.  Best of luck with your research!