Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - 43

Condia Lynch was a prim soldier in World War I; thus by the time of his Civilian Conservation Corps service in
the 1930s, he was older than most of the workers in the program.

A CCCer AT WORK IN THE '30S

THE STONE CUTTER'S TOOLS

Simple tools and simple times make for poignant memories on a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

O

n a Sunday afternoon in 1970,
my father, mother, friend
Susie and I loaded up in our
Chrysler and headed to Highway 226. After a drive up the
mountain road, we came to
the Blue Ridge Parkway.
	
On the parkway, we rode slowly,
taking in hillsides covered in wildflowers
and bordered by split-rail fences. When
we came to an overlook, my father pulled
off and parked so we could get out and see
the deep valley and mountain ranges that
stretched for miles. The air was cool, and
we sat and ate our picnic dinner, feeling
we had traveled back in time.
It was a memorable summer drive on

By JULIA NUNNALLY DUNCAN

the Blue Ridge Parkway and one of several
we would take during my girlhood.
When we started back home and passed
under a stone bridge, my father said, "My
uncle helped build this parkway." He said
this often in those days.
As I grew older, I came to understand
that his uncle Condia Lynch did indeed
help build the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Like others in my father's family, Condia was born in Newcomb, Tennessee, and
eventually settled in Marion, North Carolina. In his 20s, he served as a U.S. Army
infantryman during World War I, was
wounded in action in France, and treated
at a base hospital. Upon his military discharge in 1919, he returned home to Ten-

nessee and to his job as a coal miner.
But in the 1930s, after settling in
North Carolina, he was employed by
the Civilian Conservation Corps-the
work relief program created by President
Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Sympathetic
to World War I veterans, FDR put many
of these men, along with others unemployed, to work in the CCC. In Western
North Carolina, one of their projects was
to help build the Blue Ridge Parkway,
which involved landscaping, road and
bridge building, and stone masonry.
My mother remembers seeing CCC
workers during her girlhood in Marion.
"You'd see them in town on Saturday," she recalls. "You knew they were

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

43



Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020

Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - 3
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Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - Cover4
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