© Copyright 2022 Northeast Historic Film
Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation
Credit: Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Tung oil tree plantation in Florida, 1931.
[Vermont Forest Service Films], 2196
film (1,740 ft.) : si., b&w and col. ; 16 mm.
1937 – 1968
Credit: Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Civilian Conservation Corps at work in Vermont, ca. 1940.
The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation Collection consists of 18 reels of 16 mm. film shot by Perry H. Merrill between 1930 and 1960 and two reels devoted to Ripton Job Corps from 1968. The collection also contains three publications written by Merrill: Forestry in Vermont, 1947; History of Forestry in Vermont, 1909-1959, and his autobiography, The Making of a Forester: An Autobiographical History. Footage shows the Vermont Forests, Parks and Recreation Department, depicting a variety of activities including parades, skiing, picnicking, forestry, battling brush fires, and maple sugaring, with special attention to landscape and the outdoor environment. The collection shows the Civilian Conservation Corps workers and offers views of lumber workers and camp buildings at the Diamond Match Camp in Grindstone, Maine. The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation Collection also contains a 1949 sponsored film, “Cash Crops from Vermont Woodlands,” produced by the Trees For Vermont Committee and the American Forest Products Industries, Inc., made to encourage and instruct farmers on how to turn their woods into viable year-round sources of income.
Donor Ed O’Leary, Director of Operations at the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, found the collection in a desk at work, still in original shipping boxes. The films were postmarked 1937-1941. Creator Perry H. Merrill was a Vermont official who was instrumental in establishing the state’s system of forests and parks, and who enjoyed making personal films. Merrill’s career began as assistant state forester in 1924. He served as the state forester from 1930-1955, and became Director of the Department of Forestry, Parks and Recreation in 1956. Aware of the advantage of available state-owned land ready for development, Merrill was responsible for bringing the aid of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to Vermont in the 1930s. The CCC worked as part of Merrill’s aggressive conservation campaign, putting Vermont’s state recreational development ahead by years, and improving forests and parks by pruning and thinning, adding amenities, and building access roads for fire protection and better overall management. Often called the patron saint of the ski industry in Vermont, Merrill was third on the Rutland Herald's list of most influential Vermonters of the 20th century. On fellowship in Sweden during the 1920s, Merrill was exposed to alpine and nordic skiing for the first time. As a forester, he affirmed that the money from the ski industry could then finance a system for state forests and parks. After his retirement 1966, Perry H. Merrill made an unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor and served two terms in the Vermont House. He was an avid writer, publishing histories of Vermont forestry, the state of Vermont, the conservation corps, and an autobiography The Making of a Forester: An Autobiographical History WorldCat
Northeast Historic Film
The Collection is open for research.
Authorization to reuse and/or reproduce must be obtained from Northeast Historic Film. See http://www.oldfilm.org/research for more information.
18 Items in this collection