CCC truck donated

By Gray Hughes

The 1935 GMC truck used by the Civilian Conservation Corp donated by the Goens family to the Civilian Conservation Museum of South Dakota.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Museum of South Dakota has a new addition.

Recently donated to it was a restored 1935 GMC truck that was used by the CCC.

“I think that’s the segue to help us keep sharing this history,” said Dave Maudlin, a member of the museum’s board.

The truck was donated to the museum from the Goens family of Basehor, Kan.

Allen Goens restored the truck. Goens died 11 years ago. When he died, the family found the museum, and the process to get the truck donated started.

That process took 11 years, said Otto Bochman, a volunteer at the museum and a member of the museum’s board.

Members of the board spent time discussing how the truck would be displayed, Bochman said.

“(We) went through the process with the city and they were very helpful and made an agreement on how the building would be built and where it will be built and so on,” Bochman said. “And the Goens family agreed to donate the truck to us and we have it in town now.”

The Goens family wanted someone with the museum to be present along with the entire family, Bochman said.

The CCC was a New Deal era program that employed out of work young men. The men were put to work on projects in places such as national parks.

Places such as Mount Rushmore Memorial, Wind Cave and Jewel Cave national parks all can thank the CCC for the work done on some of their projects, Bochman said.

The museum is very excited to have the truck now to help keep telling the story of the CCC, Maudlin said.

“To look at it, and how old it is and how beautifully restored it is, it is almost like a new truck,” Bochman said. “It’s beautiful, and to have something from that era, and, like I said, I’m not a car guy but I know quite a few car guys, and they see something like that, it’s manna from heaven. It’s phenomenal. They stop, and they look.”

The fact that Goens took such good care of the truck over the years is a benefit for the city, he added.

That type of commitment to the truck is “huge,” Maudlin added.

Watching the truck come in to the museum was a great feeling, Bochman said.

“We have so many visitors to the Hills, and this is a great way to share that history,” Maudlin said. “The history of the museum and the history of the truck.”

They hope to have the truck on display by the end of the spring or the beginning of the summer.