Out of the Wilderness : Creating the Dyess Colony

Coming in 2019!

Creating a community at Dyess required starting from scratch. The vast forests and swamps had to be cleared and drained, along with developing roads, bridges, utilities, houses, farm buildings, community buildings, and other services. A temporary town center, including an administration building, mess hall and barracks, was completed by June 15, 1934 to direct construction efforts and house workers taken from the welfare rolls.

Work included creating a system of lateral ditches 10 feet wide and four feet deep that flowed into larger drainage district ditches. By March 1936, 47 miles of ditches were created, with plans for a total of 125 miles. By this same time, 24 major bridges were built, and 68 miles of gravel road were completed, with each road having a parkway of timber 100 feet wide on both sides. Seven saw mills created on site produced a combined 65,000 feet of lumber per day for construction of the houses and colony buildings.

This planned exhibit will include photos taken by Works Progress Administration photographers to document the project.

Click Here to Start the Exhibit.

Out of the Wilderness