Posts Tagged ‘Federal Relief contruction’

Federal Relief Maps

The Archives and Special Collections has a collection of 386 maps that we believe are associated with Great Depression federal relief programs. All the maps are identified to a town or county in South Dakota. Most indicate the type of project they are associated with, such as street surfacing. Most have dates from 1939 to 1942, but some are undated. Some indicate that they are associated with a WPA project.


During the Great Depression in the United States, several federal programs were created to stimulate the economy. These programs were both direct relief and work projects; impacted most of South Dakota’s counties, cities, and towns; and resulted in many construction projects. Some of the relief programs were:

  1. Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC)
  2. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
  3. Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA)
  4. Agriculture Adjustment Act (AAA)
  5. National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA)
  6. Public Works Administration (PWA)
  7. Civil Works Administration (CWA)
  8. Work Progress Administration (WPA)
  9. National Youth Administration (NPA)
  10. Subsistence Homesteads and the Resettlement Administration
  11. Federal Art Projects


The author of Federal Relief Construction in South Dakota 1929 – 1941 classified the structures funded wholly or partially by these relief programs into the following subtypes:

  1. post offices
  2. courthouses
  3. municipal buildings
  4. police stations, fire departments, and jails
  5. military facilities
  6. waterworks
  7. power and heating plants
  8. storm sewers and sewage treatment plants
  9. sanitary privies
  10. telephone lines
  11. libraries and museums
  12. primary and secondary schools
  13. college and university buildings
  14. lakes, dams, and waterways
  15. wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries
  16. forestry stations
  17. fire lookouts
  18. shelterbelts, terraces, contour lines, and pasture furrows
  19. auditoriums and community buildings
  20. fairgrounds and rodeo grounds structures
  21. sports and recreation structures
  22. swimming pools and bathhouses
  23. parks, campgrounds, and picnic grounds
  24. resorts and lodges
  25. scenic byways
  26. hospitals
  27. county poor farms and welfare offices
  28. housing projects
  29. work camp buildings and structures
  30. highways, streets, and sidewalk projects
  31. bridges
  32. airport facilities



Information from:

Dennis, Michelle L. Federal Relief and Construction in South Dakota, 1929 – 1941. Pierre, SD: South Dakota State Historic Preservation Office, 1998.


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