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Camp Fairchance

In 1934, the state Department of Public Welfare established Camp Fairchance (originally called Camp Boone), at Low Gap, Boone County, at the site of a former Civilian Conservation Corps camp. Camp Fairchance was part of a system of camps established to rescue children from families especially hard hit by the Great Depression. The camps were segregated by race. Camp Fairchance provided nourishment and recreation for white children from relief families judged by public health nurses to be at risk for tuberculosis or other diseases.

The children at Camp Fairchance attended a camp school staffed by unemployed teachers working for the Works Progress Administration, a federal program. Campers could join a Boy Scout troop, a 4-H club, a drum and bugle corps, and other organizations. Children remained at Fairchance up to three months, and then they returned to their families, or to foster homes.

Written by Jerry Bruce Thomas


  1. Thomas, Jerry Bruce. An Appalachian New Deal: West Virginia in the Great Depression. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1998.

  2. Charleston Gazette, 10/28/1934 & 5/17/1936.

  3. Beehler, William N. Relief, Work and Rehabilitation. West Virginia Relief Administration. Charleston: Matthews Printing & Litho. Co., 1934.

  4. Department of Public Welfare. Biennial Report. 1936.