SULPHUR — Bank failures, rising unemployment, a presidential election, and an economy in turmoil: these current events seem almost ripped from the pages of American history. Seventy-five years ago President Franklin Roosevelt led the country out of the Great Depression through the programs of “the New Deal.” The public is invited to learn how a previous generation confronted their own economic challenges during this year’s Historic Candlelight Tour scheduled for Oct. 18, 2008.

The tour will focus on the story of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Company 808 and their experiences in Platt National Park [today’s Platt Historic District]. During the Great Depression, CCC Company 808 worked at Platt National Park for eight years maintaining a work force of 200 young men, between the ages of 18 to 24. Their work contribution was largely responsible for building the Platt Historic District into the beautiful environment we enjoy today at Chickasaw National Recreation Area. This is the third event the park has held to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the CCC.

Tours will depart the Arbuckle Historical Society Museum located at 402 W. Muskogee in downtown Sulphur every 20 minutes from 6-9 p.m. Tours will be escorted on a half-mile walk through the historic Bromide Springs area of the park, where one thousand luminaries will light the grounds. Visitors will be guided through a series of vignettes presented by park staff and volunteers dressed in period costume that depict scenes from the 1930s. Care should be taken along the route due to the dim lighting from the luminaries. Each tour is limited to 20 people. Admission is free to the public. In the event of inclement weather, the performance will be held at the Travertine Nature Center. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the Travertine Nature Center at 580-622-7234.

In conjunction with the candlelight tour, the Sulphur Main Street program will sponsor a historic home tour and chili supper on Saturday. Downtown merchants will stay open for extended hours and offer cookies and hot apple cider.

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