Farmer Cabin


GE DIGITAL CAMERARehabilitation of the Farmer Cabin

Sponsored by: San Juan National Forest

Project Completed in June of 2013. A BIG thanks to all our volunteers for your dedication and hard work!

Check out project photos HERE!

History: Located only 200 feet from Cascade Creek, a wild and beautiful tributary of the Las Animas River, the Farmer Cabin is a vernacular log cabin constructed in 1959 of local logs and rough cut lumber. It is probably one of the last of the line camps to be built on the National Forest, used by ranchers in the region and throughout the West for over 100 years. Unfortunately, the cabin has been neglected for many decades. The current condition of the site is largely attributed to natural weathering, vandalism and deferred maintenance.

Scope of Work: The goal of this project was to preserve this important historic cabin and make it available for meetings, projects and educational programs.  The cabin required immediate preservation/rehabilitation treatments to maintain the site’s historical significance and integrity and to prevent the unmitigated loss of character defining historic fabric.

Volunteers learned to:                                                                                      farmer

  • Repair and reinforce foundation and flooring;
  • Replace, as necessary, deteriorated logs;
  • Remove deteriorated roofing and reroof with asphalt shingles;
  • Restore or reconstruct historic windows and doors;
  • Construct and install a combustion toilet and building.

Dates:  June 10th-14th;

Location & Lodging:  The cabin is in its original location in a remote, undeveloped area of the San Juan National Forest, located at 9,400 feet in a sheltered canyon. Volunteers camped onsite. To access the site, proceed north from Durango on US Highway 550 and turn left (northwest) onto Forest Service road 510. FS 510, also known as Cascade Creek Road, is located 2-miles north of Durango Mountain Resort, a.k.a. Purgatory Ski area.  Proceed 2-miles along FS 510 passing a group of seasonal private in-holding cabins.  Beyond the gated access across the road, Cascade Creek Trail begins. The cabin site is located approximately 500-feet to the northeast from the gate.

Additional Information:  The project was be managed and supervised by two HistoriCorps instructors and was designed to optimize learning opportunities. Camping, tools, safety equipment, and meals were provided by HistoriCorps but transportation to and from the project was the responsibility of the participant. All crew members had to be physically capable of lifting, climbing, bending, and kneeling for sustained periods each day at high altitudes in variable weather; previous carpentry, roofing/shingling, maintenance, historic preservation, landscaping, and/or construction experience was helpful, but not required.

To learn more about this project please contact Amy Eller, HistoriCorps Volunteer Coordinator, at 303-893-4260 x 225 or aeller@historicorps.org  

© 2013 Historicorps®. A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Historicorps® works with numerous federal, state and local agencies, including the United States Forest Service, one of its founding partners.