This 2016, you outdid yourselves.
Thank you, volunteers, crew leaders, field supervisors, and sponsors. What a year we had! In just eight months, we had almost 400 volunteers save more than 30 historic buildings all across America. Bravo, HistoriCorps! We wanted to give you all a little idea of what happened this year, so here goes…
This 2016 season (which began in March and went all the way through the end of October), we had about 378 volunteers (including students, veterans, youth corps, seniors and beyond) on almost 30 different projects and 71 total project sessions. A total of 193 of those volunteers worked more than one project or project session – that’s more than half of you! Volunteers gave 17,850 hours of their time towards construction, then gave an additional 5600 hours just to travel from one site to the next! You came from all over the USA – 40 different states! – just to join HistoriCorps in our mission of preserving history. Many of you came from Colorado and California, but we’re stretching our arms out to New Jersey, Texas, Maine, Florida, Oregon, Nevada, and beyond. Our goal next year? To get at least one volunteer from every state in the United States to help out on a project – spread the word! We had volunteers as young as 14 and as young-at-heart as 84! HistoriCorps could not do what we do without you – volunteers and supporters – so THANK YOU for all your hard work and dedication.
You braved some challenging weather: it snowed up on Hahn’s Peak in Colorado, was hot and sweaty at Neosho School in Missouri, and poured rain at Skinner Cabin in Colorado. Then you braved forest fires: volunteers at Hahn’s Peak were able to see the fires from the lookout tower they were preserving in Colorado, and one project session on Simpson Lake Lodge in Wyoming had to be canceled because the threat was too near at hand. And you took on some pretty terrifying animals: foxes near Hornbek Homestead in Colorado, mountain lions near Grouse Ridge in California, frogs at Smarts Mountain in New Hampshire, and that dreaded beaver out late at night at Clear Springs Pavilion in Mississippi.
HistoriCorps projects took you to some pretty stellar locations: you loved the clear night sky filled with stars at Crescent Moon Cabin in Arizona, visiting the waterfalls and swimming in Lake Superior from Black River Harbor in Michigan, and boat rides and late nights in the boathouse of Forest Lodge in Wyoming. You tore yourself away from these vistas to then take on some challenging tasks: like completely removing the non-historic porch and cement patio at Neosho School in Missouri; completely re-roofing, re-siding and re-windowing the cab of the Grouse Ridge Fire Lookout Tower in California; and repairing and replacing some of those long logs that make up the Clear Springs Pavilion in Mississippi.
Besides volunteer hours, we’ve had a record-number of projects this year, as well as special awards and contests that we were a part of. This year, we were awarded the USDA Forest Service “Windows on the Past” Award. The first annual award, this was granted to both HistoriCorps and Passport in Time for volunteer efforts in preserving the many ranches, homesteads, fire towers, lodges, and other public sites on forest service land. Click here to check out our blog for more information on and photos of the prestigious award. The award proudly resides at the Denver HistoriCorps office – come visit us and see it for yourself!
We were also part of the Vote Your Park contest, a collaboration between National Geographic and Partners in Preservation National Parks. In the contest, HistoriCorps teamed up with Joshua Tree National Park in an effort to win funds for Joshua Tree’s Keys Ranch. The contest required votes to win support. We tried our hardest to win, and you all gamely voted once a week, sometimes once a day, from every email address you had, but it just wasn’t enough. We love each and every one of you for voting for us and supporting us! Here’s a link to the contest site, just in case you missed it. Although we didn’t win the funds, we had so much fun working on this summer contest, and (just between you and me) we may actually end up working at Keys Ranch after all because Joshua Tree was so impressed with all of your grand efforts to help save the site. Stay tuned on that one!
In addition, we just received news that our grant with the Cameron Foundation was renewed for 2017, a grant that funded part of this summer’s Summerseat project and the HistoriCorps Institute. The renewed grant will allow HistoriCorps to continue running a field school for preservation students and may even provide the funding for an East-coast HistoriCorps field office! Here’s a link to the Cameron’s Foundation website, announcing their original funding of the HistoriCorps Institute. We are proud of and grateful for the Cameron Foundation and the grant they so generously provided!
In case you were wondering, here’s a list of all the projects we accomplished this year:
- Black River Harbor, MI
- Blackhall Mountain Fire Lookout, WY
- Boettcher Mansion, CO
- Buffalo Peaks Ranch, CO
- Clear Springs Shelter, MS
- Crescent Moon Cabin, AZ
- Crescent Moon Outbuildings, AZ
- Dodge Lodge, CO
- Forest Lodge, WI
- Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs, CA
- Greer Mill, MO
- Grouse Ridge Lookout, CA
- Hahn’s Peak Fire Lookout Tower, CO
- Hebo Lake Kitchen Shelter, OR
- Hornbek Homestead, CO
- Jackson Lake, CA
- Johnson Lake Mining District, NV
- Kennaday Fire Lookout, WY
- Neosho School, MO
- Rourke Ranch, CO
- Simpson Lake Lodge, WY
- Skinner Cabin, CO
- Smart Mountain Fire Lookout Tower, NH
- Soldier Lake Pavilion, MI
- Stuart Cabin, WV
- Summerseat, VA
- Ute-Ulay Mining Complex, CO
- Wild Plum Guard Station, CA
We’re working on updating past project pages so that they include some of the fantastic pictures that you submitted, as well as some fun volunteer quotes.
Thank you again, volunteers, for all your hard work and dedication to HistoriCorps and historic preservation. We can’t wait to start the 2017 season, which will surely be even better than the last! Check out our upcoming projects page regularly so you can stay up-to-date of what’s coming up next. See you in the field!