Alamosa Guard Station, CO 2019

 

A prime location near the entrance to an historic mountain pass that has served travelers since ancient times.

 

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PROJECT PARTNER: Rio Grande National Forest

SESSION DATES: July 7-12  |  July 14-19  |  July 21-26

ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE TIMES:  Plan to arrive between 6pm and 8pm on the first day of your project session, and depart after lunch on the last day. Work will generally start around 8am each day, and we’ll wrap up around 4pm.

PROJECT DIFFICULTY:   

SITE INFORMATION:      Tent camping only  Site is RV/trailer accessible

LOCATION:  Nestled in among forests and canyons of south-central Colorado, this project site is about 90 minutes west of Great Sand Dunes National Park. We will be camping in a meadow adjacent to the jobsite.

GOOD TO KNOW: No prior experience is required. HistoriCorps will provide all meals, tools, training, and equipment for volunteers on this project. Volunteers are responsible for their own transportation to and from the lodging site. If a project requires a commute, we will plan to carpool to and from the jobsite. More general information is at the bottom of this page. 

HistoriCorps does not charge for its volunteering projects. The majority of project costs are covered by our project partners and grants, but as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, HistoriCorps relies on donations to continue engaging volunteers to save significant historical sites across America for generations to come. Your donation of any amount will make an incredible difference! Increase your impact – make a generous gift today.

Project Site Description & History

The Alamosa Guard Station was the USFS District Headquarters from 1908-1948, and is now part of the Conejos Peak Ranger District. This building is particularly significant as it was built in the same year the Rio Grande National Forest was established, and unique in that it was constructed prior to the implementation of standardized USFS building designs. This area of Colorado offers an incredible diversity of environments – from the Great Sand Dunes, to barely-hidden alpine lakes, to peaceful Rocky Mountain forests. The Rio Grande National Forest shares of the district, 

The Conejos River drainage basin and the San Luis Valley have had a long and colorful history. The history of the Conejos peak Ranger District is interwoven with that of the San Luis Valley because the people setting in the valley depended upon the surrounding mountains for much of their food, clothing, and shelter. Seeking out the many historic features that lie scattered over the District and adjacent land can be an exciting and enjoyable activity, lending an understanding of the area’s rich cultural background. Some of the most notable historic sites are Colorado’s oldest church in the town of Conejos, a stockade commemorating the Zebulon Pike expedition, and Toltec Scenic Railroad. 

The Alamosa River carves a path through the Rocky Mountains, providing a natural route up and over the Continental Divide that has been in use since ancient times. According to the USFS, in more recent centuries, the route has served as a “‘road to the California gold fields’; a U.S. Army wagon road; the miners’ freighting road; in 1910, a transcontinental telephone route; in 1911, a proposed transcontinental road.”

Additionally, the landscape’s geography provides natural routes to other areas we still celebrate today, including the healing hot springs of Pagosa Springs, CO. Adventurous hikers will enjoy trekking up to high alpine lakes in this region, remnants of ice caps during the Ice Age.

Join this HistoriCorps project to bring the historic Guard Station back to public service! Our interesting and varied scope of work will go a long way toward making this building ready for occupancy again. 

Scope of Work

Volunteers will work alongside expert field staff to learn the skills necessary to undertake and accomplish this significant rehabilitation project. Prior to volunteers arriving onsite, the Southwest Conservation Corps will re-roof buildings onsite and rehabilitate a brick chimney.

  • Rehabilitate two porches including framing, stairs, flooring, and siding:  20%
  • Rehabilitate exterior log walls, replacing daubing as necessary:  10%
  • Rehabilitate broken/deteriorated windows and doors:  20%
  • Reframe, panel, and paint interior walls:  30%
  • Rehabilitate flooring:  10%
  • Build and install kitchen counter & cabinets:  10%
Please note: Tasks vary by day and by week, depending on a variety of factors including: weather, project priorities, previous groups’ work, and more. Though it is likely you will get to learn and practice most or all of the above tasks, it is not guaranteed. The higher percentage of the scope a particular task is, the more likely you will get to practice it.

Logistics & More

  • Read our Volunteer FAQ! If you still have a question that’s not answered there, above, or below, please email us at volunteer@historicorps.org. We’re always happy to help.
  • Once you register you will receive an auto-confirmation in your email inbox. If you do not receive this confirmation, contact us at volunteer@historicorps.org to let us know. 
  • Each project session has one volunteer slot for a Kitchen Helper. If you’re interested in lending our Crew Leader & Camp Chef a hand in meal preparation, choose the “Kitchen Helper” position when you register. Kitchen Helpers are welcome to participate on the preservation work if they like, but are not necessarily expected to.
  • Volunteers are responsible for bringing their own tent or other sleeping setup (unless indoor lodging is provided), as well as sleeping gear and other personal gear including sturdy work clothes and work boots. Volunteers are also responsible for their own transportation to and from this project. 
    • Note: If you have a large RV/trailer, please contact us to confirm that your rig will fit in the available space. 
  • All volunteers are required to review and agree to the HistoriCorps Waiver & Release and Code of Conduct during the registration process.
  • We help you prepare for your preservation project through providing a “pre-arrival packet” via email. The packet contains a lot of information like: logistics, safety precautions, a suggested packing list, benefits for volunteers, and more.
  • HistoriCorps projects are multi-day sessions, where you will develop your skills over the course of the session, as well as build camaraderie with your crew and make a significant contribution to the preservation of this building. We can only very occasionally accommodate volunteers who require a shorter session. Please email us at volunteer@historicorps.org for more information.

We are always ready to answer your questions. Once you register, expect us to be in touch a few times before your project begins to confirm attendance, offer advice, and share updates. Thank you always! Really, we can’t do it without you.

Alamosa Guard Station on a fine summer day

This lovely building is ready for some work so it can be reopened for occupation!

The Alamosa Guard Station in 1922. 

Great Sand Dunes National Park is just east of the project site. Make sure to visit this unique environment while you’re in the area!

Save time for a visit to the relaxing hot springs in nearby Pagosa!

Register Online

We are so glad you decided to join this project’s crew! Please choose your preferred session below:

After registering, you should receive an auto-confirmation via email. If you do not receive this confirmation, please contact us at volunteer@historicorps.org.