Anderson Ranch House, CA 2022
Anderson Ranch House, CA 2022

Anderson Ranch House, CA 2022

Anderson Ranch House, CA 2022

Less than two hours from Sacramento, at the tip of California’s largest natural lake, lies a fantastic marsh full of life and history. If you love the great outdoors, learning new skills, and giving back, this HistoriCorps project is the one for you!

PROJECT PARTNER: California State Parks; Anderson Marsh State Historic Park

SESSION DATES: October 16-21 and October 23-28

PROJECT SUPERVISOR: Jason Benson!

CREW LEADER: Remy Buxton!

Project Site Description & History

Wetlands, marshes, swamps, tules, bogs, peatlands – whatever we call them, these ecosystems are both beautiful and vital. Can you learn to love a marsh? Many historic homes, such as this one, are built near or in wetlands. In fact, well-known authors including Henry David Thoreau and Gene Stratton-Porter have written timeless pieces about the beauty of marshes; and Annie Proulx, most famous for writing Brokeback Mountain, encourages us all to preserve and restore swamps as part of our fight against climate change.

Our partners for the Anderson Ranch project, at the eponymous State Historic Park, share that “this structure was built in three “wings” during different periods. The central segment dates from the 1860s, the parlor [west] wing from the 1880s, and the Craftsman style kitchen[east]wing from the 1920s. The Ranch House exemplifies 19th century rural vernacular architecture. Despite substantial alterations over time, the historic integrity of the house is intact.” HistoriCorps knows that historic buildings are kept alive when they are used and inhabited. Happily, the Anderson Marsh Interpretive Association (AMIA), which offers tours and interpretation at the Park, uses the Anderson Ranch house as an office and small interpretive center. The 1,300-acre park is located near California’s largest natural lake, Clear Lake, in Lake County.

HistoriCorps has been invited to stabilize and repaint three small outbuildings on the property. Whether you’re looking to indulge your love of the outdoors, history, or education, this project will certainly fit the bill!

Sit a spell on the porch and relax for a while.

Volunteers will work on both the main house and small outbuildings – which are showing some obvious and immediate stabilization needs!

Location and Logistics

SESSION DATES: October 16-21 and October 23-28. Please plan to arrive at the campsite no earlier than 5pm and no later than 7pm on the first day of your session.

LOCATION:  Anderson Marsh SHP is located at the southern tip of Clear Lake, less than two hours northwest of Sacramento, CA. We’ll camp at Clear Lake State Park and commute roughly 30 minutes one-way each day to the project site.

ACCESS:    Tent camping only Site is RV/trailer accessible  showers available

Tents, truck campers, campervans, and RVs/trailers up to 35 feet in length can access our campsite. There are no hookups and the ground may not be perfectly level. Showers are available but campers will need to purchase tokens. Dogs are welcome but need to be leashed! 

WEATHER:  Anticipate highs in the 80s and lows in the 50s. Weather conditions may be rainy, cloudy, or sunny. Volunteers are responsible for checking weather conditions before their session begins, and packing appropriately.

ABOUT VOLUNTEERING: HistoriCorps projects are free for volunteers! HistoriCorps will provide all meals, tools, training, equipment, and a campsite. Volunteers are responsible for their own transportation to the campsite, sleeping equipment, work gloves, clothes and boots, and other personal gear.

Scope of Work

SCOPE OF WORK DIFFICULTY:

HistoriCorps is committed to educating and training volunteers in preservation skills, with an overarching mission of inspiring a preservation ethic in all those involved. Learning and working alongside expert HistoriCorps field staff, volunteers and applying the traditional skills necessary to restore the Anderson Ranch House.

  • Stabilize and correct racked frames of three small outbuildings (40%)
  • Paint west elevation of the Anderson House (40%)
  • Rehabilitate wood sash windows of the Anderson House (20%)

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.

Sign Up!

We’re thrilled this project has inspired you to volunteer! Choose your session and register below:

You will know your registration was successful when you receive a confirmation email. Contact volunteer@historicorps.org for assistance.

HistoriCorps does not charge for its volunteering projects. 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.

Volunteer Logistics, Policies, and Advice

We’re so glad you’re interested in joining this project! If you’re new to our community, review the Volunteer FAQ first! Please note the following logistics and policies:

  • HistoriCorps is committed to keeping our volunteers, staff, and project communities safe.  Read our Covid protocols here (updated August 2022).
  • Volunteering with HistoriCorps is free! We will provide all meals, tools, training, equipment, and a campsite or shared indoor lodging. Dinner is not provided on the first night.
  • Volunteers are responsible for bringing their own gear, work gloves, sturdy work clothes and boots, and appropriate sleeping equipment. Check the average temperatures before you start packing – the nights and mornings may be colder than you anticipate! Then, read this advice about how to stay warm when tent camping in colder places.
  • Campsite accessibility varies by project. Some projects can accommodate tents only; others can accommodate small RVs. Please review the project site description above for more information, and if you’re still not sure, email volunteer@historicorps.org for help.
  • If this project does not offer showers, you might want to consider bringing a solar shower or research other methods to clean up after the work day.
  • Volunteer crew sizes generally range from 4-8 volunteers, with two HistoriCorps staff that lead and train volunteers in the work.
  • Safety is one of HistoriCorps’ top priorities, and volunteers can contribute to a safe working environment by ensuring their physical fitness is adequate for the work. See above for this project’s scope of work and difficulty level. Please, call us if you are not quite sure if a project is a good fit for your skills or fitness level. We may be able to suggest a project more suitable and enjoyable for you.
  • Hard hats, eye protection, ear protection, gloves are standard personal protection equipment (PPE) required on all projects. Hard hats must be worn at all times on the project site, unless working in a designated safe space. Field staff will train volunteers on correct use of PPE.
  • Dogs are generally allowed to accompany their humans in project campsites (actually, we love having dogs join us around the campfire!). Dogs are not permitted on the job site for everyone's safety. HOWEVER: HistoriCorps also follows the rules and regulations of our project partner. If the project partner does not permit dogs onsite then HistoriCorps is no exception. Please ask HistoriCorps or the project partner directly if you have any questions about whether Fido is welcome.