HistoriCorps
Upcoming Volunteer Projects

Upcoming Volunteer Projects

Upcoming Preservation Projects

Project Map
Projects will be added to our calendar regularly throughout the year!

HistoriCorps is committed to keeping our volunteers, staff, and project communities safe. All volunteers will be required to affirm that they will be fully vaccinated from the Covid-19 virus by the time their project begins.

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Buck Mountain Fire Lookout Tower, AZ

Partner:  Coconino National Forest

May 8-13, May 15-20, May 22-27, and May 29 – June 3

The Buck Mountain Fire Lookout Tower was built in 1939 and was used seasonally to detect and report wildfires. In 2003 the Forest performed major rehabilitation of the lookout that required replacement of the catwalk and stairway, cabin walls, a tower support member and the installation of lighting protection. The Ranger District no longer actively uses the lookout for surveillance and fire prevention and proposes to reuse the historic lookout as a recreation facility for public lodging as part of the Forest Service Arizona Cabin Rental Program. Currently, the lookout requires maintenance and repairs to make it safe for public use. Access to our campground will require vehicles with hi-clearance. No RV spaces will be provided, There are no hookups and the ground may not be perfectly level. There will be restrooms and potable water onsite.

Ryan Ranch Homestead, CA 

Partner:  Joshua Tree National Park

May 22-27 and May 29 – June 3

Ryan Ranch is a historic homestead associated with the Lost Horse Mine and Mill. Both listed on the National Register of Historic Places, they were major hubs of activity within the Lost Horse Historic Mining District. The Ryan Ranch Site was connected to the Lost Horse Mine and Mill Site by a water pipeline that brought water from a natural spring at the ranch to holding tanks at the mill, and by a loop road that historically connected the two locations. Ryan Ranch embodies the nexus of ranching and mining in a desert landscape and the key role of water. Volunteer will clean, rebuild, and repoint two stone retaining walls as well as a stone spring box and wooden cover. Access to our campground will require vehicles with high-clearance. There are trailer and RV spaces (35′ max) available but no hookups.

Devils Head Fire Lookout Tower, CO

Partner: Pike-San Isabel National Forest

June 5-10, June 12-17, June 19-24, and June 26 – July 1st

The Devils Head Fire Lookout was established in 1912, and its original tower was built in 1919. Today, fire management technology has largely surpassed the need for historic fire lookouts like Devils Head. Many lookout towers have been torn down, turned into overnight rentals, or left in states of disrepair. Devils Head, located at the top of the Rampart Range, is unique in that it is still staffed and cared for by the Forest and partner organizations like HistoriCorps. In 2020, volunteers repaired and restored nineteen windows at the lookout. In 2022, we’ll turn our attention to the signature stairs that carry the weight of hundreds of visitors every year. This project has a severe rating due to the daily hike of 1.4 miles each way with an elevation gain of 950 feet (one-way), a work site elevation of almost 10,000 feet, and required climbing of 143 stairs. Volunteers will also need to carry personal drinking water and food in addition to carrying materials up to the worksite. Tents, truck campers, and campervans can access this site. 

Sly Guard Station and Harvey West Cabin, CA 

Partner:  Eldorado National Forest

June 5-10

History is everywhere around us, we just have to learn how to see it. Though both the Sly Guard Station and Harvey West Cabin are today available to the public as overnight lodging, they both have played a significant role in the history and evolution of the U.S. Forest Service. The two buildings we are working on tell different sides of the same coin. The Harvey West Cabin was built by the Sacramento Box and Lumber Company in the early 1930s, during the Great Depression. It was later bought by successful timber businessman and philanthropist Harvey West to be used as a summer retreat for his family. It was acquired by the Eldorado National Forest in the 1970s. The Sly Guard Station, sitting 3,600 feet above sea level, was constructed ten years later, in the early 1940s, and served as a home for forest rangers who worked to ensure the legality of mining and logging activity there. Volunteers will produce and install vertical log slab siding at Harvey West Cabin and repair the wood sash windows of Sly Guard Station. We will be camping onsite at Harvey West Cabin. Tent and truck campers only. No RV spaces will be provided. There are no hookups and the ground may not be perfectly level. There will be restrooms and potable water onsite.

Forest Lodge, WI

Partner: Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

June 5-10, June 12-17, June 19-24, and June 26 – July 1st

Forest Lodge was built in the early 1900s by the Livingston family of St. Paul, MN, as a private getaway. The Adirondack-style camp boasts several buildings, many of which are in need of rehabilitation. For the past decade, HistoriCorps has been invited to be a workforce for saving this place – and ensuring it can continue to serve generations to come. Tireless work by countless individuals has permitted this site to become an unmatched site for environmental education, preservation studies and experiences, and community gatherings. Forest Lodge holds a special place in many HistoriCorps volunteers’ hearts. Northland College recently became the steward of the Forest Lodge campus. Learn more about Northland College’s educational and other programs at Forest Lodge here. Volunteers will construct new cedar staircase railings along pathways, fabricate and install wayfinding signs, conduct masonry and log repairs to the main lodge, and more. We will also camp onsite and provide access for tent campers and those with truck campers.

Los Burros Barn, AZ 

Partner: Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest

June 12-17 and June 19-24

Historically inhabited by Western Apache, White Mountain Apache, and Pueblo Nations, today this land is part of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. According to our partner, “the Los Burros Ranger Station was constructed in 1910 and housed the fire guard/lookout for the Lake Mountain lookout station. It also served as a temporary base camp for fire-fighting crews. After the Lake Mountain Lookout Tower was constructed, the Los Burros Ranger Station changed purpose to housing for Forest Service timber sale administrators and rangers. There was a robust timber operation from McNary, AZ that included many miles of railroad grades throughout the area, including to the Los Burros Ranger Station. As the timber industry slowed, these railroads were repurposed to provide outings for locals and tourists to the Los Burros area. Tents, campervans, truck campers, and trailers up to 22 feet in length can access our campground. There are no RV spaces available.

Clear Lake Picnic Shelter, OR

Partner:  Willamette National Forest

June 12-17

Located high in the Cascades, Clear Lake was formed by lava flows three millennia ago. Historically, the lake and surrounding area was home to the Molalla community whose descendants are now members of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians (learn more). Today, it is ringed by Douglas fir, Western Hemlock, Oregon grape, wild rose, beargrass, blackberries, ferns, vanilla leaf, and more. Native cutthroat trout call the lake home, although other trout varieties have made their way here as well. The Clear Lake Picnic Shelter is constructed of local, natural materials; those familiar with CCC-constructed buildings and structures will recognize the distinctive rustic style. Today it is still in use as a picnic shelter, as well as a warming hut in the winter for hunters and cross-country skiers. Volunteers will notch, hoist, and install logs in the Picnic Shelter. We will camp roughly 2.5 miles away at the Fish Lake Remount Depot and commute to the project site daily. Tent campers, truck campers, and those with small-to-medium RVs/trailers can access this campsite, however, there are no hookups and the ground may not be perfectly level.

Lemley Mill and Miners Delight Saloon, WY

Partner: Bureau of Land Management

June 12-17, July 24-29, August 7-13, August 15-20, and August 22-27

Located just 40 minutes from the outdoor-lovers’ destination of Lander, WY, Lemley Mill and Miners Delight Cabin are part of the South Pass Historic Mining Area and located on the traditional homelands of the Crow, Cheyenne, and Eastern Shoshone Nations. Remnants of five National Historic Trails, which share the history of European westward expansion across North America, can also be explored here. Thanks to a local gold discovery in 1867, the region’s population mushroomed to almost 1,500 people within just a year. Four years later, the mines played out, the prospectors left, and all that’s left of this part of the American story is at risk of being lost. Intrepid travelers willing to go “where the rails end and the trails begin” will certainly enjoy exploring the natural and historic features found throughout this region. Volunteers on this project will have the opportunity to learn about mining history in Wyoming, experience dramatic and ever-changing landscapes where the Red Desert meets the Wind River Mountains, and learn the skills necessary to ensure the history contained in this site can be interpreted and explored for generations to come. Accessible for tent campers, truck/van campers, and a limited number of RVs/trailers.

Mathews Guard Station, OR 2022

Partner: Bureau of Land Management

July 10-15 and July 17-22

Our partner was kind enough to share this history of the site:

“This site is a 1930s Forest Service guard station. The CCC built many such structures as part of a larger effort to provide gainful employment to young men during the Great Depression. Guard stations also provided the Forest Service with outposts from which they could manage forest lands, especially for fighting wildfires. Now largely obsolete, many of these buildings have been abandoned. The Medford BLM endeavors to preserve Mathews Guard Station as one of the few remaining CCC-era structures on the district. “The guard station is an approximately 16 x 33′ foot, front-gabled rustic cabin on a 2.5 acre parcel of BLM land adjacent a meadow on Button Creek. It is in Elk Creek Valley, where scattered farms and ranches take advantage of grassy, well-watered meadows along Elk Creek before it empties into the Rogue River. The goal of the project is to replace the leaking roof and assess other immediate repair needs as time and materials allow.” Tents, truck campers, campervans, and RVs/trailers can access this campsite. There are hookups available! Potable water and vault or portable toilets will be available at the campsite and the worksite. 

Williams Ranch Barn, CA

Partner: Bureau of Land Management

June 19-24

Williams Ranch Barn is located in rural Lassen County, CA, originally inhabited by the Achomawi, also known as the Pit River Tribe. The geology of the region is diverse, containing  high deserts, snowy mountain peaks, and green valleys along with exciting volcanic activity in nearby Lassen Volcanic National Park. During the late 1800s, Williams Ranch was a modern success story, earning the nearby town of Madeline the title of “the sheep shipping capitol of the world.” Today, the only buildings still standing are the ranch barn, corral, and loading chute. The barn is eligible for a nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2020, HistoriCorps volunteers restored the building’s metal roof and stabilized interior posts. We are thrilled to return this summer to stabilize the building and brace it for the next generation of visitors. Tents, campervans, and truck campers can access our campground located a short distance from the project site. There are no RV spaces available. Portable and/or vault toilets will be available. 

Manitou Lake Pavilion, CO 

Partner: Pike-San Isabel National Forests

July 17-22, July 24-29, August 14-19, and August 21-26

Arapaho, Cheyenne and Ute peoples are the traditional custodians of what is now called Manitou Lake and its surrounding lands. Today, visitors flock to the area to enjoy commercial resorts and outdoor recreation, but long before Zebulon Pike named the most prominent mountain – originally called Tava – after himself, members of Indigenous nations “drank the waters of nearby Manitou Springs and took shelter in Garden of the Gods Park during the winter months” (source). This site is now under the stewardship of the Pike-San Isabel National Forest and is a celebrated location for picnics, hiking, cycling, and photo-taking! Manitou Lake Pavilion was constructed in the 1930s by the CCC and/or WPA. The serenity of working lakeside will be a welcome addition to the incredible pavilion. Tents, campervans, truck campers, and RVs up to 25 feet in length can access our campground. There are no hookups and ground may not be perfectly level. Dogs are allowed, but they must be leashed at all times.

Located on Crow, Cheyenne, and Sioux land land northeast of Yellowstone National Park, part of the history of the U.S. Forest Service is contained within this ranger station. Between 1891 and 1905, the Shoshone NF was technically the Yellowstone Timberland Reserve; it later became the FIRST National Forest. Volunteers on this project will get to interact with several cornerstones of American history: the Great Depression (during which this station was constructed); the growth of federal land management practices and policies that went on to influence public land management practices across the world; the reeling in of unfettered deforestation; and more. We invite you to join us to preserve and learn from early USFS history! Oh, and did we mention the views here will be jaw dropping?! Tents and truck campers can access our campground. There are no RV spaces available.

Hell Canyon Log Cabin and Garage, SD 2022

Partner: Black Hills National Forest

July 31 – August 5

The USFS Hell Canyon Work Center log cabin and accompanying garage, which are located on lands historically inhabited by Cheyenne, Crow, and Sioux Nations, were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1938 and 1940. A 2018 architectural report describes the Hell Canyon Log Cabin’s style as rustic, like most CCC-constructed buildings. However, these two “exceed the standard in terms of construction detail and craftsmanship.” Over time, maintenance efforts addressed log deterioration and rot by applying various kinds of fillers, as well as paint. Several layers of paint, applied over the past several decades, protected the logs from developing new rot, but it did not prevent the existing rot from spreading. HistoriCorps volunteers and staff will address this through removing paint, repairing deteriorated logs, and applying a new wood preservative treatment. Tent campers, truck campers, and those with small RVs/trailers can access this campsite. However, there are no hookups and the ground may not be perfectly level.

Lassen Volcanic National Park HQ Water Systems, CA 2022

Partner: Lassen Volcanic National Park

July 31 – August 5

Lassen Volcanic National Park is famously historic for both its geologic and cultural resources. According to NPS, “the Lassen area was a meeting point for at least four Native American Indian groups: Atsugewi, Yana, Yahi, and Maidu. Because of its weather and snow conditions, generally high elevation, and seasonally-mobile deer populations, the Lassen area was not conducive to year-round living. The legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps can also be seen in several areas of the park, but especially in the cultural landscape surrounding the park’s  Headquarters, which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Preservationists don’t only maintain building features; they also work with the environment to reduce opportunities for the elements to deteriorate historic buildings and structures (especially water!). Particularly in the American West, water management is a critical part of infrastructure planning. Water management infrastructure like the carefully-planned ditches on this project help maintain good roads, support healthy plant and animal habitats, and of course reduces environmental threats to buildings’ integrity. Tents, campervans, truck campers, and RVs can access our camping area. The ground may not be perfectly level and hookups are not provided.

Point Iroquois Lighthouse, MI 2022

Partner: Hiawatha National Forest

Workforce Partner: YouthWork

July 31 – August 5, August 7-12, and August 14-19

The Point Iroquois Lighthouse sits along the Whitefish Bay at the eastern most point of Lake Superior. French explorers/colonizers began occupying the area in 1620 and in 1622, there was a notable battle between the Ojibwe and Iroquois for control of the point, which the Iroquois lost. Two hundred years later, in the mid-1800s, copper and iron ore were discovered here, which secured the point’s fate as a strategically important place. On September 20, 1857, two years after a wooden lighthouse and keepers’ residence were constructed, a guiding light shone over the channel for the first time. This first light illuminated the watery highway for 107 years, during which time the original wood buildings were replaced with brick constructs. We are thrilled to have been invited back following our successful project in 2021. We are honored to train both volunteers and members of YouthWork, an award-winning organization, this summer! Tent camping only; those with truck bed campers or similar can also access this site. There are RV sites in the vicinity at Monocle Lake Campground and Brimley State Park Campground but volunteers will need to make their own reservations, and plan to commute to and from the site daily.