2021 Volunteer Projects

2021 Volunteer Projects

2021 Preservation Projects

Project Map

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Williams Ranch Barn, CA: Phase II

Partner: Bureau of Land Management

May 2-7

During the late 1800s, Williams Ranch was wonderfully successful, and operations there earned the nearby town of Madeline the title of “sheep shipping capitol of the world.” Today, the ranch is at risk of being considered a liability due to the structural deterioration of its buildings. HistoriCorps knows that by stabilizing and preserving historic buildings, they turn from liabilities into assets – and often, our work reinvigorates interest in places previously thought to be “lost to time!” One exciting plan outlined in the BLM’s “Recreation Plan” for the Williams Ranch site is to improve environmental education opportunities for area schoolchildren. However, if the ranch buildings are in disrepair, they are less likely to contribute to a safe learning environment. Join us for Phase II of work at Williams Ranch Barn this spring! Accessible for tent campers and RVs, though the ground may not be perfectly level and there are no hookups.

Grey Towers Star Terrace, PA

Partner: USDA Forest Service

May 2-7

For those familiar with the history of the USDA Forest Service, wildfire management practices, or Pennyslvania politics, Grey Towers needs no introduction. For the uninitiated, this magnificent building was home to Gifford Pinchot, first Chief of the Forest Service and two-time governor of the Keystone State. Pinchot’s legacy in wildfire management is told alongside that of Teddy Roosevelt’s in Timothy Egan’s bestselling book The Big Burn. John F. Kennedy further enshrined the cultural importance of Grey Towers when he named it “the birthplace of the American conservation movement.” Lastly, the architects in our community will recognize the work of Richard Morris Hunt – who not only designed Grey Towers, but also founded the American Institute of Architects. Needless to say, we are incredibly proud to have been invited to restore Grey Towers’ iconic Star Terrace paving. Spots on this project will go fast – sign up soon! Our nearby campsite is accessible to tents and small RVs/trailers (hookups and level ground not guaranteed).

Mormon Lake Guard Station, AZ

Partner: Coconino National Forest

*New Sessions Added!* May 2-7  |  May 23-28  |  May 30 – June 4

The Coconino National Forest has invited volunteers to come back for the third year in a row to continue rehabilitating this historic guard station! Constructed as early as 1908 and named, without flair, as the Mormon Lake Ranger Station, the building served for decades as both a ranger station and modest residence for rangers and their families. Over its lifetime, the building has served as home to hundreds of wildland firefighters and forest service employees. It is hoped that the repair and preservation work on the building will eventually lead to its inclusion into the ‘Rooms with a View’ Arizona Cabin Rental Program sponsored by the US Forest Service. This program offers historic buildings to the public for daily/nightly rental. Small RVs/trailers and tent campers can access this site. There are no hookups and the ground may not be perfectly level.

Staunton Cabin, CO

Partner: Friends of Staunton State Park

May 17-22  |  May 23-28  |  May 30 – June 4

HistoriCorps is partnering with the Friends of Staunton State Park to do the hands-on work necessary to restore a high-profile cabin in Staunton State Park this spring! The Staunton Cabin (pictured above) was constructed in 1918 by physicians Archibald and Rachel Staunton. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012. Today, the cabin is located a just short hike from the entrance of this extremely popular state park. This irreplaceable cultural and historic resource is facing significant threats from deterioration. See a short video of the cabin here. Tent campers and RVs/trailers can access this site.
HistoriCorps is excited to partner with Kaya Responsible Travel to engage Gap Year participants on this project!

Palace Station, AZ

Partner: Prescott National Forest

May 30 – June 4  |  June 6-11

By 1878, Palace Station was a thriving stagecoach stop, but by the early 1900s, the nearby mines dried up, rail roads were being built in the area, and fewer and fewer stagecoaches visited. In 1913 the stagecoach services business was sold, but the station remained in use by other owners, including ranchers. In 1963 the U.S. Forest Service acquired Palace Station. At more than 140 years of age, the structure is one of the earliest examples of pioneer cabins in the region. Our partners on the Prescott National Forest have invited HistoriCorps volunteers to do the hands-on work necessary to preserve the cabin, so it can be opened as an overnight rental for the public. It seems that the station’s past, as a bunkhouse and rest stop, has defined its future. Help us keep history alive in the Bradshaw Mountains this summer! High-clearance vehicle required. Tent camping only.

Sly Guard Station and Harvey West Cabin, CA

Partner: Eldorado National Forest

May 30 – June 4  |  June 6-11  |  June 13-18

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 USFS was established in 1905, and the Eldorado National Forest was founded just five years later. In the span of a generation, Forest Rangers were found on every forest, charged with protecting and managing natural resources – including working with logging and mining companies to manage these resources responsibly while contributing to economic growth in the region. The two buildings we are working on tell different sides of the same coin: The Sly Guard Station was home to rangers, and the Harvey West Cabin was a summer residence for a successful logger. Both are now available to the public as overnight rentals, but are due for some HistoriCorps-style restoration work!

Cabot Cabin, NH, White Mountain National Forest

Partner: White Mountain National Forest

June 6-11 and June 28 – July 3

Take a break from the everyday and enjoy a week in the wild this summer! Located near the peak of Mt. Cabot, HistoriCorps will work on the Cabot Cabin which was built to support the fire lookout tower on Mt Cabot that no longer stands. This cabin is a favorite destination for backcountry hikers looking to get out of the elements while traversing this popular trail. Because the crew will be camping near the cabin, volunteers will need to backpack their gear about 4 miles uphill (don’t worry, we’ll take care of the food!). This is one of just a handful of backcountry projects this season. Tent camping only.

Buck Mountain Fire Lookout Tower, AZ

Partner: Coconino National Forest

June 6-11  |  June 13-18  |  June 20-25  |  June 27 – July 2

Fire lookout towers like this were once critical assets in the fight against forest fires. Today, advances in fire management technology has rendered lookouts relics of the past, and just a handful of fire lookouts are still actively staffed. Because they offer incredible views and are often located in spectacular areas, fire towers are often popular destinations for hikers, and several are even available for overnight guests – imagine sleeping thirty feet off the ground! The Buck Mountain Fire Lookout Tower stands guard on the Mogollon Rim, just 40 miles south of Flagstaff. Today it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and could, with some HistoriCorps TLC, one day be opened up to the public for rent. Enjoy expansive mountain views on this project! High-clearance vehicle highly recommended; tent camping or truck campers only.

Lyons Ranches, CA

Partner: Redwood National Park

June 13-18  |  June 20-25  |  June 27 – July 2  |  July 11-16

Redwood National Park was not always the internationally-celebrated recluse for nature lovers that we know it as today. The Lyons Ranches Historic District is comprised of lands managed by the Lyons family for 89 years, until the land was given to the people in 1959. According to the National Park Service, this district is significant “for its association with the history and development of Humboldt County as a sheep ranching region as well as its association with the establishment and development of social and economic relationships between the Native American people and the immigrant Euro-American society in the Bald Hills. Further, the district is…a rare intact example of a large-scale sheep ranch that was active from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries. It retains both the natural features (such as prairie grasslands) that contributed to its suitability for sheep ranching as well as for Native American cultural events, and the key manmade features (such as roads, barns, and sheep sheds) that were essential to the sheep ranching operations.” Tent camping and truck campers only.

DeChambeau Ranch, CA 2021

Partner: Inyo National Forest

July 11-16, July 18-23, July 25-30, August 1-6

The DeChambeau Ranch, less than 25 miles from Yosemite National Park, was established in 1871 on the shores of Mono Lake. Its viability rose and fell with the nearby mining communities it supported, including the notorious, raucous boomtown of Bodie, CA. At more than one million years old, Mono Lake is one of North America’s most ancient. Artists from all over the world come to the Mono Basin to take advantage of almost-unmatched photography opportunities. The old ranch buildings are managed in an “arrested state of decay” and are periodically stabilized to ensure their public enjoyment long into the future. Volunteers on this project will be restoring the main building’s cedar shingle roof – and we promise, the views are better up top! Accessible for tent campers and RVs/trailers, although there are no hookups and the ground may not be perfectly level.

Seedhouse Guard Station, CO

Partner: Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest

July 5-9  |  July 11-16

The Seedhouse Guard Station is located just north of Steamboat Springs, CO. Summer in this region brings amazing mountain scenery and alpine flowers. This historic guard station was once used as a ranger residence, but now can be rented out by the general public. It’s especially popular for winter snowsports and hunters. The building is showing signs of its age and needs some HistoriCorps TLC! Local tourism in town and in the mountains abounds, and there’s even a small general store in Clark. Our crews will refresh the exterior of the guard station by giving it a fresh coat of paint. Accessible for tent campers and small RVs/trailers, though there are no hookups and the ground may not be perfectly level.
We are excited to partner with Kaya Responsible Travel to engage Gap Year participants on this project!

 Red Mountain Open Space Schoolhouse, CO

Partner: Larimer County Open Space and Mountain Parks

June 27 – July 2  |  July 11-16  |  July 18-23  |  July 25-30

Colorado is known for colorful, textured landscapes that continually amaze visitors with their diversity. Larimer County shares about this location, “Deep crimson and tan rocks, rolling grasslands, and sandy washes await you at Red Mountain Open Space, a 15,780-acre open space in northeastern Colorado…. Visitors can access the trails in two adjacent protected areas that are part of a much larger vision — the Laramie Foothills Mountains to Plains Project — which protects over 55,000 acres of ecologically and culturally diverse landscape. Some of the first humans in North America resided here over 12,000 years ago, and people have lived and worked this land since.” Part of this area’s history includes extant buildings, like this schoolhouse, which relate to the history of Anglo settlers, who sought new lives here in an environment dramatically different than where they started. Accessible for tent and truck campers (no RVs/trailers).

Forest Lodge, WI

Partner: Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

June 27 – July 2  |  July 14-20

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. Each year for the past eight, 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. Accessible for tent and truck campers. Limited space for 1-2 small RVs each session.

Anderson Lodge, WY

Partner: Shoshone National Forest

August 7-14

This backcountry wilderness project requires a 7-8 mile hike in! A pack train will supply our food, tools, and equipment, but volunteers will be responsible for carrying in their own personal gear. The scenery will astound volunteers willing to make the trek to this remote part of the Shoshone National Forest. Anderson Lodge is named for its original dweller, the artist, rancher and philanthropist Abraham Archibald Anderson. As an artist, he painted many portraits, including one of Thomas Edison; he also personally designed William “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s guest ranch Pahaska Tepee, and his own home. As a rancher, his love of the outdoors and commitment to its proper management led to him becoming the first Special Superintendent of Yellowstone region, which he managed out of this lodge (one of the original #WFH experiences, we’re sure!). Read a beautifully laid out and described history of the lodge as told by Park County Historic Preservation Commission, here! Of course, this is a project for tent campers only.

COMING SOON: Lemley Mill, WY

Partner: Bureau of Land Management

August 8-13  |  August 15-20  |   August 22-27  |  August 29 – September 3

Lemley Mill is part of the 30-square-miles South Pass Historic Mining Area, which contains three notable ghost towns: Miner’s Delight, Atlantic City, and South Pass. Thanks to a gold rush here in 1867, the region’s population mushroomed to almost 1,500 people by 1868. Just four years later the mines had played out, and most all the prospectors left shortly thereafter. Our work here will ensure the history contained in this site can be remembered and explored for generations to come. The area contains remnants of five (yes, five!) National Historic Trails. For Anglo-American migrants, popular myths of violent encounters with Indigenous peoples fueled a false paranoia; in reality, migrants more often found that the people they met were more interested in trading, and later employment opportunities in the new settlements. A drastic rise in new settlements led to social and political tension between and within the colonizers and Indigenous inhabitants of the land. The NHOTIC summarizes one outcome of this tension: “The story of individual tribe’s efforts to maintain their culture and lifestyle during these decades of drastic change is far more complex than can be portrayed by circled wagons and whooping warriors.” Learn more about this time and place in history from the BLM here. Tent campers, truck campers, and RVs/trailers can access this site (subject to change as of 3/16/2021).

COMING SOON: Hessie Cabin, CO

Partner: Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest

August 1-6  |  August 8-13  |  August 15-20  |  August 22-27

Today, Colorado is celebrated as an dream destination for outdoor lovers, but much of the state’s history and current economic activity is rooted in mining. The discovery of gold on Pikes Peak in 1858, which led to the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush, was a pivotal factor in the development of the current state of Colorado. When Captain J.H. Davis brought his wife to the new mining town just thirty minutes from Nederland, she made herself indispensable by launching a crude postal facility there. In gratitude, the miners decided to name the settlement “Hessie” in her honor. The town of Hessie was thus added to the map of Colorado. Hessie supported about eighty residents at its peak. By 1910, the towns of Eldora and Hessie were mostly abandoned, but (according to the book Colorado Ghost Towns), not before Hessie became the site of a complicated murder case that remains unsolved to this day. Camping logistics TBD.

COMING SOON: Point Iroquois Lighthouse, MI

Partner: Hiawatha National Forest

August 15-20  |   August 22-27  |  August 29 – September 3

Enjoy this superior late summer project just across the way from our Canadian neighbors! Lighthouses and their light-keepers have a storied memory in naval history. Because Point Iroquois is strategically located at the mouth of a river that drains into Lake Superior, it has been occupied for hundreds of years. French explorers/colonizers first occupied the area in 1620. In 1622, there was a notable battle between the Ojibwa 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. Our project will focus on the point’s dramatic keeper’s residence. Plan to enjoy a relaxing swim after the day’s work is done! Accessible for tent and truck campers only, however there are campgrounds nearby for those with RVs or camper vans.

COMING SOON: Hell Canyon Log Cabin and Garage, SD

Partner: Black Hills National Forest

August 22-27  |  August 29 – September 3

Although its name belies its history of public service, the Hell Canyon Civilian Conservation Corps Camp housed the individuals who constructed recreational and other infrastructure in the popular and remote Black Hills National Forest that hikers, cyclists, horse riders, and more love today. Project details TBA.


Projects will open for registration 3-4 months before start.

We expect to release roughly 30 projects in 2021.


Registered volunteers will receive first priority when these projects are rescheduled.

Eagle Cliff Blacksmith Shop, CA

Partner: Joshua Tree National Park

Postponed. New Dates TBD. Registered volunteers will have first priority when this project is rescheduled.

HistoriCorps’ crews will get off the beaten path, exploring a special part of beautiful Joshua Tree National Park. We’ll restore the rustic Eagle Cliff Blacksmith Shop, a set of backcountry stone structures where sandy stone walls and rusting tin roofs curve through gaps between looming boulders. This is a tent camping-only project. Volunteers will enjoy a 2-mile hike in and out of the site daily (4 miles total), making this one of our more strenuous and adventurous projects!

Lake Wedington Summer Camp, AR

Partner: Ozark-St. Francis National Forests

Postponed. New Dates TBD. Registered volunteers will have priority when this project is rescheduled.

Built during the Great Depression, this attractive recreation area, built during the CCC days, serves as the backdrop for classic summer vacations in the mountains of the Midwest: the Ozarks. There is a great tradition of escaping to the lake, mountains, or shore during summer holidays in countries around the world (in fact, several episodes of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel take place at a getaway such as this). The United States celebrates this culture through our public lands system, ensuring anybody and everybody can access recreational areas, reconnect to nature, and enjoy time with friends and families. Lake Wedington has served as the backdrop for thousands if not more summer memories. Today the area’s cabins and other recreational buildings are in need of some HistoriCorps TLC. Cabins will be available for lodging and those with small RVs/trailers can access this site as well.