Hornbek Homestead, CO 2020 (Phase III)

Adeline Hornbek was one of the first new homesteaders in the Pikes Peak region. The region is famous today for its incredible dinosaur footprints at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument!

PROJECT PARTNER: Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument (National Park Service)

SESSION DATES: September 20-25 and September 27 – October 2

Please plan to arrive at our campsite no earlier than 5pm and no later than 7pm on the first day of your session.


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

LOCATION: We will be camping a short distance from the homestead, as camping is not permitted in the National Monument. It is highly likely our site will be accessible to small RVs and tent campers, although there will not be hookups and the ground may not be perfectly level.

ABOUT VOLUNTEERING: HistoriCorps projects are free for volunteers! HistoriCorps will provide all meals, tools, training, and equipment, and a campsite. Volunteers are responsible for their own transportation to the campsite, sleeping equipment, work clothes and boots, and other personal gear. Most projects have one spot per session for a “Kitchen Helper” in addition to our project work volutneer spots. Scroll down to read more and register!

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 Hornbek House, built in 1878, is one of the most outstanding examples of log domestic architecture in the Rocky Mountain region. The building is a 1 1/2 story structure with massive squared log walls. The house is significant for the sophistication of its log construction and for its integrity still retained through its survival of over one hundred years. The site is significant because of its association to the Homestead Act: Adeline Hornbek was one of the early settlers in the West Pikes Peak area having arrived in the mid-1870s with her four children. As head of her household, she led the first-homestead application under the Homestead Act of 1862 in the Florissant area. Defying traditional gender roles of the age, Adeline had by 1885 established a substantial ranch in an area of subsistence farming.

The log house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as an example of an early homestead. It is an especially excellent example of homestead-era log construction, with unusual Greek Revival window trim on one wing. The property includes a number of outbuildings which were relocated to the site.

Click here to read a detailed history of Adeline’s rise to success during this tumultuous period from the National Park Service.

Nearby attractions include the Florissant Fossil Beds. From the National Park Service: “Beneath a grassy mountain valley in central Colorado lies one of the richest and most diverse fossil deposits in the world. Petrified redwood stumps up to 14 feet wide and thousands of detailed fossils of insects and plants reveal the story of a very different, prehistoric Colorado.”

Volunteers enjoy an afternoon exploring the area near our beautiful campsite during project work in 2018

One thing we love about historic ranches is the variety of buildings and materials they feature, like this barn!

Endless night skies and sweeping landscapes will greet volunteers! Also, the last half of September in Colorado often features the “turning of the aspens” in our mountains and hills. This project was, we think, scheduled just right for us to catch the fall colors!

Volunteering Safely During COVID-19

HistoriCorps prides itself on ensuring the health and safety of all volunteer participants, whether we’re working on a roof, or during a pandemic. Our team has worked hard to put together stringent health and safety protocols for the 2020 project season. All volunteers and staff will be required to adhere to these restrictions in order to participate.

MASKS: All volunteers are required to bring at least six reusable, washable face masks. Volunteers will wear two masks each day (one for camp, one for the jobsite). They will be washed once throughout the project. Masks are required for when working less than 6 feet apart, or in an enclosed environment.

GLOVES: All volunteers are required to bring their own work gloves.

HEALTHY ARRIVAL: Volunteers will only join projects if they are not experiencing any symptoms of illness, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches, or other symptoms of COVID-19 as identified by the CDC. Volunteers will not plan to travel to or through areas highly impacted by COVID-19, nor outside of the US, within 14 days before their project begins. Volunteers will affirm that they do not believe they have been exposed to a person with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, are not waiting to be cleared as noncontagious following a diagnosis, and have been following all recommended guidelines as much as possible by practicing social distancing and taking other precautions. Volunteers will travel to the jobsite alone, or with someone they live with (such as a family member) who has also shown no signs or symptoms of illness.

IN CASE OF INFECTION: Any volunteer or staff member that develops COVID-19 symptoms must immediately self-isolate and leave the jobsite. If the individual is physically unable to do so, staff will follow Wilderness First Aid guidelines for medevac.

FOLLOWING HISTORICORPS PROTOCOLS: All volunteers are required to abide by and practice the health and safety protocols that HistoriCorps staff are implementing. All volunteer crews will be “capped” at a maximum of six volunteers.

Scope of Work

Learning and working alongside expert HistoriCorps field staff, volunteers will undertake the following scope of work to preserve the Hornbek Homestead. It is highly likely that youth conservation corps members will complete re-roofing the homestead’s main house, and that volunteers will focus on re-roofing the smaller outbuildings: The Carriage House, Barn, and Bunkhouse.

  • Remove deteriorated wood shingles:  15%
  • Install new cedar shingle roofs:  75%
  • Install flashing around chimneys to protect against deterioration:  5%

If time allows, we will also accomplish these tasks:

  • Replace a deteriorated sill log
  • Repair a set of wooden doors
  • Install interior and exterior door trim on the main house

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.

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 and COVID-19 Protocols first! Please note the following logistics and policies:

  • 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, including 6+ reusable cloth face masks, 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 medium-large 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.
  • Volunteers are asked to arrive after 6pm and before 8pm on the first day of their session. If you would like to request special permission to arrive early, please email volunteer@historicorps.org.
  • 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.
  • Dogs are generally allowed to accompany their humans to jobsites (actually, we love having dogs join us around the campfire!). 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.

Sign Up!

We’re thrilled this project has inspired you to volunteer! Registration will open soon. All sessions are capped at a strict maximum of 6 volunteers, including the Kitchen Helper.

  • Session 1: September 20-25

    • Session 1, Kitchen Helper

  • Session 2: September 27 – October 2

    • Session 2, Kitchen Helper