Marion Forks Guard Station, OR 2022
Marion Forks Guard Station, OR 2022

Marion Forks Guard Station, OR 2022

Marion Forks Guard Station, OR 2022

Nestled along the Santiam River, Marion Forks Guard Station is the perfect project to catch some shade and soak up a historic summer. 

PROJECT PARTNER: Willamette National Forest

SESSION DATES: August 14-19 and August 21-26


CREW LEADER: Melisa Elbert

Project Site Description & History

The Willamette National Forest is one of Oregon’s treasured keepsakes. Stretching east from Eugene all the way to the foothills of Mt. Bachelor, its lush forests, picturesque rivers, and neighboring views of the impeccable Cascade Range are among the most scenic in the country. Originally home to a plethora of indigenous tribes collectively known as the Kalapuya, the Willamette Valley was forever changed following the land treaties of 1851 and 1854-55 that lead to the removal of its native peoples.

Nearly a hundred years later, Marion Forks Guard Station was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the Great Depression. It shares not only these histories, but also that of early modernization efforts in the Forest Service. The CCC program aided individuals and communities experiencing poverty through providing work opportunities to young men. CCC members received lodging, meals, and trades skills training, while earning $30 per week – $25 of which was sent back to their families. At this time, the Forest Service’s administrative duties were just beginning to expand from managing forests for their extractable resources (primarily timber) to managing forests for multiple uses, with a focus on sustaining forests’ yields and services – from ecosystem services like healthy soil and clean air, to recreational services like hiking trails or summer cabins.

During this time, the architecture of the Forest Service’s administrative buildings was also transitioning – from rustic buildings that often mimicked their surrounding environments, to ones that were more uniform in style. Marion Forks Guard Station is a great example of this transitional phase. Its National Register listing sums it up: “Possessing standard qualities of design and execution, the Guard Station is a good example of an architectural locution invested with special aesthetic and associative values by the agency that created it.”

The Marion Forks Guard Station is eligible for the Forest Service’s Recreational Rental Program, and with your help, we can rehabilitate this CCC era relic and ensure its future for generations to come!

Location and Logistics


August 14-19 and August 21-26. Please plan to arrive at the campsite no earlier than 5pm and no later than 7pm on the first day of your session.

LOCATION:  Marion Forks Guard Station sits along the beautiful North Santiam River southwest of Mt. Jefferson. There are some wonderful recreation opportunities here for folks looking to enjoy a classic Oregon summer.

·       MAP to CAMPSITE (same as project site)

ACCESS:    Tent camping only Site is RV/trailer accessible

Tents, truck campers, campervans, and trailers up to 24 feet can access our onsite campground. There are no hookups and the ground may not be perfectly level. Showers will not be available. 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


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 Marion Forks Guard Station.

  • Clean and paint the interior walls and ceilings (25%)
  • Clean, repair, and refinish wood and linoleum floors (25%)
  • Repair porches (10%)
  • Repair kitchen counter and cupboards (10%)
  • Repair garage corner post (10%)
  • Demolish the water heater closet (10%)
  • Repair wood windows, screens, and doors (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.

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 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 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.