Mathews Guard Station, OR 2022
Mathews Guard Station, OR 2022

Mathews Guard Station, OR 2022

Mathews Guard Station, OR 2022

Guard Stations like this were critical to the history of wildfire management. Although several historic guard stations are still in service, some have been ravaged by time. By restoring these places we can honor the people who committed themselves to conserving the forests we love today.

PROJECT PARTNER:  Bureau of Land Management

SESSION DATES:  July 10-15 and July 17-22




Project Site Description & History

This rich landscape is the traditional homelands of the Sitka, Takelma, Modoc, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Cow Creek Umpqua, and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. These peoples’ histories span thousands of years. This HistoriCorps project shares a more recent history – the Mathews Guard Station was constructed just under a century ago. Our partner was kind enough to share the brief slice of history this site occupies:

“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.”

Especially these days, preserving the history of forest and wildfire management seems a particularly important task. We’re humbled and excited to return to Mathews Guard Station. We hope you will join us in 2022!

Location and Logistics

SESSION DATES:  July 10-15 and July 17-22. Please plan to arrive at our campsite no earlier than 5pm and no later than 7pm on the first day of your session.




ACCESS:    Tent camping only  Site is RV/trailer accessible

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.  

WEATHER:  Anticipate highs in the upper 80s and lows in the mid 40s. 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 will learn the skills necessary to restore the roof of the Mathews Guard Station.

  • Remove existing roofing (30%)
  • Install new composite shingles (60%)
  • Minor carpentry repairs to windows, siding, trim, and porch (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. All volunteers will be required to affirm that they will be fully vaccinated from the Covid-19 virus by the time their project begins. Read our Covid protocols here (updated October 2021).
  • 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.