Montana Cabin, CA 2023
Montana Cabin, CA 2023

Montana Cabin, CA 2023

Montana Cabin, CA 2023

Hidden in the hills of Henry W. Coe State Park is the Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs, home of the Montana Cabin, an 1870s era compound now one California’s Historic Landmarks.

PROJECT PARTNER: California State Parks

SESSION DATES: August 6-11


CREW LEADER: Nicholas Lentsch! 

Project Site Description & History

The Montana Cabin is a modest Italianate-Victorian style structure inclusive of the Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs, whose place in history has touched several generations spanning from the late 1800s, the roaring 1920s, and even World War II. The compound was developed in the 1870s and garnered swift acclaim as a popular bathhouse and clubhouse to the wealthy, ultimately becoming a social hot spot throughout the roaring 1920s by way of bootleg liquor parties complete with slot machines and low inhibitions.

In 1938, Kyuzaburo Sakata, a successful Japanese lettuce grower from the nearby Watsonville, purchased the compound with the intention of curating a cultural resource and gathering space for Japanese Americans. Unfortunately, his story is one marred with successes and setbacks. With the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Sakata would be one of the many Japanese Americans sent to the Internment Camps established by the U.S. Government. Following his release, Sakata would venture home, but was never able to restore the compound to its intended glory.

Ultimately, the Yamato Hot Springs would be purchased in 2003 by the California Department of Parks and Recreation and later being absolved into Henry W. Coe State Park. The Yamato Hot Springs is officially recognized as a California Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To learn more please visit California Historic Landmarks’ website.

Location and Logistics

SESSION DATES: August 6-11

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

LOCATION: Located roughly 70 minutes southeast of San Jose, CA.


  • ACCESS:    Tent camping only Site is RV/trailer accessible

Tents, truck-campers, campervans, and trailers will have access to our campground. We are waiting on confirmation about RVs from our partner. Showers will not be available and dogs are not allowed at this project. Thank you for understanding.

WEATHER:  Anticipate highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s. 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 Montana Cabin:

  • Repair the foundation and floor structure
  • Repair the damaged roof
  • Repair siding and trim of the cabin

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!


Visit our Job Calendar to see if a project session is full.

*All registrations submitted to projects at capacity will be automatically added to our waitlist.*

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: 

  • 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.