Palace Station, AZ 2021 (Phase II)
Palace Station, AZ 2021 (Phase II)

Palace Station, AZ 2021 (Phase II)

Palace Station, AZ 2021

Hidden up a bumpy dirt road not far from Prescott, Palace Station was once a well-known waystation for travelers and miners. We’re excited to return to this site after our first project here in 2017!

PROJECT PARTNER: Prescott National Forest

DATES: May 30 – June 4 and June 6-11

Project Site Description & History

The Senator Highway once served as a primary stagecoach thoroughfare for central Arizona, serving primarily miners and related industries. The Spence family, newly arrived from Missouri in 1875, saw opportunity and constructed the two-story Palace Station in the years following. By 1878 the Station was being advertised as a stagecoach stop. They primarily served meals to travelers and feed and water to horses. Some Friday nights, “fancy ladies” could be seen near the Station to relieve miners of their pay.

By the early 1900s, the nearby mines dried up, rail roads were being built in the area, and fewer and fewer stagecoaches stopped by Palace Station. In 1913 the 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.

During HistoriCorps’ 2017 project at Palace Station, we met Ray Jackson, author of “Spence’s Palace Station: History in the Bradshaw Mountains.” His history of the building and the people who lived there will give volunteers wonderful context and background information to make this project even more enjoyable.

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!

Location and Logistics

SESSION DATES:  May 30 – April 4 and June 6-11

Please plan to arrive at our campsite no earlier than 6pm and no later than 8pm on the first day of your session.

SITE INFORMATION:    Tent camping only   

IMPORTANT:  The road to Palace Station is not passable for those with low-clearance vehicles. Vehicles like a Subaru Outback, Jeep Cherokee, or similar can access this location with careful, slow driving. Tent camping only.

Scope of Work

PROJECT DIFFICULTY:  

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 these traditional skills necessary to restore the Palace Station. Much of the scope of work is intended to prepare the cabin for overnight rentals through the “Window With A View” historic cabin program.

  • Refinish interior walls and floors:  35%
  • Rehabilitate windows and shutters:  20%
  • Repair and replace chinking and daubing in exterior log walls:  5%
  • Construct porch railings and stairs:  30%
  • Miscellaneous carpentry repairs:  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.

This project has one volunteer spot per session for a Kitchen Helper, who will help our Crew Leader prepare meals for the crew. Kitchen Helpers may also work on the project, if they choose. Learn more here.

You will know your registration was successful when you receive a confirmation email. Contact volunteer@historicorps.org 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:

  • Review our COVID protocols, including mask requirements, here.
  • 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, 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 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.
  • 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 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.