Silver Falls Picnic Shelter, WA 2020
Silver Falls Picnic Shelter, WA 2020

Silver Falls Picnic Shelter, WA 2020

Silver Falls Picnic Shelter, WA

Vast forests punctuated by jagged mountain peaks and bluer-than-blue alpine lakes define the Pacific Northwest.

The forest’s Silver Falls picnic shelter has been hosting forest visitors for generations, and benefitted from some HistoriCorps TLC in 2020.

PROJECT PARTNER: Okanogon-Wenatchee National Forest

Project Site Description & History

According to recreation.gov, “Silver Falls Group Campground sits in forested, mountain terrain on the banks of the Entiat River in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in the Entiat Ranger District. The cascading water of Silver Falls is a draw for many visitors to this particular area, which is especially refreshing in the summer heat. The Silver Falls National Recreation Trail is an exceptional family hike taking you up, around and down the falls. Panoramic views of the surrounding mountains await you on the hike.”

A 1989 report on the site states that this campground was one of the first on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, and that it was developed in the 1930s by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC was a Depression-era relief program that offered young men work, often on public lands, where they constructed the recreational infrastructure we still use today – especially campgrounds, picnic areas, amphitheaters, trails, and more. The men received three meals per day and housing in temporary or semi-permanent structures, and were paid $30 per month. Of that $30, a full $25 was sent home to support their families; the CCC members kept the remaining $5.

The 1989 report states, “the Depression-era improvements at the Silver Falls Campground are associated… with the broad and lasting changes in recreation development on National Forest lands brought about through the use of programs such as the CCC.” Truly, the legacy of the CCC is one worth preserving.

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 learned these traditional skills necessary to restore the Silver Falls Picnic Shelter.

  • Replaceed and repaired deteriorated logs
  • Stripped deteriorated roofing and installed new shakes
  • Re-pointed stone fireplace

These are two “before” photos.