Lenny relaxes at Chittenden Nursery in 2017.  The commemorative mug–a rare and coveted item–is bestowed only upon those who complete FIVE HistoriCorps sessions in a single year!

We always love to hear from HistoriCorps volunteers although sometimes the news itself is bittersweet.  We learned today that Lenny Williston of Madison, Wisconsin has decided–with greatest reluctance–to hang up his spurs.  An experienced mason, Lenny first volunteered with us at the Rickenbaugh House in Hoosier National Forest, Indiana, back in 2015.  In 2016 he joined us at Forest Lodge on the southern shore of Lake Namakagon and again in Michigan where he worked on the stone pavilion at Black River Harbor in the Ottawa National Forest.  Last season, Lenny was back in force: at Forest Lodge, at Black River Harbor (those lakeside projects!) but also at Chittenden Nursery, where he worked on the Cone House. He also travelled to Virginia to help at the Good Will Center in Petersburg.  With so many projects, and sometimes multiple sessions on each, the sheer number of hours Lenny has given us is astounding.   

Lenny, we are sorry to see you go.  We were hoping to see you this year in New Hampshire and in California and who knows where else, but it is not to be.  We are profoundly grateful for your generosity, enthusiasm, good company and skill, and wish you a long and fruitful retirement.  You gave us a lot and you left your mark in stone and wood.  Stay well, friend, and keep in touch! 

Thank you from everyone here at HistoriCorps.

Jacob Rickenbaugh House (1874), now part of Hoosier National Forest, Indiana. For almost a hundred years, the parlor housed the Celina Post Office. 

Comprising sixteen separate buildings, including the floating boathouse, the Forest Lodge complex in Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, WI, is considered by many to be a Northwoods treasure. 

“A first-class group.”

Lenny with colleagues in front of the stone pavilion at Black River Harbor, Michigan.


Chittenden Nursery, in Huron-Manistee National Forest in Michigan played a key part in the reforestation of the region.  The Cone Shed at Chittenden, a CCC-era structure, was refurbished by HistoriCorps in partnership with Huron-Manistee National Forest.   Lenny seen here with Project Supervisor, John Rossi.

The Good Will Center on the historic Battersea Estate in Petersburg, VA.  Dating from 1925, the building served as headquarters for a women’s charitable organization led by Sarah Seward Lane.