HistoriCorps would not be where it is today without Bill Yett. Bill first got involved with HistoriCorps in the effort to save the Grand Junction Union Depot in 2009, attending the Endangered Places meeting in Denver in February 2010. Since HistoriCorps’ inception in 2009, Bill has supported us in invaluable ways – from assisting with project development, to serving as a project “crew leader,” and even postponing his jury duty to volunteer! Always willing to share his extensive knowledge and experience, Bill’s passion for historic preservation is evident just by talking to him.
Bill has participated in so many HistoriCorps projects that he almost lost count! “I would have to count my t-shirts,” he remarked. “I believe I have participated in eight separate projects, though I did double weeks on several. I would have done more projects, but during the same time I was hiking the 486 mile Colorado Trail. I finished the hike last August, so maybe more projects next year.”
Bill’s favorite HistoriCorps memory was working with a group of undergraduate students from the University of Colorado Denver with an interest in historic preservation, hearing their youthful passion and exchanging ideas with them. As a former remodeling carpenter for the National Park Service, Bill wishes he had had access to Historicorps when he was responsible for preservation projects in National Parks. “It would have made my job much easier. This is why I have been working with the staff to pitch the Corps’ services to Parks,” he explained. When asked what he enjoys most about volunteering for HistoriCorps, Bill responded, “First, of course, is leaving behind a structure with a future where a deteriorating derelict had been. However, just as much I enjoy the people working on the projects. They have been a delightful diverse group with a shared passion, neat conversations, and tasty meals.”
HistoriCorps will be forever grateful for the many ways that Bill has supported HistoriCorps over the years, and we are excited to see what he has up his sleeves for the future!