La Wis Wis 2016 - Passport in Time

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Washington - Gifford Pinchot NF
Closed! La Wis Wis Guard Station Rehabilitation, Part V

Cascade Mountains by FreeImages.comKati Garner
Cascade Mountains

April 25-29; May 23-27, 2016

Must commit to one full session; may participate in both
La Wis Wis Guard Station cabin was built in 1937, and is an important piece of Gifford-Pinchot National Forest history. It is one of only two structures of its design in the region. The cabin is situated in beautiful La Wis Wis Campground just off US Highway 12, in the Cascade Mountains near the southern entrance to Mount Rainier National Park. Old-growth cedar and Douglas fir tower overhead, and the Ohanapecosh River and Clear Fork of the Cowlitz River create an idyllic setting. Three separate Wilderness areas are also in the immediate vicinity. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), and constructed as a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) works project. The 25 x 32 foot guard station embodies the distinctive characteristics of the Northwest “Rustic” style, typical of Forest Service, Depression-era architecture. This style design incorporates horizontal cedar siding, a tall gable roof with board-and-batten gable ends, exterior stone chimney, and distinctive multi-light windows. The cabin was used as an administrative residence until it went into disuse in the 1990s. Since then, it has been subject to water damage and moisture problems.

The La Wis Wis Guard Station PIT project began in 2012 as the first part of a multi-year restoration and rehabilitation effort to prepare the cabin for future use. That year, project team members undertook a variety of activities including the replacement of roofing material, repair of the interior flooring, and repair of foundation components. In 2013, we removed the damaged original, knotty pine, tongue-and-groove wall paneling to prep for rehab, removed the old wiring and plumbing, and repaired the flooring. In 2015, the knotty pine wall paneling was stripped of non-original paint and refinished. The paneling was then re-installed in the guard station and we undertook further interior work. Activities included installation of plumbing fixtures, insulation, window rehabilitation, and landscaping including rock work on the entrance paths. Our 2016 PIT project will be the fifth restoration and rehabilitation effort in the series.

This year, our project will again be divided into two sessions. During Session 1, we will reproduce in-kind trim and moldings according to the Secretary of the Interior’s Guidelines for Restoration and Rehabilitation. The work will involve cutting and finishing the pieces and application of stain and clear coats. All restoration work will occur off-site inside the shop and warehouse at the nearby Randle Work Center, whose buildings were also constructed by the CCC, and are likewise listed on the NRHP. The week will also involve a field trip to La Wis Wis Guard Station.

For Session 2, we will work onsite at La Wis Wis Guard Station. During this phase of the project, we will refinish and apply coatings to the interior walls of the living room wall paneling, install and test water supply lines, install and paint ceiling panels, and re-glaze and refinish windows, and perform minor electric work. Please join us for this unique opportunity to work on a truly rare building design. Your dedication and work will add to a storied local history, in which La Wis Wis Guard Station and Campground figure prominently. Let’s put this fantastic historical resource back into use!

Number of openings: 9 (4 Session 1; 5 Session 2)

Special skills: Previous carpentry, painting, refinishing, construction, and/or historic building restoration experience helpful and preferred, but not required

Minimum age: 18 years old

Facilities: Session 1: Onsite FS bunkhouse accommodations available at no charge; full kitchen and bathroom facilities; Session 2: Onsite tent and RV camping provided at no charge at La Wis Wis Campground; water, vault toilets, picnic area; no hookups; other camping options available in the greater area at volunteer expense; Randle, Packwood, and Morton are full-service communities with motels/lodges, B&Bs, restaurants, and a range of other amenities; volunteers responsible for own lodging/personal camping equipment (during Session 2, or if opting not to stay in FS bunkhouse during Session 1), food, and transportation

Nearest towns: Session 1: based in Randle; Packwood, 15 miles; Morton, 16 miles
                           Session 2: Packwood, 8 miles; Randle, 23 miles; Morton, 39 miles

Applications due: March 7, 2016
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