La Wis Wis GS IV 2015 - Passport in Time

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

May 4-8; June 8-12, 2015

Must commit to one entire 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 rustic 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. Our PIT project to rehab the Guard Station began in 2012 as the first part of a multi-year 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. Our 2015 PIT project will be the fourth restoration and rehabilitation effort.

This year, our project will, once again, be divided into two sessions. During Session 1, we will restore the tongue-and-groove wall paneling removed in 2013. Restoration will be a delicate process of removing non-original paint from the panels, refinishing, and preparing panels for re-installation. Additionally, if there is time, we will remove the old paint from the kitchen cabinets and restore them to their original luster. All restorations 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.

For Session 2, we will work onsite at La Wis Wis Guard Station. During this phase of the project, we will install plumbing fixtures, wall paneling and insulation, and take on miscellaneous landscaping activities. It all promises to be dirty and sweaty work at times, yet it will be very rewarding as we return this unique piece of history to its former glory. Please join us for this exciting next stage of restoration and help us put the historic La Wis Wis Guard Station back into use - see you this summer!

Number of openings: 8 (4 per session)

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: Project based in Randle; Packwood, 15 miles; Morton, 16 miles

Applications due: March 23, 2015
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