Michigan - Hiawatha NF
Closed! Mather-Klauer Lodge Historic Restoration Project
July 26-31; August 2-7, 2015 (including weekends)
Must commit to one entire session; may participate in both
The Mather-Klauer Lodge is located on Grand Island on Lake Superior, half a mile offshore from Munising. The island has been inhabited consistently for at least the past 4,000 years, and is replete with archaeological sites. Much of the island was purchased in the early 1900s by William Gwinn Mather – the CEO of the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company – to use as his personal game preserve. He built Mather Lodge as his retreat, and fenced off the northern portion of the island for imported animals like elk and caribou; further additions down the line doubled the size of the Lodge. The Lodge was later sold to William Klauer who, along with his family, already occupied the lodge seasonally; it remained in the Klauer Family's possession until William's death in 1952. Following Klauer's death, the local caretaker, John Lezotte and his wife, Nona, looked after the property until they, in turn, eventually purchased the estate in 1962. The Lodge remained in the Lezotte family until 2012, when Lezotte's grand-daughter, Mary Jo Frederickson, sold the property to the Hiawatha National Forest. However, the Klauer Family and the Mather Foundation continue to donate funds dedicated to the historic restoration and preservation of the lodge, which is now a museum, and hosts summer archaeological field schools.
Today, the Lodge and its outbuildings still present a majestic structure on a unique landscape, but time and the elements have taken their toll, and the building is in need of some care to return it to its former glory – so we need your help! PIT volunteers and Forest staff will join preservation experts from HistoriCorps, a Colorado-based, public-private entity specializing in historic restoration, to conduct a variety of repairs to stabilize the structure through the repair and/or stabilization of many areas of deterioration. There will be two sessions during the project. Volunteers will have the opportunity to pick up new skills (or hone existing ones) as they are taught to remove and replace sill logs; clean and repoint the stone foundation; rehab windows and dormers; repair chimney stacks; and replace some missing balustrades on the main building's porch. If time allows, there may be other tasks we can take on, but there will be plenty of work to go around! HistoriCorps will provide the tools, safety equipment, and training necessary to complete the tasks, as well as three square meals a day and water for crew.
The Hiawatha also offers a variety of recreational opportunities for you to take advantage of during your "off hours" as well, including canoeing/kayaking, hiking, wildlife viewing, and horseback riding. You'll meet great people, enjoy delicious cast iron cooking, and gain the satisfaction of saving this important piece of history – we look forward to seeing you in July!
Number of openings:8 (4 volunteers per session)
Special skills: Volunteers must be physically capable of sustained lifting, bending, kneeling, and standing for several hours each day and in a variety of weather conditions; previous carpentry, framing, masonry, and/or related construction or maintenance experience helpful, but not required
Minimum age: 18 years old
Facilities: Tent (only) camping available at no charge at campsite adjacent to the Mather-Klauer Lodge; water, pit toilet; no hook-ups; however, olunteers will have full access to the Lodge's kitchen, restroom facilities, and showers; nearby Munising is a full-service community with hotels/motels, restaurants, and a range of other amenities; volunteers responsible for own lodging/camping equipment and transportation; PLEASE NOTE: although PIT volunteers will not be camping in the same area as the group, the Lodge's facilities will be shared with the Student Conservation Corps (SCA), who will be working on another, nearby project.
Nearest towns: Munising, 5 miles (from ferry dock); Grand Marais, 40 miles (from ferry dock)
Applications due: Filled