McKenzie House 2 2017 - Passport in Time

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Idaho - Salmon-Challis NF
Closed! McKenzie House Stabilization Project, Phase 2

P6070071.jpg by Tim Canaday, US Forest Service Archaeologist
PIT volunteers working on Phase One of the McKenzie House Stabilization Project.

June 12-17, 2017 (including weekends)

Must commit to entire session

Join us on the Salmon-Challis National Forest again this year as we take on “Phase Two” of the stabilization efforts at McKenzie House! McKenzie House was built in the 1880s and, in its prime, was considered among the finest houses in Custer, a once bustling boom-town that sprang-up on a terrace of the Yankee Fork Salmon River in 1879, after gold was discovered in the area. The now ghost town includes a schoolhouse, a saloon, nine residences, two stone houses (ruins) and several outbuildings. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), and The Yankee Fork Interpretive Association has partnered with the Salmon-Challis National Forest to provide interpretive services and caretaking at the town.

Unfortunately, McKenzie house – an obvious focal point of the town – is still in danger of failing, and the historic gem once again desperately needs your help to attain its’ former glory! Phase One of the project was successfully completed in 2016, and consisted of stabilizing the structure to prevent further damage and collapse. This year, during Phase Two, we will rebuild a section of the wall using existing and replacement logs, treat the logs to prevent decay, and re-chink/re-daub the building.

The annual Custer Days celebration, during the second week of July, draws hundreds of visitors each year, and we hope to give them a glimpse of what this magnificent house and its surrounds may have looked like in its heyday. See you in June for an exciting week-long project in the heart of a 19th-century ghost town!

Number of openings: 10

Special skills: Volunteers must be capable of sustained physical activity each day, including lifting, bending, climbing, etc., and in a variety of weather conditions; experienced carpenters, construction workers, masonry specialists, and log cabin enthusiasts are encouraged to apply, though experience is not necessary

Minimum age: 18 years old

Facilities: Tent and/or small RV (trailer or pop-up) camping available at no charge at nearby FS campground; vault toilets, potable water, picnic tables, campfire rings, and a place to clean up after a hard day’s work provided; volunteers wishing to bring own solar showers will have a set-up area designated; Stanley and Challis are full-service communities with hotels/motels, restaurants, RV parks, and a full range of other amenities; volunteers responsible for own lodging (if opting to stay in towns)/personal camping equipment, food, extra water, and daily transportation to and from work site

Nearest towns: Project based in historic Custer; Stanley, 20 miles; Challis, 50 miles

Applications due: May 1, 2017

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