More Accomplishments at Monture Guard Station
Lolo National Forest, Montana, 2003
by C. Milo McLeod, FS Archaeologist
(Photo: PIT volunteer Steve Waylett installs daubing between wall logs on the historic barn at Monture Guard Station)
The Lolo NF Heritage Team and another group of outstanding volunteers successfully completed another PIT project at Monture Guard Station in May 2003. Eleven volunteers worked with the Seeley Lake and Lolo Heritage staff for seven days. These folks came from Illinois, Michigan, Colorado, Ohio, California, Idaho, Pennsylvania, and Montana. As a result of their efforts, maintenance and restoration work at historic Monture Guard Station continues to progress. Before long, Monture Guard Station will be available as part of the cabin rental program on the Lolo NF.
The number of projects completed during the week even surpasses what we accomplished last year. The downstairs main living area underwent complete restoration. Three panels of warped beaverboard were removed and then replaced, batten was removed from the walls in anticipation of freshly varnished lathe being placed, and the remaining walls were scrubbed and two fresh coats of paint were applied. The windowsills and doorways were sanded and varnished, and three new beaverboard panels were installed in the ceiling upstairs and primed and painted.
The north side of the log cabin was stripped of its varnish coat, a laborious task spanning the entire week. They were then sealed with oakum and tar and then oiled with FPL, a combination of turpentine and linseed oil. The daubing on north side of the barn was removed and replaced with fresh daubing, a mixture of lime, sand, and Portland cement. The logs were then washed and oiled with FPL. The fact that every project was accomplished professionally and without a single accident is, once more, a credit to the skill, positive attitude, and professionalism of the participants.
(Photo: FS Resource Assistant Bruce Johnson scrapes window sills at Monture Guard Station.)
During breaks in the restoration work, we had several excellent presentations. Scott Tomson, wildlife biologist for Seeley Lake and Missoula Ranger Districts, talked to the group on Monday about efforts to obtain a better count of grizzly bear and lynx in the area. Region 1 Archaeologist Dr. Mike Beckes came late Tuesday afternoon to talk to volunteers about the origin of PIT (of which he was an integral part). Wednesday, Jack Rich from the Rich Ranch came and talked to the group about backcountry packing in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Richie Doyle came in costume on Thursday and shared his knowledge of Lewis and Clark and their influence in the area. Let’s not forget the delicious meals prepared by Pat Light, who kept us going with savory feasts and tasty snacks.
Much of the success for the planning and execution of this undertaking goes to Seeley Lake Ranger District’s Bruce Johnson, with support from District Ranger Tim Love. These two in company with Rodger Free, Sydney Wimbrow, and myself undertook the supervisory and safety duties as well as wielding the occasional hammer, scraper, or paintbrush. The success of the project is really due to our amazing group of volunteers and their ability to work so well as a team.