The Lolo NF Heritage Team, with the help of some truly outstanding volunteers, completed another successful PIT project at the Morgan Case Homestead. The project ran from Sunday May 6 to Saturday May 19, 2007. Seventeen volunteers worked with the Missoula Ranger District and Lolo Heritage staff for the fourteen-day project. The PIT volunteers came from California, Colorado, Montana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Idaho, Oregon, and Illinois. They donated a total of 1194 hours over the course of two weeks, which is conservatively valued as a contribution of $16,513.00!
As a result of their efforts, Morgan-Case Homestead continues to be restored to its historic appearance and meet its infrastructure maintenance requirements. With rehabilitation efforts such as these, Morgan-Case Homestead will soon be available as an asset for the District cabin rental program.
The number of tasks completed during the weeklong project was more than we had anticipated. Both the east and west porch are virtually complete. Shingling on the upper half of the south side of the building was completed and painted. Daubing was done to the whole building to ensure a fully covered exterior surface. On the inside of the building, finish trim was placed around the fireplace and along the top portion of the walls. Soffets were hung and painted around the entire building. Windows fabricated were installed and painted on the west side of the homestead. Finally, the front door was rehabilitated to accommodate individuals with disabilities.
Visitors to the project included Mike Beckes, Region 1 Archaeologist; Maureen McBrian, Kirby Matthew and Cathy Bickenhauser, Region 1 Historic Preservation Team; Dr. Kelly Dixon, and Chris Merritt (PhD student), University of Montana, Anthropology Department; and Maggie Pittman, the District Ranger.
Let’s not forget the delicious meals prepared by Juanita Allen. If there was any weight lost due to our exertions, it was quickly replaced by good nutritious meals and timely lunches.
Much of the success for the planning and execution for this undertaking goes to Missoula District’s Gene Thompson, Recreation Technician. Gene Thompson, Justin Moschelle and I undertook the supervisory and safety duties as well as participating in several of the previously described projects. Missoula District’s Al Fix and Kerry Cassidy also contributed greatly. The majority of the success, of course, must be credited to the amazing group of PIT volunteers who brought with them an exceptional level of skills in carpentry, masonry and historic architecture.