Ninemile Remount Depot Roofing Project
Lolo National Forest, Montana 2005
by C. Milo McLeod, FS Archaeologist
(Photo: PIT Volunteer Stacey Root helps with the roof restoration on the East Residence at the Ninemile Remount Depot, Lolo NF, Montana, 2005. Here she is scraping paint off the dormer siding.)
The Lolo NF Heritage Team and another group of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers completed a successful PIT project in May 2005 at the historic Ninemile Remount Depot. Eleven volunteers worked with the Ninemile Ranger District and Lolo NF Heritage staff to help restore and reroof the East Residence at the Remount Depot. This restoration project finished up just in time for the FS Centennial and the Ninemile Ranger Station 75th anniversary celebration, which took place on June 11, 2005.
During the week, PIT volunteers had the opportunity to experience typical Montana weather, sporadically ranging from thundershowers to 80 degree heat. Although the crew was shooed off the roof by thunderstorms at the beginning of the week, we managed to make up for it later on in the dry heat.
(Photo: PIT Volunteers Steve Waylett and Ansel Doll finish applying the last course of sawn-cedar shingles on the East Residence roof.)
Prior to beginning the project, we showed a movie about sawn-cedar-shingle roofs entitled These Old Cabin Roofs, and starring retired Northern Region Historic Preservation Team Leader Bernie Weisgerber. Safety was stressed throughout the project. The net result was a new roof that was professionally and safely installed, despite the complications imposed by multiple dormers, chimneys, and vent installation.
During “off” hours, I shared stories about the history of PIT and my vision of the program’s future. Volunteers were also able to mingle and share a meal with folks attending a training session on the backcountry skill of horse and mule packing. Sue from the Friends of Ninemile spoke to the group about the importance of volunteers and preservation of the historic ranger station.
(Photo: The restoration team of PIT volunteers and FS Archaeologist Sydney Wimbrow (bottom right) pose with the PIT banner on the completed East Residence roof.)
Much of the success for the planning and execution of this project goes to Ninemile staff Shiffy Wellborn and District Ranger Garry Edson. The Ranger District crew in company with Sydney Wimbrow and Milo McLeod undertook the supervisory and safety-observer duties as well as wielding the occasional hammer and snapping photos. Most of the credit for a job well done, however, goes to the outstanding PIT volunteers who participated in the project.