Savenac Historic Nursery Restoration Project XVI
Lolo National Forest, Montana, 2011
by Sydney Bacon, Archaeologist
The Lolo National Forest, along with a group of volunteers, completed another successful Passport in Time (PIT) project on the Superior Ranger District. This was the sixteenth annual PIT project at Savenac Historic Nursery, a property listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The project ran from the 10th through the 15th of July 2011. Thirty-five volunteers worked with Superior Ranger District's Carole Johnson and Beth Kennedy; and Lolo NF Archaeologist Sydney Bacon for six days. People came from Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and even Germany. PIT volunteers donated a total of 1,410 hours during the week which, when valued at the standard rate established by the PIT Clearinghouse of $21.36 hour, resulted in a labor contribution of $30,117.60! As a result of their efforts, Savenac Nursery continues being restored to its historic appearance in addition to meeting its infrastructure maintenance requirements.
Unlike previous years, there were no large, weeklong projects. Volunteers accomplished several small duties including the usual workload: groundskeeping, tree trimming, oiling posts and benches, picnic table upkeep, and small painting tasks. The 1910 fire sign donated last year by the Mineral County Historical Society was placed down by the memorial rock. A cement foundation was poured nearby to display a plaque commemorating the centennial of the 'great burn'. Chairs in the bunkhouse received new upholstery and minor repairs. Cement blocks for the walkways were located, hauled out and reinstalled. New fire danger signs were fabricated from scratch to replace those stolen at Saltese. Tree marker signs in the arboretum were re-painted as well as a portion of the weather station. Volunteers cleaned up debris in and parceled off a 3-acre plot just below the spruce beds, which is in the process of becoming a 'children's forest' for local 6th graders. The goal is to function as a Christmas tree farm in the future.
Volunteers attended an evening presentation by a crew studying bear migration in the area. They were shown how a snare is used to trap bears as well as the results the team has gotten so far. A short trip was made to the St. Paul Tunnel, to see the new interpretive display of snags from the 1910 fire. Wednesday night's field trip was to the Bison Range in Moiese. They visited the interpretive center and toured the area. Wildlife was abundant and the wather made for spectacular views. Friday's presentation features Mr. Robert Singletary, a regional historian from Coeur d'Alene. He gave a fact-filled presentation on the Mullan Road.
We were fed well by our dedicated kitchen crew, providing home-cooked meals and tasty salads. Carole barbecued chicken and pork chop dinners. Cookies, fruit and nutritious meals were welcomed at break times and at the end of the long workday.
Every project was accomplished professionally and safely - a tribute to the volunteers and the coordinators. Success in planning and executing this undertaking goes to Superior RD staff: Carole Johnson, Beth Kennedy and Charles "Coon Dog" Schroeder. We undertook the supervisory and safety duties as well as wielding the occasional rake or paintbruch (and of course the camera).