Washington - Colville NF
Closed! Uptagrafft Homestead Restoration
August 19-23, 2019
Volunteers must commit to a minimum of two days
Step back in time, hone your log-building skills, and join us on an historic homestead on the Colville National Forest! Built around 1919, Uptagrafft Homestead was one of many homesteads in the area that were filed under the Homestead Act. The homestead was abandoned in 1935 when the Resettlement Administration bought up many struggling smallholdings, and became part of the Colville National Forest. The Forest now uses the homestead as an interpretive site, demonstrating the typical layout of homesteads that were once common in the area, but have become increasingly rare. Other homesteads are disintegrating into the landscape and from memory, but your participation will help preserve this piece of the homesteading story for future generations to enjoy. The site has been the subject of several restorations, beginning in 1976 for the Bicentennial, and its current condition is testament to the quality work that volunteers can accomplish. With your help, PIT volunteers and FS staff will continue to repair, preserve, and improve this group of structures so visitors can get a taste of pioneer life!
This season, we will be doing some general maintenance on the site, as well as reconstructing a root cellar, which will take most of the work time. However, we will also undertake a number of tasks, including (but probably not limited to) repairing cedar shake roofs, splitting cedar shakes, felling/notching/skinning/installing logs, conducting an archaeological excavation of the root cellar floor, replacing missing or damaged shutters and associated hardware, and installing an interpretive sign. It will be a lot of work, but also a lot of fun and you will find out if you have what it takes to be a homesteader in the wilderness! We hope you will join us in July!
Number of openings: 8
Special skills: Volunteers must be physically capable of lifting/bending/kneeling/standing/stooping for extended periods (~8 hours) each day in a variety of weather conditions; previous carpentry, roofing, construction, general maintenance, and/or historic building restoration experience helpful, but not required
Minimum age: 12 years old; Any applicant under the age of 18 must apply with a parent or guardian, who must submit a separate application and indicate they plan to attend
Facilities: Volunteers will be camping at the Uptagrafft Homestead or at the OHV campground (~2.7 miles east on the access road that leads to the Homestead); camp will have a toilet, potable water will be provided; Usk, Chewelah, and Newport are full-service communities with hotels, restaurants, and other amenities; volunteers responsible for own lodging/camping equipment and meal; transportation to and from Uptagrafft and designated meeting area can be provided by Forest Service, as the access road can be rough and most suited for higher clearance vehicles.
Nearest towns: Cusick/Usk; 8 miles; Newport; 26 miles; Chewelah; 30 miles
Applications due: Deadline Extended