The old U.S. Forest Service office and residence sat rotting.
Its windows were broken, the front porch and steps in disrepair.
That was before volunteers with HistoriCorps descended this week on the Tahoe National Forest property, about two miles from Sierra City off Highway 49.
The historic structure, dating to 1907, has found new life after three days of rehabilitation.
“They’ve replaced the broken glass,” said Carrie Smith, heritage program manager with the forest service. “They replaced the rotting siding. The front porch and steps are almost rebuilt.”
HistoriCorps, based in Denver, stabilizes and restores historic buildings across 20 states, coordinating and recruiting volunteers for their effort. About $28,000 in forest service funds was earmarked for the local project.
The forest service is HistoriCorps’ biggest partner, said Towny Anderson, HistoriCorps’ executive director.
“We are about saving special places,” Anderson said.
The old forest service district office and residence was used by the Sierra City Region District during the summer. It closed in the winter, and was complemented by a nearby barn, bunkhouse and shed. At some point, years ago, they were abandoned.
Volunteers over three days focused on the office/residence. In addition to replacing its siding and windows, they also worked on the structure’s foundation and doors.
Additionally, workers replaced the window panes on the bunkhouse, Smith said.
The work isn’t done. Volunteers this Wednesday will start a three-week project on a barn near Big Bend, near I-80.
About another $30,000 in forest service funds is allocated for the project.
According to Michael Woodbridge, also with the forest service, the barn is covered in dirt and cobwebs.
Volunteers will replace its roof and improve the building’s foundation.
“Our hope is to put that building back to use once it’s in better shape,” Woodbridge said, noting it could serve as a visitor center.