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Volunteers sought for Peterson Prairie Cabin project

The historic Willard Tool House will be transported to and installed on the site of the Peterson Prairie Cabin, which burned to the ground in September 2012. An example of “Rustic Style” architecture, the building will fit the look and feel once exhibited by Peterson Prairie Cabin.

The historic Willard Tool House will be transported to and installed on the site of the Peterson Prairie Cabin, which burned to the ground in September 2012. An example of “Rustic Style” architecture, the building will fit the look and feel once exhibited by Peterson Prairie Cabin. Submitted photo

The Forest Service is looking for volunteers to help in a cabin reconstruction project in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, part of its Passport in Time project.

The first phase, preparing the Willard Tool House to move to Peterson Prairie, begins Friday, July 19, and runs through the weekend. The second phase occurs July 26-28.

During phase I, Passport in Time volunteers and Forest Service staff will prepare the building for transport to the Peterson Cabin site. Preparation will include painting, removal of various fixtures and hardware, installing new flooring and securing portions of the structure for the move.

On Sept. 11, 2012, the historic Peterson Prairie Cabin, constructed in 1926, burned to the ground. The loss of this beautiful and historically significant building was devastating, and motivated both the Forest Service and the interested, local public to pursue a replacement structure.

After a little searching, it was decided that the nearby historic Willard Tool House will be transported to and installed on the cabin’s former location.

The Tool House was originally constructed in 1940 by the Civilian Conservation Corps as part of a seven-structure complex that formed the Willard Work Center, a former Forest Service ranger station facility. The building is a great example of “Rustic Style” architecture, and will fit the look and feel once exhibited by Peterson Prairie Cabin.

There can be no true replacement for what the Forest lost in the Peterson Cabin, but with your help, this important piece of history can find a new home and help heal the wound.

There is much to see and do here during the hours “off the clock,” and volunteers will also have the opportunity for an informative tour during the presentation of the Wind River Training Center, a National Register of Historic Places structure also constructed by the CCC.

For more information visit mtadamsinstitute.com or facebook.com/Mt.Adams-Institute.

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