Volunteers help with White Grass rehab work
Circling the Square
By Ceci Clover, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
February 6, 2013
In case you’re wondering what’s going on these days at the White Grass Dude Ranch, Grand Teton National Park’s website catches folks up on the progress:
“The White Grass Dude Ranch rehabilitation project was begun in 2005 and is scheduled for completion in 2016 for the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The project is jointly funded by the National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation in a 60/40 match between government funds and privately raised dollars. The project encompasses approximately 30 acres and 13 historic log cabins. The ranch is being rehabilitated for adaptive use by the Western Center for Historic Preservation as a lodging and training facility for historic preservation students. Once the rehabilitation is complete, the center for historic preservation will host training courses and volunteer groups at the center, teaching students preservation techniques and practices.
“Planning for the rehabilitation of the 13 structures divided the work into three key phases: Phase I included the stabilization of the 13 buildings. Phase II consisted of installing utility infrastructure and rehabilitation of the first three structures, and Phase III called for the rehabilitation of the 10 remaining structures. The project is currently in Phase III, with six cabins already complete.”
More details on the project can be found on the Western Center for Historic Preservation’s blog:
“Although the focus of the work at White Grass in 2012 was the main cabin, where a new foundation was installed and significant log work completed, this past summer also saw several major milestones reached. First, the National Trust for Historic Preservation successfully met their fundraising goals for the project, an impressive feat for which the Western Center for Historic Preservation is particularly grateful. Second, the ranch hosted the first overnight volunteers in the completed sleeping cabins.
“While everyone contributed to this successful summer, Roger Butterbaugh, White Grass caretaker, is particularly responsible for the smooth transition the ranch is making from preservation and construction site to volunteer and training center. Since Roger has one of the best vantage points to view the work at White Grass, what better way to understand the progress made there in 2012 than to read it in Roger’s own words. Below is an excerpt from Roger’s thorough 2012 summer summary:
“‘Perhaps the most industrious day this summer at White Grass was July 31. On that day, 12 teenage volunteers from the Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA in Massachusetts peeled replacement logs for the main cabin, did lime chinking on individual cabins, and completed several small landscaping tasks.
“‘Secondly, a group calling themselves the Michigan Volunteers repaired roofs on two cabins, protecting the structures from further deterioration. Thirdly, a crew from Idaho Falls, hired to lift the main cabin off its old foundation, arrived to begin their work. Another crew, which had already begun to replace the old foundation, was also on-site working, and seven WCHP staff members were on site doing various tasks.
“‘All total, there were more than 36 people working at White Grass that day with eight work trucks on-site in addition to one backhoe and two bobcats in operation.’”
“Working primarily at White Grass and the Bar BC Dude Ranch, both in Grand Teton National Park, these dedicated volunteers did it all, from peeling logs for the Main Cabin and rechinking cabins at White Grass, to constructing new roofs at Bar BC. They ranged in age from their teens to their 70s, all contributing to the preservation of significant historic resources. A special thanks goes particularly to the Michigan Volunteers, the Miscellaneous Group, UPenn students, Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA and the Jackson Hole Community School.
“The summer of 2012 was particularly noteworthy for volunteers as the first groups of overnight guests were able to stay in the completed sleeping cabins. As one volunteer eloquently summarized in the White Grass guestbook, “a new era begins with the reinvention of an old Western tradition. They used to wrangle dudes here; now they wrangle volunteers.”
The Western Center for Historic Preservation is an education and resource center dedicated to preservation and maintenance of cultural resources in Western national parks. The center was jointly developed by the National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Ceci Clover writes weekly on the doings and doers in and around Jackson Hole. Email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 307-733-8348.