BE SURE TO CLICK ON "Updates" (ABOVE) FOR MORE VIDEOS AND INSIGHT!
“A place isn’t a place until it has stories to tell, and many of those stories are embodied in its buildings." —Anonymous
It is estimated that across America there may be as many as 30,000 remote, historically significant structures that are abandoned, laying in decay and disrepair. This little-known plight must be brought to public attention as quickly as possible or the critical historic back stories these sites represent will be lost forever.
HistoriCorps® is a small but mighty nonprofit organization that provides volunteers, students and veterans of all skill levels with a hands-on experience preserving historic structures on public lands. In its first six seasons, 1,500 HistoriCorps® participants have logged nearly 100,000 hours to save over 200 historic sites in 24 states.
With your help, millions of viewers will soon discover the story of HistoriCorps® and its dedicated volunteers by way of a remarkable new television series, SAVING PLACES®. It is impossible to overemphasize the dramatic effect this episodic documentary will have on HistoriCorps®, and the public perception of historic preservation.
Last summer literally hundreds of hours of video were recorded at 15 restoration projects across America. That footage captured volunteers sweating, laughing, solving problems, and enjoying the camaraderie that only those who have been part of a HistoriCorps® project can understand. Final edits are now underway, and we believe the resulting six one-hour episodes (see below) will thrust volunteerism and historic preservation into the national dialogue in a way that makes America a better, more thoughtful place.
You can be directly responsible for making it happen by contributing to this Kickstarter campaign. Your donation of any amount from $10 to $10,000 helps us to cover the costs of final production and negotiating distribution and broadcasting agreements for our Premier Season. Our goal is to raise a minimum of $75,000, and we have until June 11th to reach that objective or we realize nothing. Thank you for giving careful consideration to your part in making this campaign a success.
So what's your reward for making a donation, besides, of course, the great feeling of knowing you helped? Become a SAVING PLACES® Fan and we’ll let you know when and where the series premiers. Jump up to a SAVING PLACES® Supporter and we'll throw in a 3" square embroidered patch (below left) or a 1.5" square enamel lapel pin (below center), and a very special party invitation. Participate at a Kickstarter Crew or Producer level and see your name in the credits! PLUS lots more, including the same great hat worn by our film crew.
Commit to an even larger level of support – as an Episode or Series Sponsor – and you will be recognized in the credits and with our gift to you of a custom engraved vintage drawknife, the iconic historical hand tool used emblematically in the HistoriCorps® logo.
These awesome old drawknives make a wonderful commemorative wall hanging and will be engraved with your name, and/or company name, as a sponsor. Since these are real tools and true antiques, each one varies in size and style and the photo above is only representative.
Be sure to check back frequently as every Wednesday and Saturday during this campaign we will post a new “sneak peek” video update from one of the upcoming episodes of SAVING PLACES® – each introduced by a different HistoriCorps® staff member or volunteer.
SAVING PLACES® TELEVISION SERIES - Premier Season
The specific projects featured in the first season of SAVING PLACES® were selected for visual appeal of structure being restored, historical back-story, unique location, environmental context, scope of work, and the age/gender/race diversity of the volunteers and crew. The premier season will be broadcast as six one-hour episodes, each featuring three projects.
Jackson Lake Stone House — California
Inner-city youth from Los Angeles, many new to construction, restore 1923 Big Pines Park ranger’s residence in Angeles National Forest. The historic site was once the winter playground and boisterous partying center for Hollywood’s elite.
Rourke Ranch — Colorado
Roof and adobe repairs are accomplished at a remote historic ranch in the Comanche National Grasslands by a very efficient volunteer crew composed of retired professionals. Wonderful interaction occurs when the sons of the original caretaker show up to help. This area is the site of largest number of fossilized dinosaur tracks in America.
Smarts Mountain Fire Lookout — New Hampshire
A wood-framed cabin atop a historic sixty-foot steel fire tower in White Mountain National Forest is restored. Arduous, steep ascent on foot and ATVs provide the only access to the site. Scheduled volunteers never show up, so the crew must accomplish the work under challenging conditions. This site is a popular remote rest stop on the Appalachian Trail.
Kirkwood Museum — Idaho
This 137 year old site, on an isolated sandbar along the banks of the Wild and Scenic-designated Snake River in Idaho’s remote Hell’s Canyon, is rich with fascinating Western history. So much so that it has become a secluded museum. All volunteers and crew, tools and materials – including the large logs needed for restoration – must be brought in by jet boat.
Buffalo Peak Ranch — Colorado
Crews continue the transformation of a historically significant 19th century ranch into the Rocky Mountain Land Library - a repository for 35,000 books about the West. Led by a capable first-time female project leader, siding and original windows on the bunkhouse are restored. Burro Days celebration in the nearby historic town of Fairplay add to the immersion.
Ute-Ulay Mine — Colorado
Endangered lead and silver ore processing buildings along stunningly beautiful Henson Creek are stabilized in preparation for the development of a cultural heritage route. A strong volunteer crew is featured, including a young man with autism participating in order to learn more about historic restoration before entering college in the same field.
Forest Lodge Greenhouse — Wisconsin
Fifth season of restoration at a classic North Woods “Great Camp,” a 15-building, 870-acre estate on Lake Namekagon that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Strong crew included several veterans and HistoriCorps Institute students working on the reroofing and window glazing of a period greenhouse.
Hebo Lake Community Kitchen — Oregon
Crews restore the last remaining Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) structure in Siuslaw National Forest. Inclement weather makes difficult vertical post and cedar shake replacement even more challenging. Fascinating old-growth logging history is featured.
Simpson Lake Cabins — Wyoming
Cabin restoration takes place at a remote site in Fitzpatrick Wilderness Area in Shoshone National Forest accessible only by mule team and an arduous backcountry hike. Hand tools only—no power allowed. The father of the HistoriCorps project supervisor tells a great three-generation dude ranch story about the area. Then a forest fire threatens the project.
Chittenden Nursery — Michigan
Volunteers rehab Chittenden Nursery in Michigan’s Manistee National Forest. This 80-year-old historic cone shed served as a hub for critical reforestation efforts in the 1930's. With urban unemployment driving men to the Civilian Conservation Corps, the US Forest Service created Chittenden Nursery with CCC members as the primary laborers.
George Washington Carver School — Missouri
A dilapidated rental house is “unwrapped” to reveal a long-forgotten schoolhouse attended by George Washington Carver. A powerful historical back-story is featured, along with African American crew participation, strong community support and an appealing small town profile.
Skinner Cabin — Colorado
The collapsed earthen roof of a secluded sandstone block cabin adjacent to Colorado National Monument is restored. Situated in a sensitive dinosaur fossil area, it was built by master stonemason John Skinner in the early 20th century, then became the home of gold prospector John Kodel, and was finally occupied by fossil collector John Condon.
Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs — California
Multiple buildings are re-roofed and stabilized at a former “re-entry retreat” for Japanese American citizens detained during WWII. Now a California State Park, the unique history, Japanese community support, and beautiful coastal habitat are featured.
Clermont Farm Slave Cabin — Virginia
This episode features a powerful "site of conscience," involving restoration work on one of the oldest extant log slave cabins, located on a former plantation in the Shenandoah Valley. Archaeological concerns support a moving historical back-story. The diverse volunteer crew included several African Americans seeking personal revelation.
Hahn's Peak Fire Lookout — Colorado
Restoration of a remote fire tower takes place at a site located at an altitude of nearly 11,000 feet near Steamboat Springs in Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest. The only access is a challenging hike up a slippery scree slope above timberline. Tenacious crews battle the elements in a spectacular setting.
Rhodes Cabin — Nevada
Rhodes Cabin was built in 1928 to house visitors to what was then Lehman Caves National Monument. Now a part Nevada’s Great Basin National Park, one of the newest national parks in the U.S., the cabin is the only surviving structure of its era and is in need of restoration work on its roof and walls as it prepares for its second century of existence.
Thunderbird Lodge Trading Post — Arizona
Hand log work and foundation repair take place on a 100-year old barn at the entrance to scenic Canyon de Chelly National Monument. An excellent volunteer team of retired professionals works alongside National Park Rangers of Navajo descent. Strong Native American historical themes are featured.
Summerseat Courthouse — Virginia
Non-historic additions are removed and the original clapboard siding is restored on a unique two-story structure that is purported to have been a courthouse for the traveling magistrate in Petersburg. Very technical masonry work was accomplished, culminating in high-tech laser mapping of the finished structure for a historic survey.
Please visit www.historicorps.org to learn more about our organization, and use #SavingPlacesTV to follow us on social media.
* * *
We gratefully acknowledge Colorado Preservation, Inc., one of our founders, for permission to use the wonderfully apt title, SAVING PLACES®
Risks and challenges
The largest risk is failing to get SAVING PLACES® broadcast on Public Television, our desired platform. We received a very positive response to the initial trailer from PBS, including a request to see a finished episode, but recent political threats to discontinue or severely limit federal funding for public broadcasting have persuaded us to seek additional support, thus taking that potential roadblock out of the equation. This Kickstarter campaign is in direct response to that effort. Should we fail to get SAVING PLACES® broadcast on Public Television then we will seek other distribution options as well as taking full advantage of alternative platforms.
No representations, warranties or assurances are made or given by HistoriCorps to any person or entity regarding the deductibility, for federal, state or local income tax purposes, of any contribution or payment made or given to HistoriCorps as a result of this Campaign. Persons contributing to this Campaign are advised to consult their independent tax or legal advisor for such information and/or advice as no tax or legal advice is given by HistoriCorps.
- (32 days)