HistoriCorps, Siuslaw National Forest Team Up to Restore Historic Hebo Kitchen

Hebo Kitchen

The Siuslaw National Forest is partnering this summer with HistoriCorps to restore a piece of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Siuslaw National Forest history, while commemorating 50 years of the National Historic Preservation Act (Preservation 50). For possibly the first time in its history, HistoriCorps is sending staff and volunteers to the Pacific Northwest, where they will join Forest Service staff to restore the Hebo Lake Community Kitchen in August and September.

The community kitchen, the only structure of its kind on the national forest and one that is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, was constructed between 1935 and 1936 by CCC Company 622. Now used as a picnic shelter at the Hebo Lake Campground, it is in need of restoration. The Siuslaw National Forest, Passport in Time Program, and HistoriCorps are teaming up to provide volunteers the opportunity to gain experience in rustic building restoration, while rehabilitating an important, yet rapidly deteriorating, historic structure. “We’re thrilled to have volunteers pitching in to refurbish the Hebo Kitchen,” said Siuslaw National Forest archaeologist Kevin Bruce. “Each of the four volunteer teams will have the chance to learn new skills while becoming part of the nearly 100 year old history of the campground.”

Hebo Lake Campground, 4.5 miles east of Hebo off FS Road 14, is a popular recreation site that has been in use for generations. HistoriCorps volunteers, working under the guidance of historic preservation specialists, will help ensure that the Community Kitchen and the Civilian Conservation Corps’ legacy will be available for future generations. Restoring the entire structure will include replacing log posts and the roof shake structure, and rehabilitating the stone floor, chimney, and stoves.

Hebo Kitchen

Early Hebo Lake Camp maintenance crew, ca. late 1930s, from Siuslaw National Forest archives

HistoriCorps is a nonprofit organization that provides volunteers, students, and veterans of all skill levels with a hands-on experience preserving historic structures on public lands across America. Volunteers and students work with HistoriCorps field staff to learn preservation skills and put those skills to work saving historic places that have fallen into disrepair.

The goal of Passport in Time, a cultural heritage resource program of the US Forest Service, is to preserve the nation’s past with the help of the public. The program provides outreach and recruitment for volunteers to assist with cultural heritage projects on public lands around the United States.

Visitors should be aware that project volunteers will be camping at the Hebo Lake Campground throughout the four week project; there will be a reduced number of available campsites during this time (August 14 – September 11). The community kitchen will be unavailable for use until the project is completed, but the public is welcome to view the ongoing work.