June, 2002


By Abby Valenzuela R.

Primero quiero agradecer a Forest Service por invitarnos a trabajar aqui, es un lugar muy bonito, realmente disfrute mucho estar aqui. Gracias a todos por su hospitalidad y por hacernos sentir porte de esta gran familia. El lugar es realmente hermoso y me da mucho gusto venir a ayudar para que siga igual.  Tambien quiero invitar a mas personas a participar en este tipo de actividades es muy bonito convivir con tanta gente de diferentes lugares aprendiendo unos de otros, es un honor estar aqui.

Gracias a todos por recibimos en este lugar tan bonito pero sobre todo en sus corazones.

First of all I want to thank the Forest Service for inviting us to work here.  It is a really nice place and I enjoyed being here. Thank you all for your hospitality and for making us feel like we are part of this big and lovely family.  I am glad to cooperate to keep this place beautiful. Also, I want to invite more people to participate in these activities because this is a great experience to meet so many interesting people from different places and learn about each other. It is an honor to be here.

Thank you all for receiving us in such a nice place but most of all in your hearts.

Saludos to the Lovely People at Kentucky Camp, US

By Adrian Teran, age 13

Photo - The children celebrate Easter with a pinata.

The children celebrate Easter with a pinata.

Mary Farrell received this note from Adrian Teran, the elder son of Martin and Elisa, who wrote what a nice time he had at Kentucky Camp -- he did various odd jobs during the PIT week, including helping the crew at the gold-processing building, running messages back and forth, taking care of his little brother, and helping with the Easter egg hunt, but his favorite job was helping Dick Pettigrew for a couple hours with some surveying work. Obviously a very perceptive young fellow, who could see how wonderful the PIT participants and Friends of KC are even across the language barrier! Here is his original note as well as Mary's translation-- note that he'd love to hear from you.

Llegamos bien a Hermasillo, y espero que tu tambien hayas llegado bien a Tucson.   Me vine con muy bonitos recuerdos tanto de la gente como del lugar y estamos muy agradecidos mi familia y yo por habernos invitado al campamento no pensamos pasarnosla tan bien. Ojala se pudiera volver a repetir esta experiencia tan bonita. Espero seguir recibiendo mensajes tuyos y si llegas a ver a los demas.  Estos dias que estuve conviviendo con ustedes me parecieron maravillosos!  Espero que a ustedes tambien se la hagan pasado bien con nosotros. Espero tambien volver a ir al campamento y si ves a alguien del campamento, me lo saludas. Bueno, pues me despido,  espero seguir reciviendo mensajes tullos. Te mando mi nuevo email:adrian_teran_fernandez at DON'TINCLUDETHIS hotmail.com. Bay!

We arrived fine to Hermosillo, and crossing the border was quick.  I hope you all arrived home safely, too.  I returned with very lovely memories of the people I met as well as of the place, and my family and I are very grateful for having been invited to the camp.  We had such a good time!  The days I was with you all seemed to me wonderful! I hope you all had a good time, too, with us. I hope to return to Kentucky Camp and if you see anyone from the PIT project tell them hello from me, and give them my e-mail address:  adrian_teran_fernandez at DON'TINCLUDETHIS hotmail.com.  Bye!

Kentucky Camp in January

By Betty Leavengood

I'd lived in Tucson for nearly 30 years. The time had come for me, an only child, to move back east to Parkersburg, West Virginia., to care for my mother.  At 85, she was no able longer to manage on her own. I kept putting my departure off, until along came Fred.

Photo - Fred


I met Fred through a mutual friend in Parkersburg. One thing led to another and, despite the fact that engineers and liberal arts majors use opposite sides of their brains, I invited him to spend the month of January at Kentucky Camp.

Fred hesitated.

"Does it get cold in January?" he asked.

"Not compared to here," I replied. "The days are warm and sunny and you should see the skies at night."

"What about the trailer?" he continued.

"It's really cozy," I said, "plus it has television, a telephone, and indoor plumbing."

Admittedly, I left out a few details.  The television was fuzzy, the phone worked sporadically, and the pipes occasionally froze.  I kept stressing the warm days and he finally agreed.

We arrived in Tucson on a perfect winter day - 65 degrees and a bright blue sky. With our rented Suzuki Vitara loaded to capacity with groceries and suitcases, we drove south to Kentucky Camp.  Fred was impressed with the scenery as we turned off Route 83 to Kentucky Camp. Cattle wandered across the road and in the distance the 9,000-foot peaks of the Santa Rita Mountains were covered with snow.

When we reached the entrance to Kentucky Camp, I unlocked the gate and we drove down the steep hill to our home for a month. By the time we unpacked our suitcases and put away the food and supplies, every available storage space was full.

Fred turned on the television. "The reception is really poor," he said, "and there are only two channels."

I acted surprised. He would find out soon enough that to get any reception at all, one us would have to go outside and turn the antenna while the other yelled, "Turn it to the right!"  If we wanted to change the channels, we had to turn the antenna again the next night.

I put potatoes in the oven to bake and made a tossed salad while Fred grilled steaks.  Our stay at Kentucky Camp was underway. Here we were in the middle of nowhere. As we ate dinner and listened to the coyotes howling in the distance, I wondered if Fred would make it the entire month.

The next morning I popped two slices of bread in the toaster.  Fred, a news addict, turned on the television.  There went the electricity! We looked everywhere for the breaker box.

"There has to be one," Fred said in exasperation.

Thirty minutes later he found it - to the left of the commode in the bathroom! We eventually figured out the correct combination of lights and appliances to keep from blowing a circuit.

With the lights back on, we studied the list of caretaker duties and projects. I volunteered to take care of cleaning the outdoor toilet daily. This was my idea after all.  Fred opted for painting window facings, doors, and screens, and working on a barbecue pit for the use of Bed and No Breakfast renters.  Both of us mixed adobe and patched eroded areas around the window frames on the headquarters building.

Our days soon became routine.  We'd work on projects in the morning and spend the warm afternoons hiking or exploring the surrounding area.  One day we crossed the border into Mexico to shop in Nogales. On our way back to Kentucky Camp, we wandered through the graveyard in Harshaw, a ghost town. One afternoon we booked a five-hour ATV ride into the mountains.  Most evenings after dinner we walked to the top of the hill to watch the setting sun turn the distant mountains pink.

The days passed quickly, and contrary to my expectations, we were rarely alone.  The Bed and No Breakfast was occupied every weekend.  Several hiking groups stopped for rest and to eat their lunch. One morning 14 members of a Walking the World tour from San Diego walked into camp. Another day an elderly man brought pictures of himself as a child playing on the porch of the headquarters building.  We enjoyed his stories.

When it was time to pack up and leave, Fred said, "You aren't going to believe this, but I hate to leave." So I did.

We'll be back next March for another month of care-taking. Come see us!


What I think of the Passport in Time Program

By Jason Greeley, age 12

The Passport in Time program in my opinion is the best thing this country could do with all the ancient sites that need restoration.

In this program you get to meet extremely nice people, learn, have fun, and restore\find ancient historical sites. You can do ten things or one thing in a week.  You also get to try things you've never done before. In this piece of writing I will share what I did, tried, and learned.

The best thing about his program is you can do or try almost any thing.  My first day at Kentucky camp the old farm/mining camp, I worked with Chris re-electrifing one room in the main building for the first time in over fifty years.  We also built the foundation for a new well house and cut bricks to build a barbecue so people wouldn't start fires in the newly restored old adobe rental cabin which is only fifty dollars a night for any number of people.  That first day at Kentucky camp was tons of fun.

On my second day at Kentucky camp I made more adobe bricks using the old recipe. I also mixed "mud" as we call it.  Mud is used to restore the inside and outside of adobe buildings. I also served on the drink/snack crew who takes drinks and snacks to the workers. After diner we sat around the campfire or played games.  The second day was more fun than the first.

The third day was a fun but sad day because we knew the end of the project would end the next day.  On the third day I wandered around helping out here and there.  I went wherever I was needed. That day I also served on the drink and snack crew.  The fourth day was clean up and good byes. I watched every one but me and my gramp leave. We stayed an extra night and had the place to our selves.  As I fell asleep that night I thought to myself that I could never forget such a fun and educational experience as this.  Then I knew I would remember it for the rest of my life.

A Successful PIT, But More Work is Needed

By Chris Schrager

Salutations to one and all! Much has happened recently at and about Kentucky Camp, and it seemed like a good time to update everyone on new and ongoing developments. The PIT project accomplished a great deal; not all of our goals were met, but real progress was made on many of them, and an opportunity to reassess some of our plans. It was terrific having so many Friends there, not just as contributors but crew leaders. Many of our "outside" participants commented on how much they enjoyed learning new skills (survey, plastering, adobe repair, etc.) from our team of experts! A rundown of "what got done" and "where we go from here":

PIT 2002 family

The western exterior corner of the Assaying Office was repaired by a crew of Volunteers directed by Martha Robles and Martin Teran, two of our experts from Hermosillo, Mexico. From the corner, extensive patching along the northwest and southwest walls was begun. This will be an ongoing task, as the erosion to these walls has been extensive. Martha's father, Jesus Robles, repaired several areas of the interior walls with lime plaster; this, too, should be viewed as the beginning of an ongoing effort to repair and restore the surface of the walls.

Jim Britton and a number of volunteers continued the work on the end walls of the main hallway and office of the Administrative Building.

Mark and Sandy Doumas were able to run power to light fixtures in the ceilings of the three rooms at the eastern end of the Administrative Building; we had an "Official Lighting" ceremony on Thursday evening in the fireplace room. We also were able to cut a channel in the plaster wall of that room that will allow us to bury the conduit for an outlet box; the plan now is to eventually have a ceiling light fixture and 2-3 outlets in each room.

Dick and Doris Pettigrew not only did extensive research and prep work in Tucson the week before the PIT, they also sweet-talked a local backhoe operator into digging some perc test pits for the septic and leach field we'd need if we put a toilet and two sinks into the Administravtive Building. Unfortunately, the result of all this effort was the discovery that, as originally conceived, we can't do it! However, an alternative proposal would be to install a second vault toilet near the site of the old outhouse, with an adjacent water spigot (similar to the set-up below the Rental cabin). This would increase our "waste disposal" and water access capabilities for visitors without having to surmount engineering and financial obstacles.

Marie Britton, George Mather, and Kathy Makansi were responsible for planting  a number of indigenous oaks along the shoulder above the trailer road. As they grow, they'll lessen the visual impact of the trailer/wellhead area. Meanwhile, Glenn Haslett and Ed Buell constructed two beautiful picnic tables, which are awaiting a second coat of sealer and a decision on their ultimate destination (any thoughts on good picnic spots?).

Jim Britton explains how adobe bricks are made to some eager PIT volunteers.

A low wall was constructed of stabilized adobes (left over from the Rental Cabin patio wall project) to protect the new wellhead. A firebrick cooking area was built in a corner of the patio, to keep visitors from doing their outdoor cooking in hazardous areas.

Several folks went out scouting for a new quarry area for our clay-soil, but the color and consistency of the samples so far haven't passed muster. We'll continue to search; we may also be able to find a less detrimental access to the site we were using previously. Glenn, Ed, and Robert Magaw did some terrific repairs to some of our sifting screens and brick forms (welcome news to many of us victimized by splinters!) and we will continue to fix up the rest.

In addition, there were surveys going on in Boston, Louisiana, and Ophir Gulches, as well as the nearby Upper Davidson Canyon Archaeological District (a group of sites listed on the National Register). And of course the HUGE administrative and logistical efforts needed to organize, employ, feed, and clean more than 40 participants!

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! Some other news and recent developments: Long-term caretaker Jim Gross had to depart somewhat suddenly to address some health issues; he's staying with a daughter in Wyoming, and then will return to Pennsylvania. Jim did a great job for us, willingly taking on a number of maintenance and improvement tasks, and the site has never looked better! However, we are now scrambling to schedule on-site caretakers so that we can maintain a "presence" (as well as water those new trees!). If any of you would be interested, or know reliable, responsible folks who might be, the larger trailer will be available for caretaker quarters -- other than a 5-day commitment next week, no one is scheduled as of this writing.

On a related note, the smaller trailer is being decommissioned. Despite valiant efforts to keep it functional, it has become more of a maintenance problem than a benefit. While there's no desire to replace it after its removal, a suggestion was made to use the site's proximity to water (and septic tank access) to build a small, 2-stall solar shower enclosure along with a sink. The enclosure would be of the same materials as the well structures. It would be great to get some responses/other ideas.

The road project is awaiting approval from "higher up", which we anticipate. The steep, final approach to camp will be closed off and revegetated; the old "wagon" route, a gentler descent that comes out between the barn and Cabin A, will be reopened. We hope that while the District has their equipment out there to do this, maybe we could get excavation done for a new vault toilet (see above). We will also propose to do some work to the parking area at the top of the hill, which is starting to erode and needs to be addressed before it becomes a sever and immediate crisis.

As a result of work accomplished during the PIT, and other recent developments, I think this should approximately represent the list of ongoing projects, their status, and who's the expert:

Interior mud work remains in many areas of the Administrative Building; exterior work on Cabin A, the barn, and the Assay Office. By this time, many folks are "experts" in terms of mixing the adobe and applying it to the walls. Filling in behind the window trims is particularly pressing on the Assay Office and Cabin A.

Arnold and Jack continue to work on this every week during their Wednesday visits. Not only is their effort saving us well over 50% of the estimate we got from a fabricator, we'll get a higher quality finished product! Their equipment is set up in the Parlor (middle room at the east end), and we ask that folks leave it alone, as it's set to specific tolerances for the woodwork.

Jim and I have done some experimenting with this product, which makes the adobe much more durable in exterior applications without affecting the color. Our first large-scale application will be on the walls that enclose the patio at the rental cabin. We may also use it for a sacrificial cap on the barn walls.

Mark Doumas is making progress, and will continue to focus on running the conduit in the attic. There are 23 more channels to be cut; VERY dusty work, which requires eye protection and nose/mouth masks. We have stockpile a number of bricks, and the need for more is not pressing right now. We will have to replenish the materials piles soon. Reinforcing and sanding the remaining screens and forms needs to be finished.

The new trees should be in good shape, but will need to be watered more frequently as the weather warms up. The rock wall along the trailer road has begun to collapse in some areas; these should be stabilized soon to prevent further deterioration.



There's lots of news from the FKC Board! Some changes have already occurred; others are not far off. Four of the five Board of Directors positions will be up for election this year, and enthusiastic candidates are being sought. Here's what's new:

First, a fond "Farewell, and best of luck!" to Betty Leavengood, along with heartfelt thanks for so much effort over so many years on behalf of Kentucky Camp. Betty has resigned as the Friend's Vice-President, as she has moved to West Virginia. It's probably a safe guess that hiking trails and historic sites in that part of the country will soon be getting the same interest and support that those in Arizona have known from Betty!

Luckily, long-time Friend Nancy Hough has volunteered to serve as an interim VP for the duration of the current term. Nancy's status was approved by a quorum of the Board. It was wonderful of Nancy to step up and make such a gracious offer!

FKC President Don Fisher will also be leaving office at the end of his current term. Don has been instrumental in a variety of advancements the Friends have accomplished over the past four years, notably the Challenge Cost-share Agreement with the Forest Service.

Don retains a keen interest in the ongoing preservation work at the site, and has expressed his willingness to share his ideas and insights with his successor. Everyone who cares about Kentucky Camp is indebted to Don for his efforts - Thanks!

FKC Board Secretary Sandy Doumas has another year remaining in her term, and continues to update and improve records and the membership list. However, she'll be handing over responsibility for her second job, as the publisher of the newsletter. Two new Friends, Heather Kehres and Carl Gordon, will be taking on that important task. Heather and Carl are archaeologists, currently employed by the National Park Service at the Western Archaeological and Conservation Center, in Tucson. Our long-time editor, Jim McDonald of the Forest Service, will continue in that capacity, as well as maintaining the website. Gratitude to one and all for keeping folks informed!

Treasurer Arlene Franks will also be stepping down at the end of her current term. Arlene has served the Friends in a number of roles for many years, and her efforts are appreciated, as always. Her husband, Arnold Franks, is currently the Board's Member-at-Large. Arnold has expressed his willingness to continue on the Board when his term ends, as a candidate for the Treasurer's office. Both Arnold and Arlene have a long history of involvement and service with the Friends, and their contributions continue to benefit the site and the Friends.

What does all this mean? For starters, it means that the Friends of Kentucky Camp has been fortunate to enjoy a tradition of service from dedicated volunteers - a tradition that continues today! It also means that members will be electing a President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Member-at-Large in the next election. This is a terrific opportunity for folks to translate their interest in, and concern for, Kentucky Camp into action! Often, the duties of each office do not need to entail a huge commitment of your time; many are "as involved as you make them"! A more complete description of the duties and responsibilities of each Board position will be included in the next newsletter, along with some proposed amendments to the Bylaws (to make them more useful in conducting Friends business). But it's never too early too consider being a candidate for one of the upcoming Board vacancies!

The Board also considered ways to involve more members in the election process. The prevailing opinion was that "in-person" voting would encourage greater voter participation. It could be part of an annual "Day at Kentucky Camp", to include a picnic, general business and report from the Board, opportunities to hike or work for those that want to, and a chance to meet and visit with folks who share your enthusiasm for Kentucky Camp. Of course, voting by mail would be available to those unable to attend; the emphasis is on participation by as many Friends as possible! It was felt that the best time for the get-together would be autumn, taking into account the weather, when the most members are in the area, etc. So, the first "Day at Kentucky Camp" is planned for October 26, 2002 - make your plans now to be there!

Send in Your Dues

Remember, June is the time of renewal for all long-term members! Don't miss out on the fun, the excitement, the Chronicle, the chance to determine the fate of our organization in your voting! See your mailing label to find your renewal year.  If it does NOT say "Renew in June of 03" (or later) or "Renew in June of NA", renew now! (If your renewal year is in error, contact S. Doumas at (520) 299-4281 or doumas at DON'TINCLUDETHIS mindspring.com.)


Contact S Doumas at (520) 299-4281 or doumas at DON'TINCLUDETHIS mindspring.com.



Caretakers on Hold

Volunteer caretakers have been recruited for all months from September 1, 2002, through April 2003.  But there may still be an opportunity for Friends to sign up for weekend or short-term caretaking stints at the Camp. Keep your eyes on the news or the sky; if the rains come and the closure is lifted, and you'd like a chance to spend some quiet (and cooler than Tucson) time at Kentucky Camp this summer, please call Chris Schrager, at 670-4735, to sign up.

Coronado National Forest Closed: June and July FKC Workdays Cancelled

Because of the extreme fire danger, the June 8 and July 13 Friends of Kentucky Camp workdays have been cancelled.  The entire Coronado National Forest, except for the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center and the business offices, has been closed to the general public since the end of May, and will remain closed until further notice.

"I have decided to close the Coronado National Forest to all non-permitted entry and occupancy until the fire hazard lessens and conditions improve," said Forest Supervisor John McGee. "I know this closure will be an inconvenience to many, but we ask for their patience and help to protect the Forest, and adjacent private and public lands by obeying the closure order."

Air tanker drops fire retardant on a May wildfire in Gardner Canyon, south of Kentucky Camp.

Nogales Ranger District Keith Graves noted that the district will not be accepting any requests for cabin rental reservations for June or July, and depending on how long the closure is in effect, even reservations for August may have to be cancelled.

The National Weather Service predicts drought conditions will persist in southern Arizona into August, but seasonal monsoon rains may alleviate the immediate fire danger.

Meanwhile, law enforcement officers, firefighters, Forest Service employees on official business, people who reside within the Forest, and persons with Forest Service permits that specifically authorize their occupancy and use will still be allowed to enter the Forest.  All are urged to be extremely careful, however; persons who start wildfires may be liable for suppression costs.