The next Kentucky Camp Passport in Time (PIT) project is scheduled for March 25-29, 2002. As many of the Friends of Kentucky Camp well know, Passport in Time is a nationwide program in which volunteers from all over the country are recruited to work on various Forest Service projects in archaeology, history, and historic preservation. This year, PIT volunteers will join Friends of Kentucky Camp and the Forest Service to continue restoration work at the site.
The participation of the Friends has been crucial to the success of all of the past PIT projects at Kentucky Camp. In fact, the Friends stepped in with desperately needed financial, logistical, and supervisory help during the 2000 PIT project, and in 2001, the Friends supplied the lion's share of the skilled labor, as well as planning, design, supply purchasing, and logistics. This year, the Challenge Cost Share Agreement signed last May by Friends President Don Fisher and Forest Supervisor John McGee will let us buy materials to continue restoration and stabilization work. Several Friends have already volunteered to lead work teams, to help plan and prepare materials for specific tasks.
Here's what we're hoping to accomplish this year:
Our own Jim Britton will help with the fine interior wall plastering, and Glenn Haslett will lead the picnic table crew. Engineer Dick Pettigrew will head the water system design team. Martha Robles, historic architect affiliated with Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia and the Universidad de Sonora, plans to come and bring her father, Jesus Robles, to deal with the structural adobe repairs needed on the gold-processing building. The electrifying Mark Doumas will need help enlightening the Headquarters building, and we are hoping other Friends return to provide their expertise on floor repair, ceiling installation, medicinal plants in the area, and other activities. Camp Kitchen Queen Irene Bakos will make sure we don't lose any weight during the week.
For information about other Passport in Time opportunities on National Forests across the country, call (520) 722-2716 or check out http://www.passportintime.com/.
If you think Kentucky Camp is pretty in the daytime, try it by night! I had decided it was time to put my money where my mouth is, so my husband Jeff and I rented Cabin C one Saturday night in December. We arrived during the balmy, sunny afternoon, and found the cabin not only clean and welcoming, but the yard was raked and the gas heater was turned on for us! We took a few minutes to unpack and say hello to caretakers Jim Gross and Gary and Joanne Goodrich, before heading off on a short hike toward Granite Mountain to enjoy patches of snow and the expansive views toward the Whetstone, Mustang, Huachuca, and Patagonia Mountains. A shortcut back down the gulch took us by lots of the grassed-over pits and hummocks of the miners. Sizable oak trees indicate that at least some of this "coyote hole" mining dates back to the 1870s or 1880s, when the gulches of the Greaterville Mining District were full of gold-seekers.
We got back in plenty of time to heat up the dinner we brought in the microwave donated by Marilyn Coates, and shared tamales and stories with Jim Gross around the sturdy and lovely table built by Glenn Haslett and his Passport in Time helpers last April, while we appreciated the floors made safe and strong by Arnold Franks, Michael Kovach, and Dick Regan. Then we retired to the living room to sit around the stove, rocking in chairs donated by Jack Glenn and Pat Spoerl, by the light of the lamp donated by Betty Leavengood and powered by the conduit installed by Mark and Sandy Doumas and Ron Kisselburgh and Joan Chianese.
Now, in the back of my mind I knew the cabin might be haunted by a few good spirits. But I didn't realize they'd be working away, singing and whistling and chatting and laughing and joking right in my head while I was visiting! After Jim left, it got so cold we moved a couple of mattresses (which Kathy Makansi purchased) into the living room next to the fire (there thanks to Pete Taylor and Jim Gross) atop the rug (which Betty donated). Until I warmed up enough to sleep I watched the firelight dance around the walls and furnishings of the cabin, and I imagined I could see Jim Britton, Clint and Bev Waddell, and Jesus Romero and Jesus and Martha Robles working on the fine mud plaster. But in my mind that final coat didn't hide all the hours of work (and good conversation) by Ginny Fisher, Betty Leavengood, Jo Haslett, and other Friends doing many layers of "rough coat," filling in huge concavities and cracks and bullet holes. The lace curtains in the living room made nice patterns of the firelight, evoking not only the elegance of 100 years ago, but also Joan Bratosh and her efficient competence, fine style, and Midwestern accent, and her husband Tony painting the woodwork. I couldn't look up at the manta ceiling in the bedroom without seeing Ro Glenn at her sewing machine, and her husband Jack and Arnold Franks and Don Fisher up on ladders installing the ceiling. In the living room and kitchen I could look up and easily imagine the Nogales fire crew, led by Mark South, Don Marion, and Shane Lyman, nailing shingles way back in '91.
At least the window shades (installed by Joan and Tony) were pulled down low over the airtight windows Arnold built, so I didn't have to listen to my image of Don Fisher, Mark South, Drum Haverstock, Jeremy Stowall, Ken Haber, Don Marion, and Doris Pettigrew hammering on the porch all night. But they were with me the next morning, when we could sit at the picnic table donated by Peggy Eaton and lounge in the sun on the wall built by Jim Gross with Jack Williams and Ellen Fallihee. I haven't been working with the Friends much lately, so I didn't recognize or remember all the good spirits who have donated time, energy, money, and/or stuff to Kentucky Camp - but their presence is certainly evident in the results!
I am so very thankful for all the hard work and joy that the Friends have brought to Kentucky Camp. When you visit the cabin, you too may be visited by the spirits of generosity, kindness, good cheer, and friendship that linger after the hard work is done!
While I stayed at the cabin I had a chance to look through the guest book, and although it was a little chilly at night, the comments warm the soul. Many of the visitors remarked how grateful they are to the Friends of Kentucky Camp. Some excerpts:
"This has been a tonic for stressful times. We will be back as often as we can. Thank you U.S. Forest Service and Friends of Kentucky Camp!"
Michael. A., Thanksgiving 2001
"Can't recall a more enjoyable afternoon or one that left us with so much information and appreciation for what volunteers can achieve. We'll be back."
Ron and Dee L., Durango, Colorado, September 14, 2001
"Thank you for the reminders of the gifts of simplicity and the blessings of food, shelter, friendship, and simple amenities of living in spectacular nature."
Jessica I. and Jim D., December 9, 2001
"I loved the cabin. I loved the view. It was really cool feeling what it was like back in the olden days. I hope the future guests like the view and Kentucky Camp as much as I did."
Sean W., age 10, October 28, 2001
"The cabin was a fantastic stopping point after hiking a fistful of miles around here."
Katy K and Chris R., Austin, Texas, December 17-18, 2001
"We found the cabin delightful and comfortable. We really enjoyed our stay."
Robin and Bev L., Tucson, August 2001
"This seriously cool cabin surprised me considerably as did the electricity and running water."
Virginia D., age 13, Rio Rico, Arizona, May 2001 (Virginia also wrote that she had expected perhaps a "one-room shack with one window and a dirt floor," hence her pleasant surprise.)
Forest Service archaeologist Chris Schrager explains adobe wall repairing techniques to CAS students at Brown Canyon Ranch mini-PIT in October.
Remember how past president Billee Hoornbeek did the nonprofit organization paperwork for the Friends of Kentucky Camp so that other historic preservation-minded groups didn't have to go through the same hellacious and expensive process? That's why the official name of the volunteer group is "Coronado National Forest Heritage Association" and why if other groups want to use the same articles of incorporation and bylaws, they can form a daughter group easily. Billee's foresight may be bearing fruit: folks in the Sierra Vista community have expressed interest in helping to preserve Brown Canyon Ranch, a 100-year-old adobe house (with outbuildings) near Ramsey Canyon.
About 50 people participated in a short Passport in Time project sponsored by the Forest Service October 4-6, 2001. Volunteers worked on completing architectural drawings and descriptions, sealing the building against mice, analyzing what needs to be done to restore the house and the associated store room, and on preliminary stabilization work to determine how much time and materials would be needed if the Forest Service decides to restore the structures.
Teachers and students from the Center for Academic Success (CAS) were among those who participated in the PIT workshop. CAS, a charter high school in Sierra Vista, is interested in continuing research and stabilization work at the site as part of their "project-based learning" curriculum. Last December, CAS students visited Kentucky Camp to get some ideas from the extensive historic preservation that volunteers have completed there. Kentucky Camp offers models of stabilization, restoration, cabin rental, and interpretive uses of historic properties - all on one site! CAS staff and students hope to develop a cooperative effort at Brown Canyon Ranch that will mirror the Friends' success and support of Kentucky Camp.
Jack working on porch steps
Founding board member and Jack-of-all-trades Jack Glenn is on the mend, after suffering a heart attack in September and undergoing a quadruple bypass operation with enough complications to enervate Superman. Many of you know Jack Glenn as the miracle-worker who so lovingly restored the windows of the Headquarters Building at Kentucky Camp, who took scraps and fragments of the original windows and pieced them together like a jigsaw puzzle to make the outstanding, beautiful window sashes that grace many of the windows today. Or as the consummate salesman who has recruited countless new members and donors. Or as the engineer-implementer, who has helped design innumerable improvements for Kentucky Camp, from the manta ceiling in the cabin to the exhibit panels in the office, from the workshop to the steps for the porch. Or as the visionary who has helped us see how Kentucky Camp in 2004 could be made to look a lot like Kentucky Camp in 1904. However you know him, Jack's the Friend's own Superman, and we wish him the very best, and a quick and complete recovery.
His progress looks darn good so far, since he has volunteered to work with Arnold Franks and Jim Gross on construction of nine new windows to complete the Headquarters Building's restored set.
Betty Leavengood, having moved to West Virginia, resigned as Friends Vice President. Nancy Hough has agreed to serve as VP until elections in June. Thanks, Nancy!
And thanks to you, Betty, for all your wonderful contributions to Friends of Kentucky Camp! We'll miss you! Best of luck!
Betty will be returning to serve as caretaker on occasion, so we hope to see her then.
One of the benefits of procrastinating on writing this article is that I can now see the new headquarters porch in a whole new light. the benefits of procrastinating on writing this article is that I can now see the new headquarters porch in a whole new light. When we completed the porch at the April 2001 PIT, it was impressive enough: a wide, period-style porch around three sides of the formidable Headquarters building. Everyone involved in its construction was gratified and understandably impressed with their handiwork.
Steve Harper and Mark South framing the porch
Now, after a full year of use, its true value is really beginning to sink in. In its first full season of use it has provided a welcome relief from the sun in the summer and protection from the occasional rain shower. Visitors are routinely seen lingering on the railing to take-in the views of the camp. Friends of Kentucky Camp use the porch for a relaxed lunch setting on FKC work days. In short: it's hard to imagine the Headquarters building without a porch.
In the last article on this project (November 2000) I reported that the porch footers had been installed during PIT 2000 and that we could look forward to two more years of PITs to complete the project. Instead, the porch was essentially completed in 10 days during PIT 2001. Two key factors contributed to finishing this project a year early. The first came in the form of funding. In our initial planning stages, we were concerned that available FKC funds might limit our progress to building half of the decking and roof in PIT 2001 leaving us another year to raise additional funds for the remainder of the porch. This concern was completely eliminated by the availability of the Forest Service "deferred maintenance" funds described more fully by Mary Farrell in the July 2001 newsletter. Dedicated workers were the second reason we were able to complete the project early. A team consisting of Caretaker Clint Waddell and Forest Service members Mark South, Don Marion, Sean Stafford and Steve Harper was able to get a head start on the work several days prior to the start PIT 2001. By the time PIT 2001 actually got underway, the early workers had already constructed the 2X6 deck framing along the south side of the building. When the rest of the volunteers arrived, progress quickened even further. At midweek, the decking was almost complete around three sides of the building and work had begun on the porch roof despite some uncooperative weather including some snow!
By the end of the PIT week, the weather had improved and the decking and roof were complete. I especially liked seeing almost all the PIT participants on the roof of the new porch pounding nails into the cedar shake shingles! Only a few construction details such as railing, steps, roof flashing and wood treatment remained. These items were completed in short order by the FKC shortly after the PIT.
In retrospect, I think we worked a little too hard at PIT 2001. Once it became clear that the porch could be completed that week, everyone worked a little harder and longer to complete this milestone in Kentucky Camp's reconstruction. I want to thank everyone that pitched-in on this project. Hopefully, future PITs will be a little more relaxed and leave more time for socializing!
So, now that we built the porch in two PITs rather than three, what do we do with the "extra" time? Not to worry! At PIT 2002, we're planning to install some simple electrical lighting and outlets in the Headquarters building. We'll use a construction style similar to what we did in Cabin C: simple ceiling lights with pull-chain switches and outlets mounted on the surface of the interior adobe walls. As with Cabin C, our goal is to provide for simple electrical needs without making permanent modifications to the building.
In this series of essays for the Chronicle I will attempt to give a series of short sketches pertaining not only to the history of Kentucky Camp but also to the Greaterville town site, the mining activity of this thriving community that was the start of Kentucky Camp, and the dreams of a few to gain additional wealth from the historic Santa Rita Mountains. I will also include a large part of the surrounding country, as it also had a significant role in the history of Kentucky Camp and the Greaterville Mining District. Subjects of interest will include the railroads in southern Arizona, Sonoita Valley, Camp Crittenden, Fort Buchanan and the Patagonia Mountains.
I will ask this question. What is history? History is a story of the past, either recorded or unrecorded. History tells a story of many things: hardships, happiness, building homes, ranches and towns. It tells of the circumstances leading up to many historical events; some true, some folklore and some only speculation and guess work on the part of the researcher.
There are the prehistoric people who lived upon the land and flourished, then disappeared into time. Their stories will never be truly known. There remain today many traces of their living upon the land many thousand years ago, in the Santa Rita Mountains to the west and especially along the then-fertile and wet streams. These people and their times are the unrecorded history. I will not attempt to cover this period.
As members of the Friends of Kentucky Camp we are a part of the history of Kentucky Camp. What we accomplished yesterday, today and in the future will be recorded history. Not for self-gain, but for the satisfaction of preserving for future generations the ability to see what the past was like. As we slowly restore a site of historical significance, we are passing along what has been done in the past.
One hundred years from now, 2102, people will visit Kentucky Camp. They will be awed by something that is 200 years old. They will see our 100 year old logbooks, Chronicle, windows, doors, floors, brick and plaster, our great porches, etc. And, all the things that will be done in the future years.
A lot of information that I will attempt to pass on is what I have learned from talking to members of the family that once lived on the site, and from many people who lived in the surrounding area with information about past generations. The files of the Arizona Historical Society Library and the University of Arizona Special Collections were used to research the information for future articles in this series. There are many stories to tell, many hardships, deaths and happiness that occurred in the vicinity of Kentucky Camp. The stories, from Coronado's entry into Arizona, the Spanish Colonial Period, the Mexican Period, the Anglo Period, the Civil War in Arizona, go on and on. They will not follow in a chronological order, but will cover different periods of the history of the area.
What I have learned in my 10 years associated with Kentucky Camp has been an enjoyable process. I will continue to learn and in my own way will attempt to pass this knowledge on to others. If there are any questions, or if you wishes to contribute please feel free to contact me and we will get it recorded and in the Chronicle. We all have something to tell and this will be our way to do it. So with this first shot at an article I shall close and will see you in the next Chronicle.
Kentucky Camp would not exist if not for mining: mining engineers and investors built it, miners left the hummocky landscape in the gulches, and the site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its association with early 20th century mining.
But the Forest Service will soon be asking folks to refrain from mining at or near the site, and has initiated the process to withdraw Kentucky Camp and the adjacent gulch from mineral entry. Other significant historic areas within the Kentucky Camp Historic District will also be withdrawn from mineral entry.
Why do we want to protect a mining site from mining? Partly because the 1872 Mining Act has remained relatively unchanged for almost 130 years. Passed to encourage development, it didn't include provisions for the protection of historic resources or other components of the environment. A modern mining company could file claims to conduct large-scale mining at the site, which might well have the unintended but very real consequence of destroying the historic character of the camp.
Even small-scale recreational panning and metal-detecting can disturb vegetation and increase erosion, vehicle traffic, and noise. Visitors have noted people using metal detectors near the buildings, and wondered if historic metal artifacts are truly protected or up for grabs.
Completing all the paperwork and getting approval for the withdrawal is expected to take about a year. Meanwhile, the Forest Service will ask that prospectors refrain from working in the proposed withdrawal areas. Outside these areas, the existing rules for the Greaterville Mining District still apply. Unlike much of public land, the mineral rights are split 50-50 between the Forest Service and the Hummel family. Forest Service restrictions are not much more stringent than for other areas of public land, but permission to mine or prospect must be obtained from the Hummels.
Want a chance to stay in a gorgeous setting in a cute rustic cabin, and get a true sense of accomplishment while contributing to the preservation and restoration of historic resources? Here's your chance: volunteer for the Ginny Brigade!
Ginny Fisher's attacks on dirt are legendary: not only has she been proficient at getting the right adobe mixture onto walls, she has been amazing at getting dirt OFF places it's not supposed to be. In her honor the Forest Service is setting up Yet Another Way the members of the Friends of Kentucky Camp can volunteer at the site: occasional ferocious cleaning at the rental cabin.
The cabin renters are asked to clean up after themselves and sweep the floors when they leave, and caretaker Jim Gross has been doing a bit of extra housekeeping to make sure everything is spotless and welcoming. However, he and our short-term Passport in Time caretakers will be increasingly busy doing various restoration projects, grounds maintenance, cleaning the outhouse, and preparing for workdays and the next Passport in Time project. Since a "Ginny-style" cleaning needs to happen at least once a month, the Forest Service is inviting additional volunteers to come stay at the cabin for a night or two and do a detailed cleaning job there. Tasks would include:
All supplies and cleaning tools, as well as a more detailed checklist of tasks, would be provided by the Forest Service.
Pay: our usual, that is, zip, zero, nada. Unless you count satisfaction in a job well done, plenty of breaks, time to sit on the porch or take a hike, and the priceless joy of staying in the cabin overnight, supplemented by an occasional heartfelt thanks. To apply, call Mary Farrell at 670-4564 or Kathy Makansi at 670-4522. Or if you use e-mail, addresses are mfarrell at DON'TINCLUDETHISfs.fed.us and kmakansi at DON'TINCLUDETHISfs.fed.us.
Remember, the Friends of Kentucky Camp hold workdays on the second Saturday of every month, that is, April 13, May 11, June 8 and July 13. Upcoming projects will include: