Fish Lake Historic Site Collage

Fish Lake Historic Site Collage



Greetings to all Members of the Friends and potential Members of the Friends. Wow!! We experienced ANOTHER busy and productive year – fueled by our very active volunteer members, our all volunteer results-oriented Board of Directors, and positive support from the McKenzie River Ranger District (MRRD) and Willamette National Forest Supervisor Tracy Beck. We worked with four District Rangers this year – Terry Baker at the start of the year, Acting Rangers Suzanne Schindler and Trish Wilson, and newly appointed Ranger Darren Cross at the end of the year. We continued our approach to try new initiatives in “baby steps”. If an activity goes well, we'll work to make it even better. If it doesn't go well, we'll start over.

In a special event, we hosted a tour of the site for a group of thirty Obsidians June 14th, that led to a donation of $10,000 from Jim Northrop, one of the attendees, to continue our restoration and maintenance work!

We hosted the Board of Directors and other members of the Old Smokeys (Pacific Northwest Forest Service Retirees) at the Fish Lake site on August 23rd. The Old Smokey Board inaugurated our recently constructed Pavilion by holding their August Board Meeting in the structure. Following their meeting we visited over lunch and then Jim Denney led a tour of the site. 

Our Annual Work Week, beginning Sunday, June 18 this year, enjoyed our usual good weather and another good turnout. Thirty-five volunteers contributed almost 776 person hours, working on all of the structures (including the Dynamite Shed!), support facilities and grounds maintenance.

Yearlong we had thirty-seven volunteers perform 1,025 person hours of work on site. Thanks to all of you!A full list of 2017 work at the site is at the end of this Report.  

Final air quality testing of the Commissary has been completed, making the building available once again for the winter rental program. Re-roofing the Hall House was delayed until 2018 due to the press of other site activities.

Work Week Tuesday we held our Annual Membership Meeting, voting to give another Board of Director's 3-year term to Ron Skrip, Steve Mealey, Jim Denney and Rolf Anderson. Mandy Cole was newly elected to a full term. 

We continued the on-site presence of Hosts under the Passport in Time Program throughout the summer. Jim Denney's site tour with the Old Smokeys was videotaped by MRRD’s Katie Isacksen, capturing and preserving many of Jim's unique stories and historical insights. 

The long anticipated Pavilion (20' x 40'), purchased with Federal Highways funds and constructed by the local Marine Reserve Unit was completed. A vault toilet was placed nearby and a hardened pad for a host RV was added. These projects were led by Wayne Shilts, Kenny Gabriel, Jim Denney and Doug Macdonald. The first two heavy duty picnic tables were crafted by Randy Dunbar and Phil Raab from boards sawed from the large Douglas-fir that stood near the Hall House. These structures will greatly enhance the attractiveness of the site to host organized education groups and activities and will offer casual visitors a place to pause and reflect on the significance of this historic site. 

The Friends received grants from the Old Smokeys ($1,500), and the Kinsman Foundation ($2,000) for Work Week and beyond for materials and supplies. We also were gifted the aforementioned $10,000 donation and a $5,000 donation from Jodi and Mike Hughes.

Our membership remains strong. Members continued to support the Friends with volunteer work and membership dues. This year we counted 95 members (an increase from last year)  contributing about $5300 in dues. Our large membership gives us strong credibility with our sponsoring Foundations and we depend on your dues for essential matches for grant requests and to back-fill when we don't get proposed grants. Over the years we've shown clear progress from restoration activities, to maintaining the improved structures, to site enhancement projects. ALL made possible by your commitment!  THANKS!!

If you have already renewed your membership for 2018, you're an early-bird – Thank You! If you haven't yet renewed, Now is the Time!If you aren't a member yet, please jump in and join us! And tell your friends about us, too!   

Rolf Anderson,  President FFL

Membership Application and renewal

Please complete the information requested and return with your tax deductible dues to:


Make your check out to Friends of Fish Lake

Street address__________________________________
City, State, Zip code____________________________
e-mail address__________________________________

Annual Dues
Student:   $15____  Individual:    $35____   Family: $50 ____  PATRON : $150 _____             
 Life:    $2500____ Business:    $75_____

Please indicate if you can help in any of the following categories:
      Volunteer for the annual work week_______
       I have specific skills:
                 Carpentry_____  Restoration____ Computer support____   Fund raising_____ 
                 “Site host” late June___July____August___Sept___


We had a good turnout of volunteers during Work Week, working on a long list of projects. After Work Week volunteers and McKenzie River Ranger District crews and personnel continued to work on projects. This is as good a list of work for the whole year that I can come up with. I'm sure it's not complete.

2017 Work as of the end of June; 35 volunteers contributing 776 hours

Site - Routine maintenance of the site and infrastructure. 
Barn - Replaced a rotten and failing support beam and footings.
Generator Room - Revamped the doors.
Bunkhouse.- Re-glazed and restored the windows. 
Commissary - Installed a new counter and cabinet. For the first time in over ten years the Commissary has running water.
Powder House – Reattached the galvanized steel roof and wall coverings, reconstructed the steps and repaired the front door.
Split-Cedar Rail Fences - Repaired and reconstructed throughout the site. 
Blacksmith Shop and Oil House - Prepared and painted four exterior walls. 
Pavilion and RomTech Toilet - Initiated site preparation.
Corral Retaining Wall - Finished placing rock on the north side.

2017 Work after Work Week; 14 members contributing 249 hours

Pavilion Picnic Tables – Completed construction of two tables using wood sawn from a large Douglas-fir that had to be felled to protect the Hall House.
Barn - Replaced broken glass and applied new glazing and paint at three windows.
Corral Fencing - Reconstructed broken fence sections. 
Hall House - Replaced and repaired a rotten sill log. Repaired the handrail and posts to steps. Constructed a wood cabinet around the propane refrigerator, including a panel to close up during rental periods. Constructed a wood panel around electrical panel and generator controls. Replaced broken windows and replaced glazing in two windows. 

Began the inspection and maintenance surveys recommended by Conservation Services.

Videotaped one of Jim Denney's extended tours of the site to provide material for future interpretation projects. 

Marine Reserves – Constructed the Pavilion and installed the RomTech Toilet. Repaired the gate across the Administration Road and the entry gate at the Day Use area. Replaced the locking pins for the Blacksmith Shop sliding doors. Installed a water faucet and electrical connection at the new Host Site.

We recorded 37 of our 53 members working at Fish Lake this year. What a great turnout! We thank every one of you!                          -Rolf 


The Friends of Fish Lake will hold their 10th annual June work week from June 15 to June 19, 2015. It is appropriate to look back and to review the accomplishments during this decade of effort. From a humble beginning in October of 2006 with 7 volunteers contributing 66 hours of work the effort has blossomed into an intense 3 to 5 day work period with up to to 40 plus volunteers that have contributed thousands of hours of work over the years completing thousands of dollars of grant projects from several sources. Following is a brief summary of all the work accomplished, organized by the three key goals of the Friends of fish Lake 

CCC era Buildings
Barn: scraped and painted siding, rebuilt sliding doors, repaired gates and doors in feeding area, cleaned out hay loft and grainery.
Blacksmith-Tack Rooms; cleaned and rodent proofed, replaced window sills, installed plexiglass viewing screens, scraped and painted, wired and installed lighting. Restored all 4 sliding doors. Cleaned and oiled pack & riding saddles, cleaned and oiled tack, removed, replaced and painted siding on front wall of tack room.
Gas/Oil house: rebuilt door, rodent proofed, replaced structural post, prepped and painted. removed, replaced and painted siding on west end.
Open Storage: removed, replaced and painted siding on all three sides, replaced doors in generator room, scraped and painted siding as needed. removed dirt accumulation from SW corner and repaired sill, cleaned storage units, replaced chicken wire with more substantial security screens, excavated area south of building and built rock retaining wall to protect building.
Corral: replaced and rebuilt coral posts and rails, realigned coral fence on north side to original location, rebuilt rock walls, rehabilitated water trough.
1920 era Buildings
Hall House: removed plywood flooring to reveal original flooring in living and bedroom, rodent proofed, removed batteries from attic and moved solar panels, worked on restoration of log siding and posts on porch, replaced rotten sill on north end, replaced original phone pole, re-contoured ground around building to provide drainage
Hall House Garage: removed tin roof, replaced with shakes, maintained walls, installed rock walls to protect structure from bank sloughing and reestablish drainage contour. 
Dispatch Cabin: cleaned interior, rodent proofed, restored interior including loft and ceiling boards, rewired, restored floor, rebuilt stairs in back, repaired windows and screens, rebuilt interior wall on original location, restored log ends with epoxy material, restored cabinets in kitchen to original condition, placed period furniture throughout building.
Commissary Cabin: rodent proofed, cleaned interior, repaired and re-glazed windows, entered into contract to exclude bats and to clean hazardous material from interior, restored interior similar to Dispatch cabin, provide new curtains for windows.
Outhouse: re-roofed, re-shingled and stained exterior, painted interior, and restored access pathway.
Spring House: removed and replaced floor.

Replaced curtains through out, replaced water heater and built enclosure.

Propane Tank Screens: rebuilt screens through out compound
Rail Fences: annual repair and replaced rail fences as needed
General brushing: thinning and trimming annually, annual lawn mowing
Grave Site: general maintenance, worked on restoring view from site.
Site Survey: surveyed and developed site map of buildings and grounds to serve as basis for site plan.
Santiam Wagon Road: annual brushing and water bar maintenance
Fence line trail: reopened route as a trail
Wire fencing: dropped , coiled and removed
Picnic tables: added one new one
Information Kiosk: moved old kiosk from MRRD office to Fish Lake, excavated and poured footings, erected kiosk on footings, re-stained and place rock around footings, provided detailed history on panels.
Walking tour brochure : developed and printed walking tour brochure. 
On site “Hosts”: annually provide on site “hosts” during selected periods.
                                          DEVELOPING A LEARNING CENTER DEVOTED TO TEACHING

Futuring Session: co hosted a futuring session with several stakeholders
Market analysis and economic feasibility Study: a key study that will provide direction for the education goal
Pilot projects: developed two on site programs to test feasibility of site
Friends Of Fish Lake,  other efforts

Non profit status: formed non profit Corporation and applied for and received 501(c)(3) status from IRS.
Developed MOU with Willamette NF
Grants: applied for and received several grants totaling $34,374.
Fish Lake Master Plan: served as members of a team to develop 5 year master plan for Fish Lake
Capacity building: printed Membership Brochures, fund raising brochures, book marks and note cards as a part of a capacity building grant from the Kinsman foundation.