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Bunker Hill Lookout Restoration: July Sessions

July 14 - August 2



Start: July 14
End: August 2
Cost: Free
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Bunker Hill Lookout, CA
Bunker Hill, CA United States
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Feed your passion for nature and adventure by volunteering at the breathtaking Bunker Hill Lookout Tower in California!

SESSION DATES: July 14-19, July 21-26, July 28 – August 2


Project Site Description and History:

The Bunker Hill Lookout is a key historical site within Region 5, symbolizing its expansive fire management efforts during the Great Depression. Constructed as part of a broad administrative and infrastructural campaign, this unique facility was designed by Region 5 architect Kepler Johnson in 1939. Specifically tailored for its location, the lookout features a 20-foot tall stone live-in tower topped with a 14’ x 14’ wooden observation cab, making it the only structure of its kind. The construction began in the same year under the auspices of the Eldorado National Forest, Pacific Ranger District, with significant contributions from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and local fire guards Joseph and Marie Baumann.

Completed in stages, the original stone base of the lookout was finished by 1942, with the Baumanns adding finishing touches through 1945. The wooden observation cab, which provides expansive views necessary for fire spotting, was added in 1949. Today, the Bunker Hill Lookout retains a high degree of historic integrity and stands as one of the most distinctive and important Forest Service buildings in California, reflecting the architectural ambition and functional necessity of its time.

Join HistoriCorps this July and August to preserve one of Eldorado National Forests iconic fire towers overlooking the greater Tahoe basin in the beautiful Sierra Nevada! For more information on California’s Forest Service history with fire lookout towers, please visit their website here.

Location: Located west of Lake Tahoe and less than three hours east of Sacramento, volunteers can expect fantastic views at this fire tower! Click here for the map to Bunker Hill Fire Lookout Tower.
Scope of Work

HistoriCorps is committed to educating and training volunteers in preservation skills, with an overarching mission of inspiring a preservation ethic in all those involved. Learning and working alongside expert HistoriCorps field staff, volunteers and applying the traditional skills necessary to restore the Bunker Hill Lookout Tower:

  • Roof repair and replacement
  • Deconstruct the brick chimney and restore historic integrity
  • Address water damage issues and other exterior repairs to prep for paint exterior and repointing masonry.

Volunteers will be required to work on a small roof three stories high at the top of summit and will experience exposure to heights. Accessing the roof will involve climbing two flights of stairs and a short ladder. *Please be prepared if registering for this project.*

Please note: Tasks vary by day and by week, depending on a variety of factors including: weather, project priorities, previous groups’ work, and more. Though it is likely you will get to learn and practice most or all of the above tasks, it is not guaranteed. The higher percentage of the scope a particular task is, the more likely you will get to practice it.


Click here for more information and registration!