Fish Lake Remount Depot/Fish Lake Guard Station Historic District – Willamette National Forest OR

Description

By constructing several buildings and the necessary facilities for management of mules and horses, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) workers played an integral role in  transforming the Fish Lake Guard Station into the Fish Lake Remount Depot. To operate in the rough terrain of the surrounding national forest and nearby wilderness areas, the Forest Service depended on pack animals. The CCC located a side camp at Fish Lake from 1934 – 1939 to improve the Depot for this purpose while assisting in fire fighting and development of recreation opportunities in the Willamette National Forest as well.

In 2016, the Fish Lake Remount Depot (also known as the Fish Lake Guard Station Historic District, 1906-1969) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  While the site served historically as a significant stop on the route through the central Cascades for Native Americans and, by the 1860’s, the Santiam Wagon Road, the designation focuses on the US Forest Service’s administration of fire management in the surrounding forests. Several log structures at Fish Lake Guard Station date from the 1920s when Forest Service staff managed sheep and cattle grazing permits and monitored  mining operation as well as attending to fire fighting. The CCC-built structures are to the east of these earlier log buildings.
As stated above, the legacy of the CCC at Fish Lake is most notable in the buildings required for the Remount Depot. That includes: the open storage shed (1934); the closed storage building that served as the tack room and blacksmith shop (1934); the barn (1935) and corrals (1936); a gas and oil shed (1935); and the stock driveway (1936-1939). The stock driveway replaced an earlier Santiam Wagon Road pathway that allowed moving animals from the corrals down to Fish Lake, a lake that would drain from its winter level to open pasture during the summer months.
Several other CCC constructed buildings are no longer standing, including a bath house built near the Station’s barracks. CCC workers also improved the fence surrounding a 1875  gravesite of a mother and child, which is located on the western side of the station, alongside the Santiam Wagon Road.

Source notes

"Fish Lake Guard Station," Oregon Historic Sites Database. https://heritagedata.prd.state.or.us/historic/index.cfm?do=v.dsp_siteSummary&resultDisplay=669152

Fish Lake Historic Site," Website of Friends of Fish Lake. Viewed: August 31, 2022. https://www.fishlakehistoricsite.org/ 

"Remount Station Rises at Fish Lake," Oregonian. July 16, 1939. p. 17.

Turner, David & Rolf Anderson (2022) Fish Lake in the High Cascades: A Historic Legacy. Junction City OR: Paw Print.

Project originally submitted by Katie Walker Boeck on August 4, 2015.
Additional contributions by Jim Reed, Judith T Kenny.

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Location Info


NF-2672
Foster, Oregon 97345

Location notes: Site is actually 40 miles east of Foster off of the Santiam Highway (Highway 20) near Mount Washington.

Coordinates: 44.401385, -122.024770

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