On September 18, 2015 Peter Schmidt, a Forest Service Archaeologist, led a group of volunteers in search of historical artifacts around the Bowerman homestead area. The group used metal detectors to locate the artifacts. Many items were uncovered including an axe head, square nails, bolts, colored glass possibly from old medicine bottles, and horse drawn wagon parts. The volunteers had hoped to determine the precise location of the house from a pattern of historic nails left after the home burned in 1929, but no clear pattern was uncovered.
A crew of three, Mark, Josh and RJ , funded through a Smart Business Center employment development grant for drought relief projects, worked on fuels reduction around the cemetery area. This included cutting small trees, thinning brush, and hauling out the material for chipping.
A local radio amateur, Erik Anderson (KK6RKY,) used the open area of the Bowerman meadow to receive a Slow Scan Television Image transmitted from the International Space Station in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Joint Apollo-Soyuz Mission. The image was received on Sunday July 19th at about 9 am. The Bowerman meadow allows for an unobstructed view of the sky.
Docent guided tours were enjoyed by both local and distant visitors over the Memorial day weekend. Carol Fall and Pat Frost guided two tours on both Sunday and Monday. The east side doors were opened so visitors could see inside the barn. The tour also included the area where the Bowerman house used to be, the irrigation ditch, and the cemetery area. Approximately 50 visitors attended the tours!
After being postponed because of rain, the weather on the rescheduled workday, Saturday 2/21/2015, was ideal. After gathering and hearing about the activities and meetings with the USFS, the volunteers split into groups which pruned fruit trees, and removed barbed wire from areas outside the pasture. A new brochure has been produced and is available for download.
The engineering report on the Bowerman Barn, “Bowerman Barn Repair-Phase 2 report,” has been submitted to the USFS by Alpen Engineering in conjunction with Shasta Services Inc. The report contains a wealth of engineering information about the barn and proposed repairs. An additional document, “Combined TF drawings” contains CAD drawings of the barn.
A group of volunteers showed up on Tuesday November 11, 2014 (Veterans day) to add the stringers (rough-sawn lumber donated by the Conservation Camp) to the posts around the cemetery. The stringers are the horizontal boards that the pickets will eventually be attached to. The weather cooperated with dry mild conditions. The group gathered at about 1 pm and after a safety briefing, started working. After an hour or so, the work was completed and we ate snacks and fed the USFS mules and horses some apples.
About 13 volunteers worked on the Saturday, September 6th workday! After the safety briefing, the group disassembled the old cemetery fence and then installed the replacement cedar posts. First the layout was measured, and then the 8 vertical posts were placed. On a future workday, the rough sawn stringer boards, donated by the Conservation Camp, will be attached as will the 1″ by 4″ pickets. The hand tool lopping of very small firs and dead locust trees around the cemetery makes the area look nicer and less cluttered.
Peter Schmidt and Penny Del Bene from the USFS National Recreation Area office meet with local Bowerman Barn organization members on August 6th. They were able to view the area and get a “lay of the land” to see where the historic wagon road and Bowerman house might have been. A future project using sensitive metal detectors to locate buried nails should be able to answer the question of where the house was located. Discussion of appropriate fencing around the cemetery, based on photos and other considerations of the era, led to an agreement that a picket fence rather than a split rail fence is more likely what was used. Everyone left feeling a general excitement about the historic aspects of the project and future activities. The Bowerman Barn organization thanks Peter and Penny for their time and effort on this project!
The Shasta 22 California Conservation Corps (CCC) work group arrived on June 25th, 2014 for an 8-day work project to repair and replace fencing around the Bowerman barn. The group worked hard and accomplished their goal of replacing about 3 miles of fencing. All this in spite of unusually hot temperatures on numerous days. The community showed support by bringing desserts such as brownies and ice cream to the crew, which were greatly appreciated!
The community is very appreciative of this hard work and extends its thanks to the Shasta 22 crew!