Cookhouse

Big Creek Ranger Station Historic District

In 1930, three years after building the Ranger’s House, the Forest Service constructed this one-and-one-half-story, shingle-clad building. First used as a warehouse, it features a high gambrel roof and a screened-in single-story entrance porch. Although it is the only building on this site to sport a gambrel roof, gambrel roof designs were used elsewhere in Region One, including the Coram Ranger Station. The style had the advantage of creating usable space on the second story without the added expense of constructing full second-story walls. As staffing grew, the Forest Service converted the building into a cookhouse as it was spacious enough for a kitchen, dining area, and areas for relaxation. Inside, exposed square posts and center beams provide structural support, allowing for an open plan between kitchen, dining areas, and common rooms. A central stairway accesses the attic, where the building’s rough sawn joists and hand-peeled wooden rafters remain visible. Among those to use the building were crews at the station under the auspices of the Civilian Conservation Corps, a New Deal program to put unemployed, unmarried men to work.

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North Fork Road, Polebridge, Montana ~ Private