PORT TOWNSEND — A Friends of Fort Worden restoration of an old guard shack from the state park’s military era from 1902-1953 is nearing completion.
The finished shack will be portable, so it can be moved around Fort Worden State Park for different event uses — for instance, as a ticket booth.
It is being considered as a possible information booth near the entrance of the park.
The $10,000 project was funded by a $5,000 matching grant from Port Townsend resident Michael Gilman paired with funds raised by the Friends’ “Save Our Shack” campaign started earlier this year, said Gary Larson, Friends board member.
The restoration of the shack was overseen by board member Bill Appleton as project lead, with contractor Ty Hodge of Hodge General Contracting removing and replacing rotted wood, stripping and repainting the shack, adding removable windows and updating the electrical outlets and lights.
The shack can be connected to electricity through an external outlet with an extension cord to one of the buildings or from a generator, Hodge said on Thursday.
“You can plug an extension cord into a building, run it [to the shack] and just plug it in, and this is essentially a large power tool now,” Hodge said.
The restoration began in about mid-September, and Hodge expects to have it completed by next week, he said Thursday.
The hardest part of the restoration was replacing the rotten wood that was on the bottom of the shack, Hodge said.
Most of the interior work was new, while the exterior used a mix of new, existing and salvaged materials and paints from other projects at the park, such as siding, he said.
“There was fortunately a building that was being remodeled and they had pulled some siding off that I was able to use to fix some siding,” Hodge said.
The moveable shack, while useful for events, also matches the aesthetic of the historic park, Appleton said.
“One of our Friends missions is to protect and restore the historic elements of Fort Worden, and this is definitely a part of that,” he said.
The shack used to stand at the front gate of the entrance to Fort Worden, Larson said.
At some point, it was no longer used and was removed from the main gate and placed in the park’s storage area, often referred to as the “boneyard.”
A local resident briefly used it as a child’s playhouse, Larson said.
After it returned to the boneyard, the building continued to deteriorate from time and weather, he added.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5 or at [email protected].