Mormon Lake Guard Station
For over 100 years, the Mormon Lake Guard Station Residence Building served the US Forest Service in managing the pine dominated plateau country surrounding the shallow, periodically dry, basin of Mormon Lake. Constructed as early as 1908 and named, without flair, as the Mormon Lake Ranger Station, the building served for decades as both a ranger station and modest residence for rangers and their families. Operating out if this building, rangers managed timber sales, grazing permits, homestead entries, and strategized the suppression of wildfires.
Backstory and Context
By the 1970s, the a new modern Ranger Station building was constructed closer to Flagstaff, and old station grounds were repurposed as the Mormon Lake Guard Station. This guard station functioned as a staging area compound for wildland fire-fighters, and the old residence building was used to house seasonal crew members, including the fledgling Mormon Lake Hotshot crew.
Over time, the Ranger Residence building, was referred to by the fire crews as the ‘Cook Shack’ and was used as a communal location for crews to convene and prepare meals. A new modular crew building was constructed nearby in 2002, and the Ranger Residence fell into disrepair.
Over the years, the Mormon Lake Guard Station served as home to hundreds of wildland firefighters and forest service employees. This place still holds a strong connection to many people who live in the area or continue to work on the Coconino National Forest.
In Spring 2018 HistoriCorps will be heading to the Mormon Lake Guard Station to complete preservation work, visit www.historicorps.org to find out how you can support this project.