Old Log Cabin-turned-Barn Gets Makeover at Stricker Ranch
HANSEN, Idaho (KLIX) – An old barn that at one time in its history also was used as a log cabin is being restored at Stricker Ranch, perhaps better known during the property’s heyday in the late 1800s as Rock Creek Station.
“It will be restored to some kind of semblance of what it was once before,” said Joseph Gallagher of Boise-based Heritage Preservation Resources, who recently was at the historic property south of Hansen working on the building. As a cool wind rolled dark clouds overhead, he and three other workers had removed the roof and were working on securing the sides.
Work likely won’t be complete for a while yet, he said, but hopefully sooner than later.
The project is funded by the Idaho State Historical Society, said Jennifer Hills, president of the Friends of Stricker, the organization that manages the site. Even though it’s been the nearby store building that has been on the Friends’ minds and for which they’ve been raising money to remodel, it was the old log cabin-turned-barn that the state wanted to restore. There were a couple of reasons.
“From a safety standpoint, the logs on the roof were starting to rot,” Hills said. “And from a stability point of view, the structure was starting to lean a little bit. We wanted to find a way to stabilize it.”
Work started a few days before Mother’s Day, and Hills said she’d like to see it completed within the next few weeks; but Gallagher said that all depends on receiving the proper wood. The first shipment contained wrong-sized logs.
The old building once was used as a residence, but later was turned into a barn.
“We don’t know what other uses it may have had,” Hills said, noting that at one time at least 40 buildings had stood on the property that was used as a stage coach stop beginning about 1864 along the Kelton Freight Road and Oregon Trail.
The property’s main feature today is the green-and-white clapboard ranch house, which was built by German-born Herman Stricker and his wife, Lucy, in 1901 after the first home they lived in on the property burned down. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Other buildings on the property include a modern visitor center, which, with its interpretive murals and displays, tells the history of the area; and an old storehouse and adjacent cellar. Hills said eventually her organization will have enough money to restore the storehouse.
“We have no other projects planned for the rest of this year,” she said. “We’re still trying to get funding for the store. It’s a project that’s been in the works for a number of years.”