• Own a piece of history

    Forest Service auctioning off ranger residence for former Butte Falls Ranger District
  • FOR SALE: Three-bedroom house, 2,090 square feet, 11/2 baths, partially improved basement, detached garage on three-quarters of an acre in the picturesque hamlet of Butte Falls.
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  • FOR SALE: Three-bedroom house, 2,090 square feet, 11/2 baths, partially improved basement, detached garage on three-quarters of an acre in the picturesque hamlet of Butte Falls.
    The U.S. Forest Service is auctioning off the property at 705 Laurel Ave., which was once the ranger residence for the former Butte Falls Ranger District.
    The minimum bid in the sealed-bid auction is $40,000. A $2,000 deposit is required with a bid. The agency will accept only cash and provides no financing.
    The auction began Oct. 10 and bids will be accepted until 1 p.m. on Nov. 29.
    Plans call for the property to be sold to the highest bidder. However, the government has discretion — if no bids at or above the suggested minimum price are received — to award the sale to a lower bid.
    Built in 1938-39 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the house and its 400-square-foot garage reflect the "Cascadian rustic" architecture employed by the Forest Service during that era and in this area, officials said.
    The house, which has been vacant for years, is being sold as surplus under the special national conveyance authority, they noted. In 1984, the house and other CCC structures on the Butte Falls compound were nominated and subsequently placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
    The purchaser is encouraged to work with the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office when modifications or changes to the historical buildings are proposed. There are no federally mandated requirements to maintain the historical elements of the property, officials said.
    However, owners of income-producing buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places may be eligible for a 20 percent tax credit through the Federal Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit program.
    Since the house was built, the ranger district has been renamed the High Cascades Ranger District and is now part of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.
    An open house will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 19-20.
    The property is not on national forestland but is located in the city limits. It has water, electricity and sewer.
    The structures were built solidly of local stone and stout timber by CCC workers who learned the building trades from master craftsmen.
    The young men used knotted pine for much of the interior paneling, while the exterior is sided in rough-cut, painted, 1-by-12-inch lumber. The windows are wood-framed with double panes. Cedar shakes cover the roof, which has a 12:12 pitch.
    The CCC was created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 4, 1933, to give young American men jobs and training during the Great Depression. Some 3 million served until the program ended in 1942, when most of the enrollees marched off to fight in World War II.
    Anyone unable to attend the open house can obtain the keys during weekday business hours at the nearby ranger station on Laurel Avenue.
    Additional information on the property and the bidding process is available from national forest offices in Butte Falls, Prospect and Medford. There also is information online at www.fs.usda.gov/rogue-siskiyou.
    Sealed bids can be submitted in person or by mail to the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Supervisor's Office, 3040 Biddle Road, Medford, OR 97504. Bidders should note on the outside of the envelope, "Attn: Butte Falls Ranger's House Sale."
    Reach reporter Paul Fattig at 541-776-4496 or email him at pfattig@mailtribune.com.
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