Forest Service to hold centennial celebration at historic ranger station |

Forest Service to hold centennial celebration at historic ranger station

One of the oldest Forest Service ranger stations in the country will be open to the public at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24. The Cayton Guard Station, 18 miles south of Silt, was built by James Cayton and his wife, Birdie, in 1909 when the Forest Service was just beginning to set roots out west. The Forest Service was established as an agency in 1905 by an act of Congress.This is such an amazing cabin; it really is living history that is begging to be shared, said White River National Forest Archeologist Andrea Brogan.The cabin was recently put on the National Historic Register. It symbolizes the history of the Forest Service in Colorado and the westward movement.The open house and centennial celebration will include a re-enactment featuring actors portraying James and Birdie Cayton, a narrative by Frank Starbuck, whose family worked with Cayton, a presentation of the National Register plaque and refreshments. Forest archeologists will be on hand to answer questions about the historic site.James Cayton was one of the first 71 rangers employed to oversee National Forest system lands. The forest at the time was called the Battlement National Forest and the station was named the Johnson Spring Guard Station until it was later renamed in James Caytons honor. Birdie was a teacher at Fairview School near Silt and a daughter of a local rancher.As an early Forest Ranger, Cayton administered grazing permits, distributed fish and game licenses and fought wildfires.White River National Forest employees and partners are working on repairing and restoring the cabin and creating interpretive materials for the building. Partners for this project include David W. Cayton (WHO), the Forest Conservancy, Silt Historical Society, Frontier Historical Society and several Forest Service volunteers. Donations for the project, made to the Forest Conservancy, were received from Encana Oil & Gas, Delta Petroleum Corporation, and Laramie Energy LLC.The public is encouraged to attend. For more information and directions to the Cayton Guard Station, contact Kristi Ponozzo at 945-3206. An alternative location for the event, if it rains, will be the Rifle Fire Station.

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