North Bloomfield School & Carter Residence



Start Date


End Date


Time Commitment

Full time (30+ hrs/wk)


Short-Term (few weeks/months)


United States


About the Site: No showers are provided onsite, but there is a great lake nearby for swimming and fishing!  

Volunteers should plan on arriving at the campsite between 5pm and 7pm on the first day of the session, and departing after lunch on the last day.

PROJECT PARTNER: Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, CA

HISTORY: This lovely and geologically fascinating area gave rise to the world's largest hydraulic mining operations, which proved to be more destructive - and more profitable - than any mine ever built before. Once an incredible example of man's ability to affect the environment, this site is today a State Historic Park that offers clean air and beautiful scenery, with some significantly interesting man made geological features.

From Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park's website:  

"In 1851, three gold prospectors discovered a rich gravel deposit in a nearby stream.

In need of supplies, one of the miners was sent to town with instructions not to divulge their location. After imbibing at a local saloon, he boasted of a great find and upon returning from Nevada City, was secretly followed by nearly 100 prospectors. Despite their efforts, they did not find their fortunes and left the area calling the creek a 'Humbug.' A few miners stayed and called the new mining camp 'Humbug City.'

"Other miners came into the area in 1852 and 1853: This second wave of miners employed newly created hydraulic methods and found gold in sufficient quantities to justify settling and expanding the camp into a full-fledged townsite.

"By 1855, Humbug City resembled a small town with its first hotel, the Hotel de France.

With over 400 residents, the town became known as North Bloomfield, California in 1857 when the post office was established. Humbug was a name given to “played-out” creeks and mining claims everywhere during the gold rush. The name was so common during this period that the post office required that the name be changed!

"...North Bloomfield experienced its heyday from the late 1860’s to 1884, with nearly 1,500 inhabitants and more than 200 buildings serving as a supply base for the township. These buildings included 5 hotels, 8 saloons, 2 livery stables, 2 dry goods stores, 2 breweries, 3 boot makers, 3 fraternal organizations, a school, a barbershop, a drug store, a butcher, a baker, a dairy, and 2 churches.

"...In 1884, the Sawyer Decision was handed down to curtail the wanton disposal of hydraulic mining debris into waterways. Hydraulic mining continued for many years but at only a fraction of the scale. Companies had invested millions of dollars into the hydraulic gold mining effort in California. These companies slowly folded and the miners and their families moved away to seek work elsewhere. North Bloomfield and the many towns born of hydraulic gold mining in the California gold fields slowly died." Read more here.

Today, North Bloomfield serves as a site of historic interpretation, drawing those interested in the cultural and economic center it once was. Many buildings from North Bloomfield's heyday line the streets, and visitors can even see hydraulic mining equipment. Tours are given daily. The community is kept alive by residents of some of the historic homes. Click the "plus" sign below to read more about the desctructive force of the hydraulic monitors.

SCOPE OF WORK: Volunteers will work with field staff to learn and improve their skills at the following tasks on two buildings: the North Bloomfield School (pictured at the top) and the Carter Residence (pictured to the right).

Task Approximate Percentage of Scope* 1. Level uneven floors by jacking up building and installing additional framing underneath  10% 2. Repair and replace damaged siding, window trim, and foundation skirting  20% 3. Rehabilitate windows  25% 4. Repair porch supports and various wood elements  10% 5. Paint wood surfaces  35%

*Note: Tasks vary by day and by week, depending on a variety of factors including: weather, project priorities, previous groups' work, and more.

Though it is likely you will get to learn and practice most or all of the above tasks, it is not guaranteed. The higher percentage of the scope a particular task is, the more likely you will get to practice it.

WHO CAN COME: All are welcome, no experience is necessary! Those age 14-17 must have a parent/guardian onsite; those under age 14 are not permitted on HistoriCorps projects with rare exceptions.

CAMP & KITCHEN HELPER POSITION: New for 2018! We have one spot available per session for a volunteer who, instead of project work, prefers to help our field staff with camp and kitchen chores. If you're interested in this position, choose that ticket below and register normally.

WHERE: The North Bloomfield School and Carter Residence are part of Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, about 90 minutes west of Truckee, CA and Lake Tahoe. Here is a map to the park.

CAMPSITE: Volunteers will camp at nearby Chute Hill Campground, just half a mile from North Bloomfield. There are picnic tables and bear-proof lockers, as well as potable water and flush toilets. Great fire pits are onsite too! There can be separate campsites for tent campers and non-tent campers. Trailers up to 18 feet and RVs up to 14 feet in length can be accommodated, but dry camping is required as no hookups are onsite.

AREA TOURISM: Malakoff Diggins State Park is a tourism destination in its own right, with more than 20 miles of trails, gold panning on Saturdays, interpretive tours, and beautiful scenery. Volunteers will enjoy swimming and fishing at a nearby lake.

<blockquote>Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park has been recognized by State Parks and the California Department of Conservation’s Division of Mines and Geology as one of California’s GeoGems. To read more about Malakoff’s geological significance, click here. To read more about all of the State Park GeoGems, visit: the State Parks website. (source)</blockquote>

Only 90 minutes from the jobsite is famed Truckee, CA, a gateway community to the summer & winter playground of Lake Tahoe!

  • Please visit our Volunteer Information and FAQs page for general information.
  • Plan to arrive between 5pm & 7pm on the first day of your project session.
  • Volunteers must provide their own camping equipment including tent with rainfly and groundcloth and sleeping bag and pad.
  • HistoriCorps will provide volunteers with meals including: breakfast, lunch, dinner, water and snacks.
  • Field staff will train volunteers in the project work. All tools are provided. Please do not bring your own tools – we don’t want them to get lost!
  • Volunteers are responsible for their transportation to the campsite and jobsite.
  • Volunteers must come prepared with proper attire including: sturdy work shoes, long pants and a work shirt.
  • Are you interested in earning a hands-on education in historic preservation? This project counts towards the HistoriCorps Institute Certificate of Achievement in Heritage Conservation and Construction, contact Jamie Tobias at, or enroll online today!

Remember, we can't do it without you - truly! HistoriCorps projects require a lot of careful preparation and planning for volunteers, and we carefully orchestrate our work and meal plans around your registration. When you register, we take it seriously and understand that you are committed to joining us for the full project duration. So before you complete your registration, kindly remember to double-check the calendar, project location, and scope of work to make sure it's a good fit for you (and if you're not sure, give us a call! We are here to help.).

You will know if you have successfully registered if you receive an auto-generated email and/or a HistoriCorps staff member greets you. The majority of our communications with you will be via email, so please do check your spam/junk folders to make sure you're getting information from us!

If you have any further questions, please contact Liz Rice at or at 720-287-0100 ext. 231. Thank you for your interest in this project!

  • Session 1
  • September 11, 2018 - September 16, 2018
  • Camp & Kitchen Helper, Session 1
  • September 11, 2018 - September 16, 2018
  • Session 2
  • September 18, 2018 - September 23, 2018
  • Camp & Kitchen Helper, Session 2
  • September 18, 2018 - September 23, 2018
  • Session 3
  • September 25, 2018 - September 30, 2018
  • Camp & Kitchen Helper, Session 3
  • September 25, 2018 - September 30, 2018
  • Session 4
  • October 2, 2018 - October 7, 2018
  • Camp & Kitchen Helper, Session 4
  • October 2, 2018 - October 7, 2018
  • Alfred State College Building Trades Students (Reserved)
  • October 2, 2018 - October 7, 2018
  • Session 5
  • October 9, 2018 - October 14, 2018
  • Camp & Kitchen Helper, Session 5
  • October 9, 2018 - October 14, 2018


  • Training Provided
  • Housing Available


  • Groups
  • Families
  • International Volunteers