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Identification:

Preferred Structure Name:
Ranger Station
Structure Number:
HS-01
Other Structure Name(s):
 
Other Structure Name(s)
1. 
CCC Ranger Station
2. 
Superintendent's Building
3. 
Ranger Residence
Park:
Capitol Reef National Park
Historic District:
 
Historic District
1. 
Fruita Rural
Structure State:
Utah
Structure County:
Wayne
Region:
Intermountain
Cluster:
Colorado Plateau
Administrative Unit:
Capitol Reef National Park
LCS ID:
010488
 
Historical Significance:

National Register Status:
Entered - Documented
National Register Date:
03/25/1997
National Historic Landmark?:
No
Significance Level:
Local
Short Significance Description:
The Fruita Rural Historic District is locally significant under Criterion A, C, and D for its association with the 19th century community of Fruita. Period of significance is 1895-1947.
Long Significance Description:
The Fruita Rural Historic District is locally significant under Criterion A for its association with a late 19th-century Mormon farm community, for Fruita’s subsequent development into a fruit-producing center of local importance, and ethnic heritage, and for its ties to Mormon cultural traditions. Fruita typified the manner in which Mormon cooperative and communal farming practices allowed settlers to make a living in areas where arable land was scarce and environments were inhospitable. Distinct from the Mormon livestock-raising communities of the High Plateau to the west, Fruita also is important as one of the few Fremont River settlements east of the Plateau that survived beyond the 1930s. The district is also significant under Criterion D, having yielded important historical information.

The period of significance for the Historic District dates from 1895 to 1947. The 1895 date coincides with the estimated construction date of the Leo R. Holt House and earliest documented date of irrigation ditches in the valley. Significant dates coincide with known construction dates of some of the district’s buildings: 1895 (the Holt House), 1896 (Fruita Schoolhouse), and 1940 (Ranger Station); and 1883, the dates the historic road through Fruita (now known as the Scenic Drives) was built.

The following historic contexts are important to understanding the significance of Fruita’s resources: Mormon Settlement and Early Agriculture in Capitol Reef National Park, 1880-1920; Tourism and Creation of Capitol Reef National Park, 1920-1960; and Mission 66 Development in Capitol Reef National Park, 1960-1990.

The Ranger Station itself, an NPS rustic-designed buildingis locally significant under Criterion C for architecture, and Criterion A for politics/government. The ranger station is an example of an NPS rustic-designed building construced by the Civilian Conservaiton Corps.

The ranger station was constructed in 1940 by a detachment of the CCC from Zion National Park. It was designed as a residence for the park's Superintendent, but was never used for that purpose because of unavailability of water and electrical hookups. Instead, the building was used by Supt. Charles Kelly as a public contact facility/museum exhibit. In 1959 it was remodeled, and in 1964 when the Visitor Center was constructed, the old ranger station was linked to it by an open breezeway. The building continued to be used as a public contact facility until 1966. At around 1987 it finally was designated as the Superintendent's office.
 
Construction Period:

Construction Period:
Historic
Chronology:
 
Physical Event
Begin Year
Begin Year AD/BC
End Year
End Year AD/BC
Designer
Designer Occupation
1. 
Built
1938
AD
1940
AD
CCC
Other
2. 
Built
1938
AD
1940
AD
PWA
Other
3. 
Designed
1938
AD
1938
AD
NPS Branch of Plans and Design
Architect
4. 
Designed
1938
AD
1938
AD
Nickel, Edward A.
Architect
5. 
Altered
1959
AD


NPS
Other
6. 
Altered
1964
AD
1964
AD
Unknown
Architect
 
Function and Use:

Primary Historic Function:
Visitor Contact (Visitor Center)
Primary Current Use:
Administrative Office (HDQS)
Structure Contains Museum Collections?:
No
Other Functions or Uses:
 
Other Function(s) or Use(s)
Historic or Current
1. 
Ranger Station
Historic
2. 
Administrative Office (HDQS)
Historic
3. 
Museum (Curatorial) Storage
Historic
 
Physical Description:

Structure Type:
Building
Volume:
2,000 - 20,000 cubic feet
Square Feet:
750
Material(s):
 
Structural Component(s)
Material(s)
1. 
Foundation
Sandstone/Brownstone
2. 
Walls
Sandstone/Brownstone
3. 
Walls
Weatherboard
4. 
Other
Sandstone/Brownstone
5. 
Roof
Shingle
Short Physical Description:
Station is an L-plan, single story 25' x 30' building of random-course cut sandstone. It has a gabled roof with wood shingles and exposed rafter tips, and a sandstone chimney. Windows are 4-over-4 double-hung wood sash. Interior has plastered walls and ceilings, wood baseboard.
Long Physical Description:
This L-plan, single-story building consists of a main block, measuring approximately 25 feet by 30 feet, and an extension from the northeast corner that measures approximately 10 feet by 8 feet. The building is constructed of cut sandstone. The base of the walls is slightly battered. The gabled roof is wood-shingled, and exhibits a ridge chimney constructed of cut sandstone. The roof extends beyond the wall plane and is supported on exposed purlins. The building's wide eaves have exposed rafter tails. The area below each gabled end is covered with weatherboard.

The main entrance is on the north elevation, which includes the main block and extension. Both building sections are constructed of sandstone blcok up to the eaves level, and horizontal wood plank in the gable. Fenestration on the extension is a paired, four-over-four, double-hung wood sash window. The main building block has a doorway 1/2 step above ground level. This entrance is sheltered by a covered breezeway, added in 1964 to connect the building to the new Visitor Center.

The west elevation consists of the main building block. It has a triple set of four-over-four, double-hung wood sash windows, centered in the facade.

The south elevation consists of a coursed sandstone wall to the eaves level, and horizontal wood planking in the gable. Fenestration consists of a paired, four-over-four, double-hung wood sash window on the west side of the facade, and a smaller two-over-two double-hung wood sash window on the east side. The obtrusive cooling unit shown in the photographs below was removed in 2001, and the siding was repaired.

The east elevation has an entrance at the south end. Adjacent to that is a single four-over-four double hung wood sash window. A similar small window is at the center of the facade, and another is at the north end. A small, modern-era half-wall is attached to the building, projecting eastward, with an opening for to admit pedestrian traffic along a sidewalk that passes along that side of the building.

During a re-roofing project in about 1998, nails of the wrong length were used to attach the new shingles. The nails protrude through the eaves, and need to be clipped. Windows and sashes need occasional repainting. Roof and chimney should be regularly monitored. Electrical system should be inspected by qualified personnel to ensure that it remains safe.

The plans are identical to those used for a building at Zion National Park (Drawing ZIO-3059A). Work performed under CCC Job No. 2, Classification 120, 11th Period. Designed by NPS Branch of Plans and Design, Nickel, May 28, 1938. (2008)