The Wilsonia Historic District Trust (WHDT) is a nonprofit and educational 501(c)3 corporation that provides educational opportunities and works to maintain the historic designation. Tax deductible donations are accepted to further the mission of the WHDT.
In 1996, the Wilsonia Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Contributors to the District are the oldest and most architecturally intact buildings in the community. The Wilsonia Historic District Trust provides guidance to maintain the rustic character and historic status of the district.
The story of how this came to pass is one of perseverance and patience. In the 1970s and 80s, the NPS actively sought to purchase and remove cabins in Wilsonia. Close to 100 cabins and all commercial property were purchased and totally removed. If nothing had been done, Wilsonia would have probably vanished. But in 1991, at a meeting in the Clubhouse, a group of cabin owners proposed the formation of a Historic District that would effectively halt the NPS “buy and remove” activities. It took several years and several thousands of dollars, but in 1995 an ultimately successful application was made to the State of California’s Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and word was received from Washington D.C. that the entire community of Wilsonia had been designated by the U.S. Department of the Interior as an Historic District. This status put an immediate halt to the NPS activities to buy and remove cabins.
However, this is not a permanent protection. A percentage of still-standing cabins must continue to be historic in nature. If a cabin is modernized so much that it no longer has its original historic appearance, it can no longer qualify as historic. Obviously, if a historic a cabin is torn down, it too loses its historic designation. If the number of the cabins designated as “historic” drops below the required percentage, the historic district would be lost.
If you are planning changes, such as different windows, siding or additions to the footprint of your cabin, we encourage you to consult the Wilsonia Architectural Guidelines (guidelines are pending review and approval). It is not that difficult to maintain historic status, and it is extremely important that each of us do so.
For more information about the Wilsonia Historic District contact the WHDT