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Skagit River Journal

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Gilbert's Cabin 2005

(Cabin in 1950)
      This is what Gilbert Landre's cabin looked like in 1950 when the last stabilization was completed. A decade of snowstorms later, the cabin crumbled considerably.

By Dr. Jesse Kennedy, National Park Service
      Located on the Cascade River East of Marblemount, within the North Cascades National Park, this hand-hewn log cabin was built in 1894 by a French Canadian miner named Gilbert Landre. His cabin became a hostelry for other miners working the Cascade Mining District in the North Cascades. The cabin was one large room with a loft that was reached by stairs in the SW corner. After Landre's death in Marblemount in 1905, the cabin continued to serve as a shelter for travelers well into the 1930s. About 1940 John Dayo (a U.S. Forest Service employee) built a roof on the cabin, but it was blown off by an avalanche. The original foundation-logs and floor-joists were replaced in the 1950s. Of critical interest is the graffiti on the walls from visitors to the cabin from its construction up until the 1930s. The graffiti presents a virtual historic registry of the population of this remote backcountry area. All that remains today are four walls (12 feet high) with door and window openings.
      On Oct. 26, 2005 a site evaluation by North Cascades National Park staff — Dana Barton, Historic Preservationist and Jesse Kennedy, Chief, Cultural Resources Branch — was conducted to identify the work necessary to stabilize the structure. The structure was found to be remarkably sound considering it was constructed over 100 years ago and has not had a roof since the 1940s. The primary work involves structural stabilization and includes replacing the sill logs (lowest course of logs), straightening the walls, and removing encroaching vegetation. This stabilization work will be completed in the Summer of 2006 by students enrolled in the University of Oregon's School of Architecture and Allied Arts' Pacific Northwest Preservation Field School. [See link below.]

Photos of Landre's Cabin in October 2005

(2005 Cabin 1)
      This is the southeast corner of the cabin. Note that the dovetail joints are amazingly tight and note the width of the logs. (All photos and captions by Dr. Jesse Kennedy.)
      This is Harriet Barry's graffiti (or by an admirer) from 1911.
(2005 Cabin 2)

(2005 Cabin 3)
      This is C. Ward's graffiti from 1910.
      This is what the front of cabin looks like today, obscured by slide alder and vegetation that will be removed. Compare to the difference in the photos of the 2006-07 file.
(2005 Cabin 4)

      Journal ed. note: We hope that readers who have memories, documents or photos of the area around Cascade River, Cascade Pass, Landre's Cabin or Mineral Park will share copies with us. We are also looking for any records of the visits to the area in the early years of the century by Gifford Pinchot, Mary Roberts Rinehart of the Saturday Evening Post, or a Mrs. Billington, a "Bohemian" painter.

More to read about this mining district

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Story posted on Aug. 6, 2006, moved to this domain Oct. 10, 2011
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This article originally appeared in Issue 35 of our Subscribers-paid Journal online magazine

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