The Parks Canada restoration crew from Banff National Park (from left: Sean Buckle

Eva Lake Cabin restored using old techniques and new

The Eva Lake Cabin was restored, 85 years after the federal heritage building was constructed in Mount Revelstoke National Park.

The Eva Lake Cabin has been restored, 85 years after the federal heritage building was constructed in 1928 as one of the first buildings in Mount Revelstoke National Park.

A building restoration team from Banff National Park spent almost two weeks in the park to restore the cabin, which was experiencing a number of problems, notably the bottom logs (known as sills) were rotting.

“Since the cabin sills were in contact with the ground they were rotting,” said Claire Sieber, the cultural resource expert for Mount Revelstoke National Park. “Mice were getting in, the whole cabin structure was compromised by that.”

Eva Lake is named after Eva Hobbs, the Revelstoke school teacher who discovered the lake in 1909 as she explored the summit area of Mount Revelstoke.

The Eva Lake Cabin is the second oldest still-existing building in Mount Revelstoke National Park after the fire lookout, which was built a year earlier in 1927.

The construction of the cabin coincided with the completion of the Meadows in the Sky Parkway to the summit of Mt. Revelstoke in 1928. Prior to then, Eva Lake was a lengthy hike from town. Now, it was a seven kilometre hike from the summit.

The cabin was built as a warden cabin in the backcountry of the park. It was built to assist park warden’s patrol the park in order to protect flora and fauna from poachers, and to monitor forest fires.

“It was quite a popular Revelstoke community destinations,” said Sieber. “Once it was designated as a park, we needed to have a warden presence out there to protect the flora and fauna.”

The cabin is now designated a federal heritage building due its historical associations, architectural value and environmental values.

It was a built as a one-room cabin, constructed using fir logs found around the site. It was a common design used by Parks Canada for warden cabins in national parks in the area until the 1950s.

This isn’t the first time the cabin has been repaired. Sieber said there are signs the bottom sills were replaced in the past because of the way they were hewn – whoever did the job used a chainsaw and not a broad axe like was used in 1928.

For the current repairs, the restoration crew used a mix of both tools. They first used a chainsaw to get the shape, and then a broad axe to mimic the look of the original sills.

They also replaced the floor to help keep mice out, removed the windows to repair the frames, and put in new chinking – the material that fills the space between the logs.

The process started by jacking up the cabin off the ground. The old sills were removed and replaced by the new ones. A new plank floor was put in place.

“What they did is put a bunch of wire mesh in to keep the mice out to keep from being further deteriorated, then they placed rock work underneath the cabin to allow for air flow,” said Sieber, adding the repairs mark an improvement to the cabin.

“They were able to maintain the authenticity and also add a bit of height to keep it from deteriorating in the future.”

While the original cabin was built from logs harvested by the lake, the new logs were harvested from elsewhere in the park, but at the same elevation. The logs were cut and shaped using a chainsaw and broad axe in order to save time and expense.

They also replaced the chinking – the filler material between the logs. The burlap sacks, horsehair and lime that was used in the past were replaced with a mix of oakum and mortar.

Last Saturday, Aug. 10, the restored cabin was on display to the public for the Eva Lake pilgrimage. The cabin is open to the public as a shelter, but not for camping.

“We’d like to encourage everyone to go and have a look because the cabin looks fabulous now,” said Sieber.

“It smells a whole lot better,” added spokesperson Jacolyn Daniluck.

 

Just Posted

Revelstoke family-owned business makes a deal with a dragon

Shade Sails Canada will be working with Dragon’s Den star Vincenzo Guzzo

Kootenay-Columbia candidates attend Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 election forum

About 120 people attended the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 election forum on Oct. 16 at the Prince Charles Theatre.

LETTER: Do we have to wait until someone freezes to death?

From a Revelstoke resident in support of the proposed cold weather shelter

Province funding $6.5 million for caribou habitat restoration

The money is available through applications for the next three years

Regional district approves proposed Revelstoke adventure park

Ammendments to the Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw were needed

VIDEO: First all-female spacewalk team makes history

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir did work on International Space Station’s power grid

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

Shooters compete in Summerland

Seven youth participants take aim

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

RDOS cannabis production bylaw goes to public hearing

Hearing on micro cannabis production facilities will be held Nov. 21

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Most Read