PAST AND PRESENT SHELTERS
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Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.
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Hi Elder Bob,
I just found your website while compiling the story of my father's summer season at Dose Meadow in 1947 as a fire control aid. I was particularly interested in the photos you have posted at
Thought you'd like to know that the mystery man in the Frank Shaw photo that you have on your site is a photograph of my father at the cabin in 1947. He worked that season for Bob Johnson, the District Ranger.
Wikipedia appears to say that a cabin was abandoned (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dosewallips). Are/were there two cabins?
There is a cabin in the following video. See http://youtu.be/zqsrgenJIno?t=10m23s Is this cabin. Does anyone know for sure what happened to that old cabin?
Today my father lives in Port Angeles. He fell in love with the mountains there in 1947 and moved back there in the late 1970s so he could retire among the mountains he loved.
If you happen upon any more stories about life at the Dose Meadow ranger cabin during that era, please let me know.
Great work with your website. A big thumbs up to you. Much appreciation. Burnet
Burnet D. Brown (son of Kenneth E. Brown)
201 Browning Avenue
Ventura, California 93003
According to RP Brown (NWHikers.net), the first two are the same and were refered to as the "Ranger Cabin". It was built entirely of Alaska Cedar about the time the trail was punched up to Hayden Pass, about 1915 or so. As was common at the time the building was also shared with the public as RP Brown thinks the 1932 photograph illustrates. Pretty hard to imagine nowadays but you rarely saw a lock on a cabin prior to the 1950's (or so). It went without saying that you were welcome to make yourself at home but to replace anything you used.
The cabin probably didn't stand long after the Frank O Shaw photo.
Thanks to RP Brown for this information.
"In 1950 I backpacked across the Olympics, and when I reached Dose Meadows I noted with dismay that a tremendous amount of avalanche debris was strewn across the meadows, making them most unsightly. In fact, the avalanche had come across the meadow and knocked down the old Forest Service cabin located there." - Robert L. Wood, letter to James W. Coleman (Sup't, Olympic NP), October 2, 1977 (Olympic NP Archives, file Superintendent's Correspondance, folder "Shelters, 1976-77").
Thanks to RodF for this information.
According to RPBrown, the Camp Marian cabin was built by Fay Bunnell and Jerry Neyhart about 1922 for Frank Vincent. Frank was a famous packer (of the time) and used the cabin as a base camp. It was named for Frank's stepdaughter Marian Taylor. Fay is a shirt tail relative of mine, great, great uncle once removed or some such thing.
Can anyone recall what happened to the Gold Creek Shelter?
Sorry, I don't, but hope someone might chime in. (I'm sure it wasn't flood - the site is well above both Dungeness and Gold Creek - likely either a large windfall tree or heavy snow - note there is presently a 2-1/2 foot windfall Doug fir log lying across the north edge of the site which might have clipped the back corner of the shelter?)
However, on a happier note, the site is outside of wilderness and Olympic NF seems receptive to the idea of rebuilding it, if a group of volunteers were inclined to make a proposal. It would require approval for felling, which is uncertain, and a commitment of several hundred manhours... but it is possible...
Click here to read FOOTS Proposal about new Gold Creek Shelter.
HOH RIVER AREA
Lyle Cowles, while leading Olympic National Park trail crews, authored a series of "Trail Notes" for the Forks Forum and Peninsula Daily News in the early 1970s. These were collected into a short book, "Letters from Olympus - A Trailman's Almanac" in 1976, which includes these photos of a few of the many historic structures we've since lost from the Park.
The Shelter Rock shelter stood there for at least 40 years and probably longer than that. I believe it disappeared in the mid 60's. When I say "stood there", I mean right where the main Shelter Rock camp is nowadays. The old trail crossed the river just a short ways above there.
I think it was built by the Forest Service around the turn of the century, but I have no way to prove that. Several reasons lead me to that conclusion but again that's mainly my opinion. It was a fairly large structure... approximately 1.5 - 2X as large as a standard CCC shelter.
Lots of history in that area (Big Quil/Dungeness) that is mostly gone forever. I've reliably traced that there was a trail up "the Big River" (what they used to call the Big Quilcene) as far back as 1891. The trail up the Little River was built in 1903-1904 to access the mines.
Rod F. replied in NWHikers.net
The 1930 map shows the trail crossing to the south side of the Big Quilcene River just above Shelter Rock Camp, then recrossing to the north side about 1/4 mile above (west) of that. I suspect most, perhaps all, of that section was probably taken out by the river, forcing the "new" trail to be built higher on the north side. (Another section, just above Wet Weather Creek (in the vicinity of the current upper Big Quil trailhead) was also on the south side of the river.) The 1938 and later maps show the entire Big Quilcene trail as staying on the north side of the river from Bark Shanty past Camp Mystery.
Neither the 1930 nor 1948 ONF maps nor the USGS 1938 Mt. Constance nor 1947 sectional depict any shelter, Guard Station, cabin or any structure at Shelter Rock. That doesn't mean it wasn't there, but suggests it might more likely have been privately built, by the Tubal Cain Mine packers or by hunters, not by the government? I suggest this possibility because many other private cabins in the area (for example, on the Little Quil, Dungeness and Heather Creeks and at Tull City itself) weren't depicted on most maps, but all the government shelters and guard stations seemed to be.
R. P. Brown replied:
Thanks Rod. Legend has it the original trail up the Big River crossed and recrossed the river 57 times. A lot of that occurred in the main canyon but also on up above. Yep, I'm aware the Shelter Rock shelter isn't on any maps. I'm also very familiar with most of the structures in the general area. Tull City, Copper City, Iron Mtn Camp, and the Crow's Nest Hotel were all built by the same mining conglomerate. The cabins you mentioned up the Dungeness/ Heather Creek were all private. The fact that the Shelter Rock shelter was so large and on a main trail (it was a main trail at the turn of the century) seems odd to me. I know the gentlemen (know of him, he's been dead 60 years) that had most of the claims on the Upper Big Quil. His cabin was one of those half-cabin affairs with a tent roof that was located half-way up Tull Canyon. He drilled two tunnels in the vicinity of Tull Pass, two shallow ones on Mt. Worthington and two (that I know of) that are down in the timber but upstream from Shelter Rock. In those days the country was freshly burnt and very open.
The Shelter Rock shelter was built, well, like a public dwelling. No glass was in the windows, no shutters on the windows, no door.....most miners would probably have shutters on the windows and a door to latch closed. Also, the thing was built out of HUGE logs. Next time you go by Shelter Rock take a look at the ancient stumps that were cut down to build the cabin. Plus, it was right on the main trail. Miners were generally secretive by nature. Even in the early days people were riding their horses up there. Personally, I think it was built during the Col Whitehead era for the public to use. You also have to realize the USFS isn't exactly known for record keeping. I was chatting with the guy who built the new bridge over the Dungeness and they couldn't tell him (even a ballpark guess) when the previous bridge was built. I told him I was pretty sure it was there in 1983 but wasn't sure before that.
Anyway, appreciate all the information Rod. I'll keep hunting. Maybe someone on here will eventually be able to shed some light.
A couple years ago on this thread we had a brief discussion about the Shelter Rock shelter up the Big Quil. This first photo was taken in 1966.
The structure didn't last long after this photo was taken, more than likely dismantled by the FS. The second photo was taken in 1960.
The third was taken 1939.
You can see it was quite a nice shelter. I recall that the sign you can see stated "Shelter Rock Camp". The photo was taken by my relative and the person in the photo was no one she knew but just a couple of campers staying in the cabin for a couple days. You can also see the telephone wire and insulator (active at the time) going right by the building. More than likely a crank phone hung on the wall at one time or another similar to the phone that occupied Boulder Shelter. The purpose of the phone would be so that a passerby could report a fire, since there were no fire lookouts in the vicinity (the closest being Mt. Townsend). This structure was reported as looking "really old" by one of my relatives in the early 40's. The common opinion was that it was built in the early part of the century sometime. I still hold that it was built for the public by the FS in the Whitehead era, possibly during the push to improve trails etc around 1917 when, for example, a trail was being constructed to the top of Mt. Constance. Obviously that didn't pan out.
SOL DUC AREA
BAILEY RANGE AREA