Earth Notes: Jacob Lake Cabin Restoration

May 10, 2017

About a mile and a half from the Jacob Lake Inn sits an old wooden cabin behind a split-rail fence. Climbing the steps of the front porch, visitors are transported back to the early twentieth century. 

Crews at Jacob Lake cabin
Credit Kaibab National Forest

Built in 1910, the Jacob Lake Ranger Station was one of six remote work stations for forest rangers on the Kaibab Plateau north of Grand Canyon.  It’s one of only a couple of those still standing.

But just two years ago, the cabin was in dire need of attention—porch posts and shingles had rotted, and joists, flooring, and masonry needed repair.

With a grant from the U.S. Forest Service marking the fiftieth anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act, restoration work began in summer 2015. North Kaibab Ranger District staff replaced flooring, while local Youth Conservation Corps volunteers cleared drainages and pathways.    

Last summer, Girl Scouts of Utah Troop 805 cleared the site of winter debris, then an American Conservation Experience crew completed the restoration. Supervised by forest staff, they repaired masonry, repainted, and improved drainage to prevent further erosion around the cabin.  

All this youthful effort will allow future visitors to peer inside the historic cabin and enjoy the peaceful view of the Jacob Lake meadow—and gain a rare glimpse back to the early years of the national forests.