Parks Canada restoration crews have completed their final restoration work on the picturesque 85-year-old cabin at Eva Lake.
The cabin is a popular attraction for hikers and received a new floor, bottom rounds, windows and chinking — no small task when the materials must match original cabin construction.
“This is such an iconic cabin for visitors hiking to Eva Lake,” Claire Sieber, Cultural Resource Management Advisor for Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Park, said in a statement. “It played an important role for park wardens in the early years of the park and today serves as an emergency shelter for day hikers, or campers in severe weather conditions.”
More than a century ago, local school teacher Eva Hobbs explored Mount Revelstoke for three weeks with her sisters and friends and discovered the alpine lake we now call Eva Lake. Soon after, Mount Revelstoke became a national park and a warden cabin — the Eva Lake Cabin — was built on the edge of the lake.
The cabin was built in 1928 as a warden patrol cabin in the interior of Mount Revelstoke National Park at the southwest corner of Eva Lake. It appears to have been built using a standard design prepared by the Architectural and Planning Division of the National Parks Service, under the supervision of William Cromarty, head of the division. Today it is the property of Parks Canada. One of the oldest structures in Mount Revelstoke National Park, the cabin was one of four built prior to 1930 to assist the park’s wardens patrol the park in order to protect its flora and fauna from poachers and forest fires. Its construction coincided with the completion of a road to the summit of Mt. Revelstoke and the development of camping facilities adjacent to the Balsam Lake area.
The cabin no longer functions as an overnight warden facility, but is open to day hikers. It is also used as a shelter for campers from the neighbouring campground in severe weather conditions. The cabin is now 85 years old and a popular attraction where visitors can step back in time, take a rest from hiking, sign the guest log and view Eva Lake shimmering through the windows.
The cabin is recognized by the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office for its simple rustic design, environmental significance and its association with the origins of Mount Revelstoke National Park. Important heritage elements of the cabin include: its simple unfinished rustic character and craftsmanship; log construction with hewn, squared corners and hewn interior; multi-paned fixed sash windows; plank door; wood shingle roof; purlin log roof and porch roof extension supported on simple log posts.
“The cabin was generally in stable condition,” Sieber said, “but structural elements, like the floor and windows needed to be restored in order to maintain the cabin’s historic integrity. We are proud of its heritage and glad that another generation of visitors can join with early adventurers and take shelter under its roof.”
With Mount Revelstoke National Park celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2014, timing is perfect to have this FHBRO cabin restored. Mount Revelstoke National Park is Canada’s 7th national park and enjoys a close connection with the city of Revelstoke. In 1914, a time when very few national parks existed in the world, the people of Revelstoke, recognized this area as being worthy of preservation and through their enthusiasm and initiative, Mount Revelstoke, including Eva Lake, was proclaimed a national park.
Parks Canada protects and presents Canada’s natural and cultural heritage in a network of 44 national parks, 167 national historic sites and 4 national marine conservation areas.