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Historic Maple Ridge scouting cabin has a new home

DeWolf Den carried across the city to new Whonnock location

The DeWolf Den is an old cabin and a piece of local scouting history, that has been picked up and taken to a new home, with a new foundation.

It sat on Fern Crescent, behind the Eagle’s Hall, until that property was sold for development. Then early Tuesday morning, after much preparation, it was loaded onto a trailer and taken to the Scout Property at Whonnock Lake, at 27660 Dewdney Trunk Rd.

The building has a lot of sentimental value, and those who meet there didn’t want to let it go. Over the past 30 years the den has been the monthly meeting place for the 31st Alouette Baden Powell Guild – a group of adults who raise funds and support Scout and Guide groups in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, and Mission.

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A piece of local history, the one-room log cabin was built in 1957-1958 by the most senior group of Boy Scouts, known as the Rover Scouts, from the First Port Hammond Scout Group. The Scouting tradition said the Rovers needed a place of their own, and the 56th Alouettes Rover Crew constructed their den out of raw timber, cut from the banks of the Alouette River.

The work was overseen by their leader, local butcher James ‘Bud’ DeWolf, and the cabin has been known as the DeWolf Den.

The Guild heard quotes as high as $40,000 to move the building, but after a public appeal for help, and by doing much of the grunt work themselves, they saw it trucked down Fern Crescent and up Dewdney Trunk Road, to its new home.

“It looks pretty damn good,” said Guildmaster Brian Clark, who gave a lot of credit to the Nickel Brothers House Moving of Port Coquitlam, who gave them a great price, and then showed up at 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning to do their good deed.

Clark admits the guild members held their breath when their old cabin was lifted, but it turned out they had no reason to worry.

“It made it in one piece. We didn’t even lose a window,” said Clark. “65 years ago some kids put together a pretty solid cabin.”

He said the building will be used for monthly Guild meetings, as a place where other Scouting groups can meet, and as a museum for the local history of the Scouting movement.

Club spokesperson Heather Roney said the work was done in the wee hours of the morning, and was still being finished Tuesday as the sun came up.

“Those guys are super professional,” she said of the Nickel Brothers.

They gave the club a price that could be covered by donations from the Eagles and other locals who wanted to help.

“It was emotional to see it coming down the street,” Roney added.

“The Nickel Brothers really came through, and it was heartwarming to see the community support for us,” she said. “Now we’re grateful to be in our new home - permanently.”

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Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

I have been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
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