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Hundred-year-old log cabin in Maple Ridge torn down

Museum happy property owners contacted city so they could document building
Initials were carved into walls. (Maple Ridge Museum/Special to The News)

A little log cabin build around 100 years ago was demolished in east Maple Ridge – but not before it was well documented for the archives of the Maple Ridge Museum.

The structure, located on a property along 108 Ave. by 248 St., had to be torn down in November last year to make way for development.

Built in the early 1900’s, the cabin was likely one of the first buildings on that plot of land, and the Maple Ridge Museum’s new executive director Dr. Shea Henry, said they were lucky to be able to document it.

The property owners contacted the City of Maple Ridge to inform them of the structure’s imminent removal, and the city, in turn, notified the museum.

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“We were pretty happy with the situation,” said Dr. Henry, who, along with the chair of the museum board, Erica Williams, and a representative from the city, went to the property to photograph and get the details of the building.

“Together we went and catalogued it and took many photos and descriptions of the inside and many photos of that too,” she said.

The log cabin, about three metres wide, five metres long and three metres high, were not meant to stand forever, said Henry.

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“It was an initial build for people who were settling the area,” she explained.

Early settlers to the area built these cabins so they had a place to live temporarily while they built their actual homes.

Then they might have used the cabins as a barn before they would dismantle them, said Henry.

Although there is still a lot of rural area in Maple Ridge where these log cabins could be hiding, Henry confirms they are pretty rare.

“We were pretty lucky to see one and get it documented,” she said.

The most interesting thing about this find, Henry continued, was how it had been maintained and modernized over the years.

There were hand-hewn logs on the inside of the structure, but modern two-by-four’s had been used to repair the cabin. At one time the structure was placed on a cement floor foundation.

“It was really a conglomeration of the last hundred and so years of use,” she noted.

The team also discovered a few sets of initials carved on the inside walls that Henry has not been able to match a person to. However, she acknowledged, she doesn’t know when those initials were placed there, either.

Henry was very happy with the system that allowed to team to document the building.

“Sometimes historic buildings go and we don’t know about it and it’s too late. At the very least now, there’s photos here in the archives and they are documented and digitized,” said the director of the museum.

The best place to contact about historical buildings, added Henry, is the Community Heritage Commission, that keeps lists and tallies of all the old buildings in the city.

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A modern two-by-four holds the logs together. (Maple Ridge Museum/Special to The News)

Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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