Kirkland’s cabin, name stuck

The place was built as a hunting cabin in 1930 by three young men, located on the south slopes of the Golden Ears mountains.

Kirkland’s cabin in the late 1940s.

Many hikers, Rovers, Girl Guides and Boy Scouts remember staying overnight in Kirkland’s cabin, a rustic structure that stood near Lake Beautiful on the way to Battery Mountain.

According to scouting historian Chris Guedes, it should probably have been known as Howe or Ferguson cabin.

The late Don Merkley told Guedes that the place was built as a hunting cabin in 1930 by three young men: Hugh Howe, Hector Ferguson and Aubrey Kirkland.

The cabin was located in the area where the Abernethy and Lougheed Logging Company had recently finished its railroad logging on the south slopes of the Golden Ears mountains.

It was not yet parkland, so was open to hunting.

The story goes that Howe paid for most of the cabin materials and hired Ferguson to do the building. He would hike there after work to continue construction until dark, so did most of the building.

Meanwhile, Kirkland spent his social time in the Maple Ridge Hotel beer parlour, boasting about “his” cabin in the mountains.

The name stuck, and it has always been referred to as Kirkland’s cabin.

Scouts, Girl Guides and Rovers began using ‘their’ cabin starting in 1937. A notice in the June 23, 1939 Gazette newspaper invited hikers to an open house to celebrate the second anniversary of the scout cabin “in the foothills of Alouette Mountain.”

There was no road access to the Golden Ears area in those days, so hikers usually followed the abandoned railway grades previously used by the logging company.

Scouts and Rovers who have used the cabin remember it contained two large shelves on which a number of people could spread out their sleeping bags.  There was a pot bellied stove for cooking and heat.

It was the custom of the time to leave the cabin neat and tidy after each use, with a fresh supply of firewood for the stove.

Apparently when Scouts and Girl Guides used the cabin, Marjorie Saunders would come along to act as chaperone.

Recently, Doreen McPherson discovered four snapshots of Kirkland’s cabin in a bible belonging to her late husband, Fred McPherson. These photos were taken in the late 1940s, when Fred McPherson was a patrol leader in the Scouts.

In one image, McPherson, his troop leader Alan Luck and another patrol leader, Bill Mundell, are seen on the top of Battery Mountain with the Needle in the background. This level space where they sat was later the site of a cairn, built and rebuilt by succeeding groups of Rovers.

People may remember McPherson from the time he worked in his father’s restaurant, the Paradise Inn, or his longer career as an agent for Haney Realty.

Doreen McPherson worked for a time in the Eaton’s catalogue office on 224th Street.

Anyone trying to find Kirkland’s cabin today will be disappointed.  After the Golden Ears area became a provincial park in the late 1950s with road access, more people could enter the area. The cabin was vandalized from time to time.

In the 1970s, park staff took the cabin down.


Sheila Nickols is past-president of the Maple Ridge Historical Society.

Just Posted

First two days of advance voting up 25 per cent

Polls busy including Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge

Council wants more details on Maple Ridge transport plan

Wants clarification from TransLink on roads, mass transit

Premier in Maple Ridge for new school announcement

Horgan at new school opening, announces funding to buy new site

Knights junior bantams move into first place

Ridge Meadows gets huge 62-0 win over Chilliwack Giants

BEING YOUNG: Holiday jobs key for many youth

Young people have much to offer employers, even on a part-time basis

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize U.S. voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

$100,000 reward for B.C. gangster extended to United States

Police belive fugitive Conor D’Monte may be in the Los Angeles area

Emily Carr University closed Sunday after fire causes some damage

The school is working with Vancouver police to assist their investigation into the fire

Alberta to join B.C.’s class-action lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, distributors

B.C. government claims opioids were falsely marketed as less addictive than other pain meds

Most Read