An original Whistler cabin moves north 

It’s amazing what you can find under the "Free Stuff " section of the Classifieds these days. Recently, one ad in particular caught my eye:

FREE CABIN: 2-storey, charming, loft cabin, 1,200 sq. ft. You remove from site by May 20. Call…

An authentic log cabin, free for the taking, required further investigation.

It didn’t come as a complete shock to discover that yet another Whistler log cabin was being demolished. Over time, these rustic buildings are turning into obsolete historical objects that get replaced by newer, more luxurious dwellings.

The 100-year old cabin that sat at 7326 Toni Sailer Lane in White Gold, was scheduled for demolition this spring. The current owners, Caronne and David Marino purchased the run-down cabin in 2001 from Greg Pickwell, and immediately fell in love with the cabin’s rustic ambience and magic.

"We were immediately captured by the cabin’s charm, cosiness and privacy," said David.

The 1,200 square- foot cabin was built entirely of round logs, rising eight logs high and sealed with cement chinking. The roof was gabled and clad with cedar shingles. Other features included original window frames, brick fireplace and exterior stone chimney. A plywood floor had been laid over the original floor and the kitchen still displayed its original cupboards and shelves. An old bathtub, dating back to 1952, was recently acquired by local restaurateur Uli Schnur, who hopes to install the tub in his own holiday cabin.

"We really loved this place, but after spending two cosy, but extremely cold winters in the cabin, we decided it was time to build something better suited for Whistler’s climate," said Caronne.

Their family’s life-long dream of building a new home on the lot is finally coming true.

It was the couple’s deep attachment to this cabin that led them to place a "free" ad in the local paper in the hopes of attracting someone interested in moving the cabin to a vacant lot. The ad prompted more than 20 responses from interested locals. The Marinos are happy to say that the cabin will live on.

The cabin was recently turned over to Pemberton resident Tom Robbins, who plans to restore and rebuild the cabin to its original splendour for his in-laws.

There is strong reason to believe that this log cabin dates back to the period between 1914 and 1925 and may have been part of the old Rainbow Lodge settlement on Alta Lake in the days of Myrtle Philip. The log cabin was dismantled and moved to its current location in White Gold sometime in the early 1970s by its then-owner Willy Kestner. The cabin’s simple but stable design permitted its enlargement over time. The cabin’s exterior structure and property records indicate that the cabin’s living space was enlarged sometime in 1974 with the addition of a second storey, complete with a dormer and two bedrooms. Over the years, the cabin has seen its share of owners, hippies and partiers come through its doors.

Although it was too late to preserve this particular cabin, we hope to document other such cabins in the valley in the future. If anyone had the opportunity to visit this cabin and would like to share any old memories, we would appreciate hearing from you at .

This story is part of the Vanishing Places project, a co-operative effort between Pique Newsmagazine and the Whistler Museum and Archives Society aimed at keeping Whistler’s heritage alive.

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