This cabin, possibly the oldest in the Canyon Creek drainage, is a symbol of the area's rich gold mining history. The cabin was built and used by the first generation of Canyon Creek miners. Northern European craftsmanship went into the construction of this cabin. The corner logs were dovetailed and hand-hewn. The ridgepole was hewn to fit the shape of the roof's peak. Horizontal logs were rounded on the outside of the building and hewn flat on the inside. Cloth and caribou skin were used for chinking.

The cabin was most likely built before 1900 by L.H. Lauritsen. Born in Denmark in 1869, Lauritsen first staked claims on Canyon Creek in 1898. Although he stayed in the Hope-Sunrise district, he staked and worked on various lode and placer claims on the eastern Kenai Peninsula. Jack and Polly Renner, for whom famous claims were named; stayed in Lauritsen's cabin around 1898. Lauritsen' and Renner were mining partners. Lauritsen died in 1924 on Canyon Creek at a mining camp 50 miles or more north from Seward, presumably in the cabin he had built. After Lauritsen's death other miners occupied the cabin.

The cabin was rehabilitated by the U.S. Forest Service in 2002. Crews repaired the roof, replaced the floor, and replaced the lower logs that were deteriorating. They also replaced a window and door with materials replicating the era. Linda Yarborough, archaeologist for the Chugach National Forest, says that during restoration, workers' discovered a child's pencil drawing of a horse and wagon on the wall. As they excavated the floor of the cabin, they discovered a small square storage space. They also found graffiti from 1917 written by a U.S.G.S. surveyor in pencil on the back of a cabin door.

The cabin is accessible from the Seward Highway at approximately milepost 47 between Lower Summit Lake and a state gravel pit. Visitors can park in the gravel pit and walk one quarter mile down a rough road that leads to Lake Creek. A left hand turn on the trail before crossing Lake Creek leads to the cabin.

Getting There

Latitude: 60.655601
Longitude: -149.480538
Driving Directions