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KENAI: Refuge Cabins are a Model for Historic Resource Protection
Alaska Region, May 1, 2005
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The Kenai NWR has completed a Programmatic Agreement with the Alaska Office of History and Archaeology to record and interpret the remains of over 130 known historic cabins scattered across the Refuge. Only about a dozen are still standing, but they all record the activities of Dena?ina Athabascan, and Euro-American homesteaders, trappers, hunters, miners and assorted dreamers throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The standing cabins have been restored as public recreation cabins.

In some cases the belongings of the builders were still present inside the cabin providing a unique window into the lives of these individuals and the time period. Under the terms of the Agreement, archaeologists will record every known cabin and ruin and then document the history. They will compile old photographs and documents, as well as personal interviews, to tell the story of the Euro-American settlement of the Kenai Peninsula and the opening of Alaska. This project is unique. Nowhere else have we restored useable cabins and then gone the extra step of recording all of our ruins in a comprehensive program to understand and appreciate all of the historic resources on one refuge.

Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov



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