Dall De Weese named Emma Lake for his wife Emma, the first
woman hunter on the Kenai Peninsula, in the fall of 1898.
Joesp Secora built the Emma Lake cabin sometime after World
War II. During the war, Joe was assigned to the Army Air Corps Land Rescue
Squads in Alaska, a group organized to rescue aviators forced down in Alaska's
After the war, Joe chose the Tustumena lake region to call
home. He built three cabins, one on the shores of Emma Lake, another on upper
Indian River, and finished a pre-constructed cabin on Tustumena Lake. Joe
was a gold miner, whose claim extended from the outlet of Emma Lake to Indian
River. He actively mined this area for thirty years throughout the winter
and summer months. On February 23, 1972, Joe died in an airplane accident
near the forks of Indian River along with his friend and pilot, Wayne
Bishop. The craftsmanship of the cabin shows in the hand-sawn planks, and
split log chinking.
NARRATIVE DESCRIPTION: The Emma Lake cabin is a one-story
log cabin consisting of a single rectangular room and an arctic entry. The
cabin is located within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on the shores of
Emma Lake. The cabin is on a hill in a stand of mixed birch and spruce
trees. The Emma Lake cabin condition is classified as standing
"good" with some alteration since construction.
The Emma Lake cabin is built of local spruce logs cut in the
area by ax and crosscut saw. The foundation of the cabin consists of sill logs
placed directly on the ground without a prepared foundation. The outside
dimensions of the single room cabin are 12 feet 11 ½ inches wide by 12 feet
long. An arctic entry is located on the facade (East) elevation and the
outside dimensions of the arctic entry are 13 feet 2 ½ inches wide by 6 feet 7
inches long. The arctic entry has a door opening on the east elevation and
does not have any window openings. The one sided spruce logs have been
peeled of all bark. The logs diameter average 10 ½ inches at the butt end
and 7 ½ inches at the tip. The cabin is chinked with oakum and split
chinking. The logs are joined at the corners with a square notch. The
facade and west elevations have 14 courses of logs and the north and south elevation
have 9 courses of logs, all set horizontally. The arctic entry is built
with a mix of vertical split logs, and horizontal logs.
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