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A History of Lake Emma Cabin


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 rugged terrain. 

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.

Last Updated: Jul 02, 2012
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