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A History of Nurses Cabin


HISTORY: The Nurses Cabin was built in the 1940's by two young women, Vera Liebel and "Doug" Barnsley, who were employed as nurses at the Libby and Libby cannery, at the mouth of Kasilof River. 

While working at the cannery they envisioned living in the Tustumena Lake region and with the help of a local trapper, "Windy" Wagner, they built this cabin on the shores of Tustumena Lake.

If you have information, photographs or stories regarding this cabin, (or any other cabins) please contact the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

NARRATIVE DESCRIPTION: The Nurses 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 Tustumena Lake. The Nurses cabin condition is classified as standing "fair" with some alteration since construction.

The Nurses cabin is built of spruce logs cut in the area by ax and crosscut saw. The cabin is approximately 72 feet from the shore of Tustumena Lake. 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 wide by 14 feet long. An arctic entry is located on the facade (west) elevation and the outside diameter is 7 feet 9 ½ inches wide by 7 feet 3 inches long. The arctic entry has a door opening on the south elevation and does not have any window openings. The round spruce logs have been peeled of all bark. The logs diameter average 6 ½ inches at the butt end and 5 ½ inches at the tip. The cabin is chinked with native moss. The logs are joined at the corners with a false corner notching called a round corner post. The facade and east elevations have approximately 19 courses of logs and the north and south elevation have approximately 15 courses of logs, all set horizontally. The arctic entry is built out of a combination of vertical split logs, horizontal logs, and sawed boards.

Last Updated: Jul 02, 2012
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