The Cabin

It has stood for 95 years. Made of studs and pine board. It was erected on the edge of a ridge, overlooking the Tule River canyon. It was built by my great-grandparents, Owen and Barbara Flynn.

Originally it had one room and a deck. The deck was a multipurpose room with beds for sleeping and table sets for eating. The term “table sets” is a tad misleading. In 1923 they were rough hewed logs held together by six inch iron nails. But my great-grandmother, so she told me, always had a tablecloth and napkins to go with the plates and silverware. Some of that silverware is still in use.

Dinner usually came from the Tule River. Late afternoon through early evening was the best time to catch a fish or two.  And the men would head down the canyon to try their luck and feed the family. The river was and is the life blood of the place called Camp Nelson. It provides water, food, entertainment and solace. The sound of that river put many people to sleep after a day of hiking and an evening of fishing, cards and campfires.

2014-08-09 17.58.08

Tule River, 2014 near “the swimmin’ hole”

There was also the obligatory swim. The summers are hot and the area is dusty. The way to cool off is to walk down to the swimming hole. That place consists of a natural cascade, a deep pool (suitable for jumping into the water- and, no, you can’t dive!), and a dam built by humans. The water comes from high in the Sierra Nevada and was freezing. But, as kids, in we jumped anyway.

Sometimes we just sat and watched the water, the lady bugs, or the sky. The shade, the water, the moss and the giant redwoods created a spot of complete serenity.

It was also a great fishing hole. There were places where the wise fisher-person could hide from the all seeing fish, thus having a better chance of snagging dinner. That was the reason that mothers insisted that the kids (and anyone else swimming there) wear tennis shoes in the water.

The Cabin is bigger now. Its alterations began almost at once when a bedroom, a sort of lean-to attached to the main room, was added. That also brought an INDOOR bathroom! In the sixties a real bedroom and modern bathroom replaced the rickety attachments. The six foot, claw-footed, porcelain bathtub, hauled up the mountain in 1923, was saved and remains a wonderful place to soak in warm water!

Lately, a real, live, completely operational modern kitchen was added. The deck was been expanded. One can still sleep there on a bed that has been there longer than anyone can remember.

2014-08-09 18.08.31

Days are still spent in the hammock, on the deck, hiking to the Giant Sequoias, or walking to the river to swim or fish. There are card games and board games and old books. Being bored at the cabin is hard to do.

In five years the cabin will celebrate its hundredth birthday. I think we ought to celebrate that.


Categories: Camp Nelson, Family, Swimming, Tule River, UncategorizedTags: , , ,


  1. Such wonderful photos and memories! A hundred years is definitely something to celebrate! ♥.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. that sounds like a beautiful place to spend time

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Really enjoy reading your stories 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a brilliant place for your family to enjoy. So full of memories too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Celebration definitely in order. What memories!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a gorgeous place — and what beautiful memories you hold of it. I don’t know why, but it especially touched me that some of the silverware is still in use. What a tangible, intimate connection to those who went before …

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sounds like a real treasure.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The history of our country that will be remembered, loved, and cherished. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This cabin could tell many stories. How great it is still in the family.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am trying to find a copy of a poem written by my grandfather about the mice in Cese’s house (Cese was my great-grandmother). It tells one of the thousands of tales that cabin holds. Thank you for reading this. I really do appreciate it!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Most definitely worth a celebration, what a lovely getaway. Maybe even more so with indoor plumping.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Such a wonderful place to spend time there reflecting on life and just being in the moment!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you! I have spent many hours hiking that area of the Sierras.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Yes it is! The walls in that cabin have a lot to tell.


  15. I imagine it is not hard to do, such beautiful country. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Such a beautiful place with so much memories. A celebration is in order. #seniorsalon

    Liked by 1 person

  17. How serene it feels, and looks, and sounds . . . A sense of “place” has long been important to me as well. (It’d make a great AirBnB spot. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. It would except it is 15 winding miles from anywhere. It would be a place to come and stay rather than a hub. It is also a tad difficult to get to with just a dirt road for the last mile. I love it but it is clearly not for everyone! hehehe


  19. Oops! I thought I was answering on the post about Lake Mueller. The difference between my home and the cabin isn’t much. We can’t AirBnB the cabin as it is on US Forestry Land. We do have a steady stream of friends and family that use it. It is a place that I can go to just think and be. I treasure it.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. We too are a mile and a half off the last paved road. We emphasize serenity and getting “unplugged.” Seems to work, and we love meeting new people from other walks of life (we get a lot of “Québécois”). Just an aside. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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