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  • Sandra Cesca

My Mountain Cabin Experience of 1935.

Instead of focusing on a person with this story, I want to focus on an era going back to the early nineteen hundreds. I spent a week in July with my family at their hunting and fishing cabins near Mt. Lassen National Park in northern California. This for me was a step back in time to the days when men gathered in remote cabins on scenic lakes to hunt and fish. The great grandfather and 10 friends of my extended family bought up 25 acres of pristine pine and glacier creek land in 1935. At that time there were only a couple rustic cabins, others having been added, so now there are eleven along with a small lake and large, green area called “the meadows.” Smiling down from all directions is snow-covered Mt. Lassen.

Over time, these rough and rugged men brought their women with them who had to learn to cook on wood-burning stoves and get used to the outhouse, no electricity, and no heat except for the large fireplaces which were also used for heating pots of beans and stew. Water was taken from the crystal clear creek. Wood-chopping was a daily activity.

So not much had changed when we spent our week there in July! Wood cook stove, water pump in the kitchen which drew from an underground well, and the outhouse experience! We did have an indoor toilet for night time use only. Solar panels have been added along with a generator. But the view is still awesome, snow still on the mountains even in July, and tasty trout from the lake enhanced our breakfast eggs and dinner dishes.

I tried fishing, caught two which decided to leave my hook before I could bring them in! Water too cold for swimming…have to wait probably until August. Cold at night so few mosquitos. I wore three layers of clothes, a wool hat, two blankets and a sleeping bag. We bathed using hot water from the stove and a quick wash. The two little boys with us got to sit in the old tin wash tubs for a full bath in front of the fire.

All in all a lovely week but I could not stop thinking of those hearty women back in the 30’s and 40’s who came up here with their men to hunt and fly fish and use the early simple cabins with their basic amenities while enjoying the splendor of their natural surroundings. I probably could not have done it. Well, maybe…….

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