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Tiny Cabin Discovered in Arcata Community Forest

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Mark Andre was marking trees in one of the Arcata Community Forest’s most remote sections recently when he happened upon something that wasn’t there the last time he’d been in the area. That was back in 1985, when Arcata’s Environmental Services director was a city forest technician.

It was a cabin. And not the usual ramshackle, trash-strewn heap of debris, but a proper house, constructed, if not for the ages, for more than just a brief stay.

Tiny Cabin Discovered in Arcata Community Forest

Tiny Cabin Discovered in Arcata Community Forest

Images © Kevin L. Hoover/MadRiverUnion

Tiny Cabin Discovered in Arcata Community Forest

Images © Kevin L. Hoover/MadRiverUnion

Learn more: http://madriverunion.com/cabin-discovered-in-arcata-community-forest/

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Doris
    August 1, 2015, 4:58 pm

    So that’s where my ex-husband went.

    • Donna
      August 1, 2015, 9:27 pm

      lol Doris!

    • Varenikje
      August 2, 2015, 7:18 pm


  • Lynne
    August 1, 2015, 5:00 pm

    If you go to the link above, you’ll see that they are going to (probably already have) bulldoze this! Because, camping there is “illegal” (some commenters dispute this, saying that it is RESIDING is what is illegal). But most of all, because they have logging scheduled.

    Ironic, isn’t it – yet, sad to say, I’m not surprised to read this. Angry – furious, yes – but not surprised.

    Seems like the priorities of our era seem always to be centered around monetary profit.

  • Lucy GW
    August 1, 2015, 5:59 pm

    This is really a hard one to “call.”
    After reading the newspaper article, Yes, it could belong to a free spirit seeking solitude, and yes, it could also belong to a future Unabomber or ex-con unable to find housing. There are certain things stereotypical of “cell mentality” and ingenuity about the whole scenario (I work with offenders.)

    Overall, though, it doesn’t have to be removed. Exceptions can be made by the bureaucrats responsible, if they want to bother. I live in an area with heavy forestry industry, and for at least forty years that I know of, they have logged and bulldozed AROUND a small long-abandoned backwoods church and a very old house in two different remote locations.
    The problem arises with clear-cut property exposing the structures between plantings, even a mile from any road. Previous generations respected the structures but the church and house both have now been vandalized. The church has been picked clean of bricks, woodwork, the pews, etcetera, between cuttings.
    So it’s a hard choice for anyone, but I’d still vote to leave it alone or move it elsewhere. I doubt if the owner will come back now. They’ve probably watched the whole thing unfold.

  • Suze O
    August 1, 2015, 9:19 pm

    This reminds me of a nicely built little cabin, complete with a little wood stove, kitchen utensils, an upper loft with wall-to-wall foam for tossing sleeping bags onto and a camper-style bench and table that also converted into a bed – tucked into the woods just off a stretch of the wild beaches of Washington State (which are now part of Olympic National Park). It was obviously made using driftwood from the beach. There was a lime-compost outhouse and a sign saying to alway leave a little firewood under the porch to stay dry for the next person. I was with a group of hikers who took refuge there in a sudden storm, and I can say it was dry, toasty and definitely a labor of love. No one ever saw the owner, but the door was always open – and I never saw any vandalism.
    There is, however, a rule in National Parks that there not be an enclosed shelter unless it is a designated historic building. Otherwise, shelters can only be three-sided. The Park Service notified the owner that the cabin was illegal, and he came and got his wood stove before it was demolished. It seems sad, but they can’t make exceptions, and they would have been held responsible if someone had been injured. The rules are the rules, and illegal is still illegal, even if lovingly built. I DO hope the man rebuilt the structure on his own property; it was a lovely little thing.

    • Varenikje
      August 2, 2015, 7:24 pm

      Olympic National Park, wow. Like you say, I guess, rules are rules.

  • TJ Houston
    August 2, 2015, 12:33 am

    I don’t know about anybody else, but I found this article and some of the comments depressing. “And your little dog too”!!!

  • Brian
    August 2, 2015, 2:19 pm

    Amazing and it sure beats living under a bridge. Someone suddenly homeless has used their imagination to build themselves a very usable shelter (that’s how I see it). I would love to know the persons story. Thanks for sharing and cheers from Australia

    • Steve in Palm Bay
      August 2, 2015, 5:04 pm

      WHEW!!! A close there! The very thought of someone trying to live free from watchful eyes of Big Government! Politicians everywhere can breathe a well-earned sigh of relief! Perhaps they can award the Order of Lenin to those who ratted this guy out. Now they can get back to important stuff like having obese bureaucrats tell us eat.

      • Brian
        August 2, 2015, 5:40 pm

        I was just wondering Steve why you assumed it was built by a man ? Its very neat and tidy, well organised, Nicely put together, Well thought out and…….well it just could have been built by a man then.

  • Sondra
    August 3, 2015, 1:10 pm

    What’s really sad is their whole life’s worth is in that cabin, hence the lock, and they will lose that on top of their home. I feel for this person.

  • Elizabeth hoover
    June 17, 2018, 4:26 pm

    This could be designated as a historical land mark if old enough. The said I believe that it wasn’t there last time they were there. I doubt it. It was there they just didn’t see it.

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