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Westlake Lodge 1939 - 1986

Vancouver Man’s Log Cabin Built Entirely by Hand

B. E. S. Roberts

He’s a self-reliant young man of 25, with a love of the outdoors and resourcefulness which he has demonstrated on the North Shore hills.

Fred Jones of West Lake had no experience in the woods until three years ago. But two summers ago he tackled, virtually single-handed, the construction of a log cabin 70 by 30 feet and two storeys high.*

He had the assistance of his father, two· axes, saws, a peavey**, block and tackle, hammer. His Vancouver Technical School; training was valuable, especially when it came to hoisting into position a 44-foot ridge pole, weighing a quarter ton.

The venture started when his brother, Harry, and a few friends, decided to build: a small cabin. Fred went up to see their early efforts, took one look, said, "No, I don't think that’s quite right . . .” and finished their cabin which: many hikers and skiers now know intimately.

The first part, 40 feet long, was put up summer before last, and finished late in the fall. The second part, 30 feet long was completed last summer.

Only two important components of the lodge were packed up the hill - the flooring and windows. Everything else was carved out of trees at the site - shakes for the roof, split cedar for doors, half-logs for the stairway.

In the first section the ground floor is given over to a gathering place for hikers and skiers. Here they eat their lunches, dry their clothes before the roaring fires. The second floor is filled with bunks - accommodation for 70 overnight guests.

The main floor of the smaller, newer section is devoted to cookstoves and tables – the kitchen where overnight guests prepare their own meals from the grub supply they have packed up the hill.

That's child's play to Fred. Packing heavy canned goods, tools, equipment, supplies of one kind or another, his lanky legs make quick work of the mountain trail. There are those who will agree with him that this trail is 45 minutes from the British Properties road. But there are many more who multiply that time by two, three or even more.

In Winter, when there's plenty of snow and the hillsides are covered with skiers,

More than likely you'll find Fred in the ski house, fitting up some youngster for her first skiing; you'll hear: "Fred; will you wax my skis?" "Fred, will you fix this for me?" "Fred, how's the snow on the Shoulder?" "Fred, did you get the new tip on for me?"

Anyone else but Fred would probably be a bit daft, and good reason, among such a hubbub from morning till night. But spring, summer and winter find him working on improvements to the lodge, clearing a ski run. or fixing the trail.

* The Hollyburn Ski Lodge is 75 by 25 feet and one storey high with an attic used as a dormitory and storage space.

** An implement consisting of a wooden shaft with a metal point and a hinged hook near the end, used to handle logs.

Photo Group 1: Westlake Lodge 1947 - Fred & Ethel Jones Collection

Photo Group 2: Westlake Lodge - 1940's

Photo Group 3: Westlake Lodge - late 1940's to 1982

Photo Group 4: Westlake Lodge Fire - November 1986