A cherished historic cabin that once belonged to a trapper and prospector in British Columbia's Creston Valley has burned to the ground, just two months after a local Rotary Club completed some restoration work on it.
On Sept. 29 at around 2:30 a.m., RCMP responded to a call about a fire at Jordan's Cabin, located east of the Salmo-Creston summit on Highway 3. By the time emergency responders arrived, the fire had completely enveloped the one-room log home. Now, nothing but ashes and a few singed trees remain.
"The community has really taken it hard because it's been there a number of years and it really speaks to the history of the valley," said Creston RCMP Staff Sgt. Ryan Currie.
The fire must have been set by someone in the cabin, Currie said, although it's not clear to investigators if that was intentional or not.
Ed Jordan, Creston Valley pioneer
According to the Creston Valley Rotary Club, the cabin was once home to Ed Jordan, a trapper and prospector who lived in it from 1923 to 1942 and was well-known in the area.
Jordan was 67 when he died in the cabin on Aug. 27, 1942. He had hurt himself and lay in pain for a week before writing a final note in his diary: "Good-bye friends — I am going to resort to the gun."
He was buried next to the cabin, with a rustic cedar cross placed at the head of the grave.
Volunteers with the Creston Valley Rotary Club first restored the cabin in 1996 with a new roof. This past August, volunteers returned to clean up the site. Their work included clearing the underbrush and cutting the lower branches off the nearby firs.
Dave Handy, president of the Creston Valley Rotary Club, says that recent restoration work may have drawn attention to the cabin and led to its demise.
Handy says everyone was glad to see the fire didn't spread any further and prompt a wildfire.
"We were going up there to try and prevent any fire from the cabin from taking the forest down, but then ... the restoration work prevented a forest fire," he said.
Given the historic nature of the cabin, Handy says, it would be impossible to rebuild.