Gatekeeper's Cabin at North Rim Entrance — 1937 (top right)
The Gatekeeper's Cabin at the North Rim entrance to Grand Canyon National Park as it appeared in 1937. (Source: Grand Canyon National Park Museum)

Current Perspective of Gatekeeper's Cabin (top left)
The Gatekeeper's Cabin in its current state of disrepair due to extreme temperatures at the North Rim and insect infestations. Note the deterioration of the log ends and window frame. (Source: Aurora Foods, Inc.)

Log Cabin Syrup on the Trail (bottom)
Introduced in 1887, Log Cabin syrup was a national favorite at the time the National Park System was being developed. Pictured here (lower left) is a log cabin syrup tin used in camp by President Theodore Roosevelt, three Navajo men and trail party at Grand Canyon National Park, circa 1913. (Source: Grand Canyon National Park Museum)

 

 


Gatekeeper's Cabin, Grand Canyon National Park

The Restoration of America's Log Cabins program started in 1998 with the restoration of the historic gatekeeper's cabin at the entrance to the north rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Also known as the entrance cabin, it housed the park ranger who welcomed visitors to the park and collected entrance fees. The cabin also functioned as quarters for the employee who staffed the fire lookout tower near the cabin. Ranger Marv Adams, fire lookout from 1933 to 1940, occupied the cabin with his wife. During the winter, the north rim closes due to heavy snowfall. It was the job of ranger Adams and ranger Warren Hamilton, another north rim inhabitant in the 1930s, to shovel snow off the roof of the gatekeeper's cabin for fear it would collapse. The gatekeeper's cabin represents Rustic style log architecture. A true American style, it evolved during a renaissance in log construction during the late 19th century when wealthy industrialists built log cabin "hideaways." Today the tradition of log architecture still continues.

The gatekeeper's cabin remains a residence for park staff. Employees continue to call it home during the summer as they perform vital work to help preserve the park's wonders. As the years passed, the cabin deteriorated due to the extreme freeze-thaw cycle at the north rim. Log ends had rotted, chinking between logs eroded, the gable wall collapsed and the roof needed replacement — common problems for a log structure.

To save the gatekeeper's cabin, National Park Service professionals thoroughly rehabilitated the building. To maintain its historic integrity, special techniques and materials were used to restore the cabin as closely as possible to its original state.

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