Dosewallips, day 3, Interrorem Ranger Cabin

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Doesn’t this cabin look sweet?  It’s the Interrorem Ranger Cabin in the Olympic National Forest.  You can read a bit about it here.  And I’ll tell you more below.

Early this morning, I set off from the Dosewallips State Park in the big white truck to see this cabin and to take a nice long hike (a real hike which you’ll hear about in a later post).  On my drive out of the campground, there were the Elk, again!  They had slept overnight in a ball field or playground type of area just on the west side of the Ranger’s office.  I could have taken photos, but frankly I was tired of taking photos of them.  How goofy is that?

Outside the State Park, I headed south on Highway 101 to the turnoff onto Duckabush River Road.  The Duckabush area was named by the original Twana people, who called it dohiaboos, which translates to “a reddish face” in reference to red cliffs in the area.  The original word doesn’t have a thing to do with ducks or bushes, tho I kind of like the word “Duckabush”.

About four miles up the Duckabush River Road, this Interrorem Ranger Cabin sits off to the left in this really pretty setting.  The cabin was built in 1907 by Emery J. Finch, Ranger, as the first administrative site of the then brand new Olympic National Forest.  There’s a wikipedia article about the Olympic National Forest here.  This cabin is the oldest Forest Service dwelling on the Olympic Peninsula.

The Interrorem Cabin can be rented through the Forest Service Cabin Rental Program,  A stay in the cabin today will take you back to an era without electricity, a flush toilet, or any water plumbed into the cabin.  There’s a vault toilet several yards away from the back door, there’s propane heat and cooking inside, and there’s a hand pump for water several yards away from the front door.  The cabin can be rented year-round, although the water pump is locked and its handle removed during the off-season … pack in your own water!

Enlarge the two photos below to read more, including why the cabin was named “Interrorem”.

There were lots of informational signs outside the cabin.  Several websites mention old photos and historic information inside the cabin too, all describing everyday life when Ranger Finch brought his bride Maybelle Peterson to live in the cabin in 1908.

Here’s the locked/chained water pump (above).  On the side of the pump, it says:

Ranger Emery Finch, who built this cabin and was an avid fisherman, was also responsible for blazing the Ranger Hole Trail, a path to his favorite fishing spot on the Duckabush River.  It’s that trail that I hiked today all the way out to the fishing hole after I had explored the area around the cabin.  The photo above is of an old bench that snuggles in amongst the greenery just past the start of that trail.  I can imagine folks back in the early 1900’s, on a hot summer day, grabbing some ice cold water from that hand pump, resting a spell on this bench, then heading on out the trail to catch themselves a mess of trout at the Ranger Hole on the Duckabush River.  I’ll take you along on my hike out there in my next post.

In the meantime, here’s an outstanding video about the National Forest Service and all of the water on NFS land.

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8 Responses to Dosewallips, day 3, Interrorem Ranger Cabin

  1. Such a beautiful place. I think the cabin would be nice to stay in for a few days. Similar to camping but with a roof. Sure is pretty around there. Here we’re getting snow again. Which is also pretty but, as you, I’m tired of photographing it!

    • Ann says:

      I think your snow and ice photographs are beautiful, Dawn. I keep wanting more. Maybe it’s kind of like the Elk … I am almost (not quite, but almost) tired of them. Good things should be doled out in small amounts so we appreciate them. And yes, I too wanted to stay in the cabin for a few days and thought how beautiful it would be there when it snowed! haha! It does seem like such a cozy place, doesn’t it.

  2. Sondra says:

    The cabin is in remarkable shape, I could enjoy a stay there no problems!

  3. Ginger D says:

    So many unusual names on the roads, and camp grounds. The cabin is pretty cool, although I would have a problem staying there without a flush toilet inside. I know, I am spoiled. Lol.

    • Ann says:

      Oh I had the same thought about the flush toilet, Ginger, especially if I had to get up at 3am and walk out into the woods to get to the vault toilet … yikes! 🙂 Might just set up a bucket for nighttime use.
      I do love the original, native place names hereabouts and wish we used more of them rather than using the names that the British Admiralty gave things when they were exploring the area. Puget Sound is named after Peter Puget who was a British naval officer. Must admit, I always thought the name “Peter Puget” would make a great kids’ book, it’s just so cute. 😉 Maybe name a tugboat after him or something.

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