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East Mineral King 17


Then

Now

The Montgomery Cabin

Nora Pogue and R.B. Montgomery built their summer home in 1912 on the site of the tent in which they had honeymooned eight years earlier. In the interim, they had occupied a tiny one-room miner's shack on the same lot, but their growing family called for a more spacious quarters. The new board and batten cabin was constructed of lumber from Atwell Mill and incorporated an iron fireplace facing, and a chimney pipe from the old smelter that once had processed ore from the Empire Mine. Wood panels around the fireplace were etched with drawings of trees and cones, and an appropriate passage from Omar Khayyam's Ribaiyat, "Ah Wilderness were Paradise Enow."

The Montgomery cabin has changed little in the past 90 years. In 1946 an open porch was converted to a kitchen and bath, a bedroom added and the loft sealed off with knotty pine paneling, but outwardly the structure closely resembles its 1912 photograph. It is still lit with antique liquid gas lamps and meals are still prepared on a 115-year-old wood-burning stove. There is no phone nor refrigerator. "Ah Wilderness" still presides over the fireplace. The Montgomery daughter, Florence, now 97, and grandchildren Jane Coughran and Bruce Montgomery share the cabin with family and friends.

Cabin history courtesy of The Cabins of Mineral King, by Jana Botkin and Jane Coughran, published by Cabinart Books, 1998. Used by permission.

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