Construction of Harrison Hut

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The following text is transcribed from VOC Journal 23. In the spirit of preserving the original author's work, please do not edit it except to correct copy mistakes.

Initial prospecting

Prefabrication of the hut being done at some VOCer's place

After some searching for a new cabin site, a location in the Overseer area was selected because of its potential for skiing and its proximity to the Meager Creek Hotsprings.

Sections of the hut being airlifted to Meager Creek Hotsprings

As for obtaining a lease for the land, at times it seemed like it would never be approved. The original building date in September (1983) came and passed. Then, finally, a temporary lease came through, and it was decided to build the cabin on Thanksgiving weekend. If we were lucky there would be no snow.

Preparing the site

After some preparation work, a hike went into the site on the 24th and 25th of September for a final evaluation of the site and to build the foundations. It may sound easy moving a few rocks and cutting down a couple of trees. But trying to move an eighteen foot section of water logged tree across a rushing creek is not something you do every day. By noon Sunday, most of the chain sawing, planing and rock hauling was complete, allowing most of the group time to explore the area for a couple of hours. By midafternoon, Brian, Pierre and I (John Croockewit) had finished the foundation so we quickly departed. Our route out was an exploratory trek down the other side of the river valley which proved to be less enjoyable than our route in.

VOCers hard at work on the Harrison Hut

In the ensuing weeks the design was finalized and materials ordered. This, along with pre-building the end walls, kept a few of us busy.

Construction begins

Side walls being installed

Well, the big weekend finally arrived. After many loading delays we left Vancouver. It was 3am on Saturday before everyone got to the hotsprings. Saturday morning rolled around cold and clear, a beautiful day for flying. Twelve of us decided to fly in; the five minutes flight was almost too short to enjoy fully, but it sure beat a 5-hour bushwack. The material was flown in without a hitch and construction started immediately. After a few problems, such as building the joist box upside down, things went smoothly. And by the time the rest of the crew arrived, the glulams were up and the roof building started. By then it was late, time for dinner, and choosing which of the numerous tents you were going to sleeping in.

As evening fell, storm clouds rolled in, threatening our project. But by morning a sprinkle of snow and clear skies welcomed us. After a slow start, everyone pitched in and worked hard. The cabin began to take shape. The tongue and groove portion was finished, the outhouse started, the floors finished, firewood cut and the endwalls forced into place.

City of tents around the near completed hut

All was going too smoothly until I realized that there was not enough aluminium roofing. After some recalculating, the layering pattern of the aluminium sheets was modified to fit. What a welcome relief. As evening fell, it was time to look forward to a turkey dinner thanks to Pierre's mom and Darlene. It was consumed with gusto around the fire. That night three of us decided to try out the cabin, not knowing when we would be back in the area.

On Monday the pace was slower as the cabin neared completion. The last thing done was painting the floor. So, aside from a few minor things, the cabin was completed thanks to numerous people. All that was left was a bushwack carrying many large shovels and other heavy equipment back to the hotsprings.


September 24-25 1983

Alan Dibb (L)
Maria Nitins
John Croockewit
Leisbet Croockewit
Pierre Beaudry
Steve Coombes
Darlene Anderson

Pierre Friele
Monte Chan
Brian Waddington
Greg Kafki
Bruce Fairley
Henry Marsden

Thanksgiving 1983

John Pringle
Lionel Harrison
Mary Harrison
Wolfgang Jurgensen
Anita Miettunen
Brian Waddington
Pierre Friele
Jay Page
Al Knutson
Jacques Bilinski
Liz Pope

Steve Coombes
Darlene Anderson
Sakai Tanaka
Deborah Bray
Dave Williams
John Croockewit
Tony Webb
Naomi Weinburg
Barbara Bradbury
Steve Grant
Trevor Boyd

- By John Croockewit, Harrison Hut, VOCJ26, 1983, pp. 73 - 74