The STCOC was suffering from age, hard winters and the lack of maintenance. A group from Lone Pine requested permission from the Bishop BLM office to go up and stabilize the building. The Bishop manager stated that the cabin did not belong and that she was going to let it deteriorate and fall down. Fortunately she was transferred out and the new manager recognized the historic value of the salt tram and the cabin.
The Bishop BLM archeologist procured grant money to rebuild the STCOC and bought $25,000 worth of material. This was delivered to Cerro Gordo. Help was requested from the Gear Grinders to transport the wood from Cerro Gordo to the cabin. I think that there were 4 of us. Jerry Grimsley, Dan Burkhardt, me and I cannot think of the other person. I laid down the window in my “landcrusher” and carried between 600 and 800 pounds of wood resting on my windshield frame and the tailgate. A little bit top heavy on the down hill side, especially when going up hill out of Boiler Canyon. I hauled 2 loads the first day, 4 the second day and 2 the third day. Cannot remember the number of loads the others carried. It took approx 1 hour to get to the cabin with the load and .75 hours coming back empty.
I went up to the cabin 3 more times that summer and fall and spent a week each time helping to rebuild (stabilize) the cabin. The BLM hired two guys from Lone Pine with construction experience to work on and supervise the reconstruction. The first work period was Thursday thru Tuesday so some volunteers could come up and help on the weekend. Three people from the San Fernando Valley area showed up. (They liked working on the cabin so much that they were the ones that adopted the Minietta mine cabin. The Minietta is a lot lower in elevation and a lot warmer. We froze our tails off at the STCOC at nite.) The other two work periods were during the week and no other volunteers showed up. On the second work period, as we were entering the area there was a pile of bear fecal matter in the middle of the road. The archeologist identified some of the material in the feces as being rose hips. If I remember correctly, I went up twice the next summer to work on the cabin.
Written by Bill Maddux