In years gone by many trappers utilized remote cabins along a trapline traversed on foot. This would allow the trapper an overnight site where supplies had been stockpiled in the off-season and firewood was bucked up for winter use. In some cases a chain of cabins would allow the trapper to run a long line in remote country or a single cabin might be utilized on a line that was one day out and the next day back too home.
Many cabins were destinations at the center of a remote trapping territory and provided the only comforts and utility for the trapper while trapping in that area. Largely built by single individuals without benefit of modern power equipment the cabins are mostly gone through neglect or lost in wilderness. They served their purpose for a number of years and have returned to the earth, as have most of the trappers who built them. New this year at Owl Brook Educational Center in Holderness will be the trapper’s cabin built by volunteers from the NH Trapper’s Association. The cabin was built entirely with volunteer help and donated materials. As time progresses, the cabin will become more of an educational tool with donated traps, furs, and other equipment or paraphernalia to complete the display. Sean Williamson of NHF&G has kept tract of the volunteer labor expended on this project as it represents a considerable sum in matching funds to NHF&G from the US Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Fund. Dwight Pennell, a Carroll County Director of NHTA who lives in Tuftonboro, has served as the Construction Foreman to schedule and direct the many volunteers and coordinate the construction and delivery of donated materials. The project got started in June with several work dates on the calendar and was finished in the fall in time for the NHTA Rendezvous and the Owl Brook Education Center dedication ceremony. Besides the critical position he has played, Dwight also contributed the use of his John Deere tractor to skid out the logs from the Owl Brook property that were utilized to make the cabin.
Should you wonder upon an old trappers cabin while searching, contemplate your find for just a bit, as it represents much and may hold many secrets yet unknown by you. What stands before you now is a vision of the past and the platform from which you may see the future. Let us set on the porch of the old trappers cabin and visit for a spell, for it is here in the tranquility of nature and the presence of our heritage that we ponder the traditions so dear to our trapping community and collect our thoughts. It is from here as we walk down the trail to the future that we put our best foot forword.
When you have an opportunity to visit the NHF&G Owl Brook Education Center in Holderness, remember to visit the authentic trappers cabin built on site that was donated by NHTA.
Steve Bennett operating the portable mill to saw logs for the Cabin.
Other major contributors were Steve Bennett and Karola Owen both NHTA Directors from Epsom who brought their portable saw mill and considerable experience to the Owl Brook site to mill the timber for this project. Craig Williams of R.P. Williams and Sons from Bristol donated a significant amount of materials for the project. There were many NHTA Directors, members, and friends of trapping who have pitched in at one or more of the work dates or contributed in other ways to make this project a success. The reward for all this effort will be realized over time as the public passes along the interpretive trails at the Owl Brook facility and the Trappers Cabin becomes one of the significant points of interest to be seen by the countless visitors.
Volunteers who showed up for the first day scheduled on June 5th to get the Trapper Cabin Project started