Cooper Cabin

Cooper Cabin (HM1ARY)

Location: Big Sur, CA 93920 Monterey County
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 17.166', W 121° 51.174'

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Anderw Molera State Park

Anderw Molera State Park was once part of a Mexican land grant known as the Rancho El Sur. Though granted in 1834 to Juan Bautista Alvarado, later governor of the province, it was soon acquired by his uncle, J.B.R. Cooper, Cooper was a Monterey sea captain and merchant who came to California in 1823.

Beginning in 1834, the industrious Cooper had a number of buildings constructed on the ranch. The cabin you see before you was built in the spring of 1861, and is the oldest surviving ranch structure, as well as the oldest building on the Big Sur Coast.

The cabin's actual builder was one George Austin, a native of Massachusetts who worked for Cooper in various capacities. The two signed a contract on February 23, 1861, calling for Austin to build a three room "block" house. The construction date was recently verified by means of tree-ring analysis, which showed the cabin's logs were cut in the spring of 1861.

The cabin was built of broad-axed and adzed redwood logs, and was covered with hand-split redwood shingles. The Massachusetts origins of the builder are revealed in the lap-jointed and pegged corners of the cabin. This building technique is common to the New England states, but virtually unknown west of the Rockies.

The structure originally served as a dwelling for Cooper's ranch hands, who were employed in stockraising and dairying. The ranch provided cattle and horses for Cooper's other land holdings, and produced beef and cheese for sale in Monterey.

The cabin has been modified only slightly over the years. The wood floor in the central room is an addition, and the doors and windows are recent restorations. Most of the current shakes are replacements. The large opening on the cabin's southwest end dates to sometime after the 1930's, when the building was used as a barn.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 19th, 2014 at 9:34am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10S E 603012 N 4016292
Decimal Degrees36.28610000, -121.85290000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 17.166', W 121° 51.174'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 17' 9.96" N, 121° 51' 10.44" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)831
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 3600-3672 Beach Trail, Big Sur CA 93920, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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