Cooper Landing pioneers didn’t skimp on cozy craftsmanship By Clark Fair

The Mouth of The Kenai

By Clark Fair

Redoubt Reporter

The three 60-something Cooper Landing men posed for a photograph in the temporary cook shack they had erected along the shore of the northern end of Upper Russian Lake. The roughly rectangular structure was open in front, enclosed with canvas and aluminum on the other three sides, and roofed with log rafters and wooden planks.

Hanging from the log supports were two trout, their bellies slit and guts removed. Behind the men were shelves of mainly canned food and dry goods, cooking supplies, and a calendar for June 1951.

The men — Jack Lean (holding a rifle), Frank Towle (holding two metal plates) and Bill Parchins (holding a coffee cup) — were taking a break from the construction of a Forest Service cabin near the lake. They were building it from native spruce logs, and although it has undergone some renovations over the years, it…

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