Near Big Sur in Monterey County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Anderw Molera State Park
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 cabinís 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 cabinís 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 Cooperís ranch
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 cabinís southwest end dates to sometime after the 1930ís, when the building was used as a barn.
Location. 36° 17.166′ N, 121° 51.174′ W. Marker is near Big Sur, California, in Monterey County. Marker can be reached from Cabrillo Highway (California Route 1), on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Cooper Cabin is located in Andrew Molera State Park about 1/2 mile from the parking area along the Headlands Trail near the west end of the campground. Marker is in this post office area: Big Sur CA 93920, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Point Sur Light Station (approx. 2.8 miles away); End of an Era (approx. 2.9 miles away); House with a View (approx. 13.3 miles away); Two Women From Two Worlds (approx. 13.3 miles away).
Categories. • Notable Buildings •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 12, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 467 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 12, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.