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Cabin gets a reprieve

The old logs may have some life in them after all.

Local historians, builders and other volunteers have made recent strides to save the sagging cabin at Camp Yeomalt.

“I’m very pleased,” said historian Jerry Elfendahl, who formed “Team Yeomalt” in March to save the cabin. “We’re not racing, but we’re getting things done.”

The primary question for the park district, which owns the 70-year-old cabin and former Boy Scout camp, is safety. Park officials had vowed to tear down the cabin’s deteriorating logs by June 1. The most unstable portion of the cabin – the rear add-on – has since been stabilized.

Team Yeomalt is “making good headway,” said district Director Terry Lande, which could mean loosening the June deadline.

Various builders and engineers are preparing reports on the area’s soil stability, the cabin’s fireplace masonry and the condition of the cabin’s logs. Elfendahl expects to turn the reports into the district by the end of the month.

“No real flags have come up so far,” Elfendahl said. “It’s looking pretty sound.”

Elfendahl and the dozen members of the team meet about four times a month to discuss ongoing efforts and have taken field trips around Kitsap and Clallam counties to visit other historic cabins.

Volunteers have established a website at www.bainbridgeisland.org/yoemalt. A new address with the correct spelling is on its way, Elfendahl noted.

A funding committee hopes to establish a tax-deductible donation account with the Bainbridge Park Foundation. With repairs estimated at around $100,000 by team members and $500,000 by park consultants, the cabin will need a large cash infusion soon.

Until a foundation account is established, Elfendahl said cabin repair donations can be made to the district. Email Elfendahl at gelfenda@earthlink.net for more information.

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