Save cabin, state urges

The crumbling Camp Yeomalt cabin has made the “endangered” list.

The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation announced its annual 12 “Most Endangered Historic Properties” list Monday, with the 70-year-old former Boy Scout cabin taking the number two spot.

“It’s a good feeling that (Yeomalt) has been recognized,” said Lorraine Scott, Bainbridge Island Historical Museum curator and a member of the Team Yeomalt group that is looking at the cabin’s future. “This brings the preservation project to the forefront and puts it on the map.”

Built in 1935, the cabin was a federal Works Progress Administration project employing jobless young men.

The camp east of Winslow was purchased from Kitsap County by the Boy Scouts of America’s Olympic Council in the 1930s and served for generations as a scout meeting place and overnight camp spot.

The camp was turned over to the park district in 1987, when the Scouts could no longer maintain the building.

But rot and insects got the better of the building, turning logs to dust and collapsing an outer portion.

The park district suspended plans to dismantle the cabin after local historians, preservationists and builders formed Team Yeomalt in March to save it.

Jerry Elfendahl, who spearheads the team, was happy to hear the cabin made the list, but vowed to get it taken back off.

“We’re going to get it off the list by saving it,” Elfendahl said. “It won’t be endangered for long. We’re making a lot of progress.”

The team has enlisted various volunteer engineers to conduct soil stability and structural studies of the site.

Elfendahl said inclusion on the list could help with fund-raising and grant-writing efforts to help rebuild the cabin.

The trust has been listing historic sites on its most endangered list since 1992.

While most structures that have made the list are still undergoing preservation efforts, a dozen are now listed as saved and only three were demolished.

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