Land trust awarded grant for Holm cabin preservation

Posted: Thursday, April 06, 2000

KENAI -- The future looks good for the the century-old Victor Holm cabin in Kasilof.

The Kachemak Heritage Land Trust just received a $2,500 grant to develop a managment and preservation plan for the 100-plus-year-old cabin. The trust, which recently was given the property, received the grant from the Seattle office of the Land Trust Alliance, a Washington, D.C., based organization.

''We're very excited,'' said Barb Seaman, KHLT's executive director. ''We're going to hire an architect to do an assessment of the property and figure out what needs to be done.''

The Victor Holm cabin was built around 1890 and is believed to be the oldest standing structure south of the Kasilof River and the second oldest on the peninsula. It is filled with a treasure trove of Holm's belongings from the early part of the 20th century.

While well-known to area residents, the cabin's exact location is being kept as confidential as possible for liability reasons, and in deference to the privacy of nearby neighbors.

Seaman said the architect will do a base-line study of the property to document its current condition and make drawings of the building. Seaman said she has an Anchorage architect ready to do the work but has not signed a contract with him yet.

After the study is done, Seaman said KHLT will create a management plan and, after finding grant money, start to do the work outlined in the architect's assessment.

''We want to make sure the roof and foundation are OK,'' Seaman said. ''And we want to look at the eroding bank to see if we will be able to stabilize it, which is unlikely, or if we have to move the building.''

The Holm cabin was once listed as one of the 10 most endangered buildings in the state by the Alaska Association of Historic Preservation. Seaman said she was not sure if the cabin was still listed, but is going to look into getting it listed again. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Holm cabin and its contents were bought from Holm in 1948 by Elfrieda and Charles Lewis. The couple preserved the building and its contents over the years,according to Seaman.

Earlier this year, Mrs. Lewis turned the cabin over to KHLT, which is working with the Kasilof Historical Society to preserve it and provide tours of it.

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