An Old Miner's Cabin Becomes a Lesson in Low-Impact Living
When she found an abandoned cabin in the San Diego mountains, a true-crime writer hit pay dirt
Staking Her Claim
All the clues were there, for a best-selling true-crime author. She came upon the body lying some 4,100 feet up the Cuyamaca Mountains in San Diego County. By her estimate, the victim had been left unattended for more than 50 years, though its age could be traced from as far back as 1928. The body, in this case, was a 216-square-foot miner’s cabin. Some of its parts—deck boards, shingles, fixtures—were scattered close by, and there was evidence of prior visitors, and even squatters, some of whom clearly had been up to no good.
Despite its battered condition the little house intrigued writer Cathy Scott. As she saw it, the cabin was still mostly intact, facing west and perched securely on its original stone foundation. “The moment I first saw the cabin, I stood in front and envisioned myself living in it,” she recalls. “When I was growing up in San Diego, my dad brought us up to this area every year to pick grapes off the vines. I love this mountain and the trees.” It was on her second visit months later that she put in an offer to buy it.
Shown: Cathy Scott in front of her renovated 1928 cabin in Julian, California.