Two Cabins on Washington State Island

We received these photos last week, from Vashon Island, which is in Puget Sound.

Hi Lloyd,

The A-frame cabin was built in the late 1960s by Tony Arndt, and my family purchased the property in 1978. My late Aunt Mary lived in it for some time with her son. I think she replaced the cedar shingles on the front and possibly the windows. Sadly, it is falling down now, I do believe beyond repair.

The newer cabin is my 12′ by 16′ cabin with a loft. All materials for windows and doors were salvaged for free. I’m trying to incorporate design elements from the forest as well as repurposing wood from the old cabin.

During the same time, my father and mother, myself and 2 brothers lived in a small one-room cabin and a bus on another part of the property, which is where I am building my cabin. There’s a 3rd larger cabin on the property built from all old-growth timber by my father. The property had no power or water when we purchased it in 1978. We dug our own well during the 1980s, and put power in.

–Chris Ramsell

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

3 Responses to Two Cabins on Washington State Island

  1. Hi Lloyd….. here’s a interview with prone surfboard designer-user Jeff Chamberlain (home waters NorCal) and why he surfs prone. Nice way for us older surfers to keep sliding.

    And a blurb from his friend, surf journalist Sam George:

    When it comes to wave riding vehicles I’ve watched Jeff Chamberlain surfing just a little bit ahead of the curve for over 40 years now. Tri-fins in ’72, longboards in ’74, hybrids in ’76; ten-foot plus California paddle-in guns, Styrofoam/epoxy fun shapes, stand-up paddle boards (well, giant single fins, really.) So when I saw Jeff’s latest application of sensible and farsighted surfboard design I was the last person to snicker. If Jeff says that a 6’3″, 31″ wide bellyboard delivers about 90% of every wave riding sensation we’ve spent the bulk of our lives pursuing, and does so in virtually any size wave (adding, completely dead-panning, that every wave ridden on your belly is way overhead) and that following our vestigial Greenough obsession with zero volume and a quarter-century of watching bodyboarders define the prone attack it can be asserted that they’ve got it wrong all these years and that the key to efficient belly riding is to stop dragging your legs and get your whole body up onto the board…well then I’m inclined to believe him. Especially after sharing a handful of sessions with Jeff, me riding his back-up belly machine in classic California point surf, rifling beach break and wedging reef peaks, finding myself screaming down the line or in the tube, my cheek inches from the wave face, the sensation of speed amplified by the intimate proximity to the energy source, and pulling out at the end of each and every ride with the biggest grin on my face and feeling like the little tow-headed kid who lives in every surfer but who has been inexorably beaten down by years of peer pressure, performance anxiety and fashion concerns.

    Keep on keeping on……….

  2. I lived on Vashon (northwest side, about 100 yards from the water) during 1969-70, in a rough small one-room plus loft cabin that was built by a Seattle architect for their summer getaway. It was built and designed for the view, which was incredible! I wish I could find some photos, but they’re all lost.

    I loved that place; and there’s still no bridge — only car ferry access. Spent a lot of time digging my car out of that long, muddy road down to it, though.

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