Historic cabin gets makeover;
By CHRIS COUNTS
Published: October 12, 2012
AFTER IT was
closed briefly following Labor Day, the historic Whalers Cabin
Museum at Point Lobos State Reserve reopened this week with a
new barn shake roof — and a slightly displaced bat population.
The nonprofit Point Lobos Foundation — with help from the
California State Parks Foundation and Monterey Peninsula
Foundation — raised $27,000 to pay for the work, which was
complicated not only by the task of recreating a 160-year-old
handmade barn shake roof, but by the challenge of not harming
any bats during the construction. At least two species of bats
were living under the roof when the project began. “We had to
pick a time of year when the bats were hibernating or nesting,”
explained Augie Louis, a Point Lobos Foundation board member.
To protect the bats during construction, a consultant was hired.
“When a bat was found, the consultant captured it and released
it after dark,” Louis said.
Bats are vulnerable to predators such as birds if they’re
released during the day, according to Louis.
The Point Lobos Foundation, meanwhile, continues its support of
local state parks, which have seen their budgets slashed during
the economic downturn. Sandy Hale, the foundation’s president,
said that “with continued pressure on state budgets, private and
public partnerships will likely be a key source of funds to
maintain state parks facilities over the coming years.”
Constructed in 1851 by Chinese fishermen, the cabin has housed
Japanese whalers, Japanese abalone divers, World War II
soldiers, and state parks ranger Chuck Bancroft, who lived there
in the mid-1980s. Since 1987, the cabin — which overlooks
Whalers Cove — has served as a museum dedicated to the reserve’s
cultural history. It was added to the National Registry of
Historic Places in 2007.