Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The dairy cow shelter built by Jenny Barlow

If you've been with us through a season or two, you've likely seen a few photos of this little log cabin. It's one of my favourite scenes to photograph; covered in snow or surrounded by willows and wild roses.
Yesterday, a friend asked me for the story behind the cabin so I thought I'd share it here as well.   The couple we bought these 48 acres from called it "Jeannie Meadow."

This wee cabin of hand hewn logs was built by Jenny Warde; a Cariboo pioneer. She ranched and trapped on this property and built the shelter (I think in the 40`s) to house her dairy cow and her chickens on cold nights. The building had no roof when David and I arrived and was almost crumbled beyond recognition. We took it upon ourselves to save this last remnant of pioneer history. We carefully numbered and dismantled the logs, chose a place of distinction at the entrance to our place, put the shelter back together and created a new roof with handmade shakes.

Jenny was born at Meldrum Creek about 1909. In 1981, the local Tribune newspaper interviewed Jenny and wrote a lengthy article about her life. As Jenny tells it, she always loved to be `way back in the woods`.   She was 7 when she started trapping with her older brothers. Until she was 16, she attended school during the days and tended the trap lines after school. She had 10 siblings, quit school after grade 8 and went to work to help support the family. Jenny married Doug Barlow when she was 23. They had 3 sons; Norman, Dean and Bud (Bud and his wife Jeannie are our closest neighbours and good friends). Doug Barlow died alone of a heart attack when he was out on their trap line. Jenny says it took them 8 days to find him.

Jenny worked with Eric Collier as a hunting guide for a few years. He`s the fellow who wrote Three Against the Wilderness. Collier used to say of Warde that she was `108 pounds of dynamite, and could shoot the eye out of a squirrel at 150 paces.
Jenny is legend in this neck of the woods.
We are humbled and honoured to have this little cabin in memory of her pioneering spirit and as a tribute to the work of her hands.