Built by Ruth and Alexander Buchan between 1935 and 1937 under the auspices of the United States Forest Service Recreation Residence program, the Buchan Cabin is one of the few remaining privately-owned isolated cabins in the Roosevelt National Forest. Still used by the Buchan family as a summer retreat, the cabin represents a means of public recreation within the forest that has become increasingly rare since the Recreation Residence program effectively ended in the 1960s.
The cabin is also a fine example of the Rustic style, a popular choice for recreational cabins built in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains during the 1930s. In keeping with the style, which emphasized the use of natural materials and compatibility with the surrounding landscape, the Buchans used natural materials harvested from the forest to construct the cabin’s log walls and a large stone fireplace, a signature characteristic of the Rustic style. When designing and building the cabin, the Buchans were inspired by Chilson D. Aldrich’s 1928 book The Real Log Cabin, which celebrated the history of log cabin construction in America and offered practical construction guidance.