Living in a rainforest today introduces its own interesting elements into life.  Living here 100 years ago must have been something else entirely.  Back then a leaky roof didn’t result in ushering in a team of highly trained experts who repel in like a crack military team to replace and repair the broken roof.  Today, most of our problems can be solved with a quick phone call…  what about the time when there wasn’t even a phone?

We’re continuing our adventure at the BC Forest Discovery Centre today carrying on with our photoblog series “The Toad’s Tonka Toys“.  This series of images was taken in the fall last year on a day when we visited this wonderful facility with our dearest friends, the Mudpuppies.  It was a day so full of wonderful and interesting things to photograph, we actually ended up having to delete some shots as the day came to an end to make room for a few “must-get” pictures!  What a problem to have!!

Settler's Cabin - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Settler's Cabin - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

In a day and age where 4,000 square foot homes are quite normal, a scene like this creates more questions than it answers.  Not to mention, families tended to be rather large.  That is to say 14 people probably lived in this house.  A house that is actually smaller than most people’s bedrooms these days.

Beyond the space limitations we also find that Mother Nature herself finds interest in buildings like this.  Here on the West Coast of Canada it is quite normal to find mossy roofs like the one pictured here, and in many cases they actually still protect the house just fine.  Not what you’d expect by looking at it, that’s for sure.  Nothing will be straight or true in a house like this, yet these little details add so much character to what we’re looking at, don’t they?  But honestly, if you headed down to Home Depot and requested that their experts in wood floor installations come by and take care of this place, they would all leave halfway through the job muttering something about “crooked this, that and the other thing”.  Hanging pictures on the wall must be a challenge bigger than words.

Settler's Cabin - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Settler's Cabin - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

The folks who setup and maintain the Forestry Centre are rather determined to preserve our history for future generations.  We find this to be absolutely wonderful.  Popping by this massive outdoor presentation can absorb (really easily!) an entire afternoon.  And we can think of no better way to spend time!

The incredible textures and details in this old cabin caught our eye from quite some distance away as it sits in a corner of the facility, a little off the beaten track so to speak.  They have the inside secured, so we were unable to get in and take any shots.  But, we can honestly tell you that it’s SMALL!  What more would you need, really?

This feature here today serves yet again to remind us how much things have changed over the last 100+ years.  Modern day living looks nothing like what it did all those years ago.  Mrs. Toad and I talk frequently about what it would be like if, say, electricity disappeared.  It’s really hard to imagine as we all tend to take it somewhat for granted today.  Mind you we probably wouldn’t have 8-5 jobs to go to every day, so that would change the dynamic there, too.

On that note, I have to go and fire up our 62″ widescreen TV and catch the football game.  I think I’ll stick a tray of hot wings in the oven and sit back with a frosty beverage and really enjoy some of the modern conveniences.  In HD.

Thanks so kindly for taking the time to visit today!  As always, we encourage everyone to leave us comments as we really love to hear from all our visitors.



  1. avatar Tom Barnett says:

    Interesting stuff. Love the shots and I see that you’re going to give that older way of living a try;) enjoy the HD!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Ha!! Thanks Tom, what wonderful comments, my friend! We really appreciate you taking the time to pop by and visit us today, we wish you a great weekend!!

  2. avatar ehpem says:

    Great images and words Toad. I have been enjoying your Forestry Museum series. Its pretty hard to imagine living in a small cabin like this, though I have done so for a few weeks here and there, and once through most of a winter. One spends an awful lot of time on survival – getting firewood, maintaining things, doing things the long slow way by hand. It sounds romantic, but its a lot of work.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I totally hear you there, my friend! We use wood here for our heating system, and I admit it’s a ton of work. Chopping, hauling, burning.. it’s a never-ending cycle in the winter!! It is really hard to imagine what life would have been like way back when, though, we’re all so accustomed to our modern conveniences, I think. Thanks so much for popping by and leaving us your great comments today, my friend, that means an awful lot to us!

  3. Great shots as usual Toad, love those old cabin. I’ve been listening to seasick Steve albums lately and on one he tells a story about he and a fellow hobo (his phrase) tried to winter in a log cabin out in the woods. The first one was to small to stand in the second had no fire, so they dragged an iron stove through the wood to it. Trouble is the smoke filled the cabin when they lit it.
    You just illustrated the story to a tee

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      How utterly wonderful, Chris!! Great story my friend! Thanks so very much for popping by and leaving us your comments my friend, it really means an awful lot to us here!

  4. avatar Rick Louie says:

    That’s really cool with the moss as a roof! Wonderful find!

  5. avatar lisa says:

    What a wonderful find!
    I wonder what’s inside…
    Fantastic images!

  6. avatar Fred Norris says:

    Wow Toad what a scene, I half expected to see Jed Clampett coming out of the cabin with his shotgun!Love your story and I’m glad to hear you are going back to the basics.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      We always appreciate your visit and most wonderful comments, my friend, thanks so much for taking the time to pop by and say hi today!

  7. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Wonderful images Toad. It is quite something to see how people lived once upon a time. Life was much simpler at one time and really…maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing :)

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I totally hear you there, my friend! Thanks ever so much for your visit and great comments, Edith, it really does mean so much to us!

  8. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Awesome images and post Toad. We are so spoiled today with our modern conveniences that we don’t take time to see how lucky we are.

    Love the textures in the images and that grass on the roof really rocks.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks so much Len, that really means an awful lot to us here, my friend! I totally agree with your thoughts here; I often find myself taking certain things for granted, especially these days with our hectic lives.

  9. avatar Adam Allegro says:

    This is just fantastic. I would kill to go photograph this place at sunrise or sunset. Lovely writeup again my friend! Thanks for the mention last week, you sent me a ton of visitors!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Well, hey, Adam, you gotta come on up and visit us! We’ll take you out and we can go on a shoot together to this great place! I can honestly tell you, this is one of those places in the world you could visit 1,000 times and not photograph everything of interest. :) Thanks so much for your kind visit and comments today, my friend, much appreciated!

  10. avatar Jim Nix says:

    love it Toad, so beautiful!!

  11. avatar A.Barlow says:

    Makes me wonder where Frodo is :) Sweet shots man and nice find.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      HA! Great comments, Aaron, thank you! We really do appreciate all your support and friendship ’round here at The Hollow, my friend!

  12. avatar LensScaper says:

    Great pair of images and some appropriate words alongside. I notice they had a nice front porch, roofed over, to sit on. I wonder what the view was like all those years ago and how it’s change. Always good to read about your latest find – no-one writes it up quite like you do Toad. Always a good read!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      That is just so kind of you, Andy, thanks! I actually believe the house may have been moved to this spot at the museum, so I am not sure what the original view was. I could even be wrong on that point. Regardless, I thought pretty much the same thing when I was shooting the place; what a wonderful front porch to sit on and wile away some time! :) Thank you ever so kindly for your visit, my friend!

  13. avatar Dave DiCello says:

    I just love the lighting on the roof, the colors are so natural and I can almost smell the fresh air! A wonderful read, as always my friend

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Gosh, thanks so very, very much Dave, we really appreciate your kind visit and comments here at The Hollow!

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