Historical dwelling belonging to Shorty Lovelace-Reddys Hole

January 29, 2015 6:39 am Published by Leave your thoughts 1622313_1047867768573164_3328773911541107186_o   Shorty loved the Sierra. In the mountains he not only felt at home, but often when he was among the pines he could escape the siren call of the bottle. By 1910, with the help of his brothers, Shorty had embarked on a career that tried to capitalize on these twin facts — he had become a fur trapper. Each fall for the next three decades, Shorty would take a pack train into the mountains to cache supplies for his winter trapping. At the same time he often built tiny log cabins to serve as shelters. Many of these little cabins were no more than 6 by 10 feet on the ground and perhaps 5-6 feet high. With a stone fireplace on one wall and a built-in bunk on the other, the cabins provided Shorty with snug protection from the Sierra’s winter snowstorms. During the 1920s and 1930s Shorty trapped all over the southern two- thirds of what is now Kings Canyon National Park. His preferred prey was the pine marten, a house-cat-sized member of the weasel family. He trapped in the winter because that was when the pelts of the animals he caught were at their best. All this came to an end in 1940 when Congress created Kings Canyon National Park. Hunting and trapping were not allowed in the new park, and Shorty was forced to abandon his Kings Canyon trap-lines and move north to another part of the Sierra. No one besides Shorty ever knew exactly how many cabins he built. Over the years we’ve found more than a dozen and others certainly existed. Shorty purposefully made the cabins hard to find for anyone but himself. Today, the National Parks Service preserves several of Shorty’s cabins, and the entire set is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Shorty would no doubt be amazed. What started out as nothing more than a way to stay sober and make a little pocket money is now part of America’s preserved cultural heritage.” Photo courtesy David Cheney

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