A History of Pecos River Cabin

More than one hundred years ago …


… around the end of the 1800s, a local river guide built the Pecos River Cabin as a hunting and fishing shack, a rustic one-story, one-room log cabin with few amenities. After his death, the cabin became part of the Taylor Ranch, which included vast acreage along the canyon on both sides of the river and up into the heavily forested Pecos Wilderness. The cabin was purchased in the mid-80s and completely restored by Alan Hamilton, a building contractor and Jungian therapist. The old chicken coop downstream still stands: During the Hamiltons’ ownership, the coop – now a storage shed – housed the Hamiltons’ award-winning chickens. 

The Hamiltons further restored the cabin before they sold it to new owners. These owners, and others after them, continued to upgrade the cabin’s interior until its current owners, Margo Barnes and Vicky Stromee, purchased the cabin in 2006. Margo and Vicky undertook substantial upgrades both inside and out, replacing the high-fire-risk cedar shake roof with a metal roof and replacing the bottom two courses of logs all the way around the cabin, where accumulated snow had rotted the wood. The rotted logs were replaced with stone that matches the stone wall around the patio. Inside, the carpet in the upstairs bedroom was replaced with hardwood, and the bathroom was completely renovated with new flooring, sink and counter. New hot water heater, furnace and washer and dryer replaced the old appliances, and a new septic system will make the potential addition of a second bathroom feasible. Downstairs, a new, decorative half-wall blocked the view of the stove from the living room.

In addition to welcoming guests to the cabin year-round, Margo and Vicky spend time here themselves whenever they can get away from busy lives back home in Tucson. The winter months are especially enchanting, with the river and the cabin’s meadow blanketed in snow, perfect for a snowshoe hike along the river and up into the forest from the picturesque Windy Bridge picnic area just across the road. The cabin is always reserved for the Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year holidays. Families with kids enjoy the magic of the holidays, making snowmen and snow forts and decorating the cabin; one family’s two young children scattered popcorn in the yard for Santa’s reindeer!