Three Rivers log home builder: Historic preservation has its rewards

For several weeks now, Herb Meeker, Three Rivers resident and owner of Meeker Builders, has been making the 225-mile commute through Yosemite National Park to the job site at Tioga Pass Resort. The resort, which opened in 1914, is located one mile outside Yosemite National Park’s east gate on historic Tioga Road straddling Glacier Creek.3R Log home builder

The commute to work is beautiful but fraught with traffic stops, navigating road construction, and thousands of summer tourists.3R Log home builder

But Meeker said, he wouldn’t trade this job for any other.3R Log home builder

“Where else can you work at 9,500 feet and enjoy God’s creation?” Meeker said. “The historical restoration of log buildings is most rewarding because you are preserving history.”

After tiring of building spec and custom homes in Visalia in the early 1980s, Meeker began to learn the trade of log home building. And now after nearly four decades, he finds himself among the few qualified to contract for the restoration needed at historic Tioga Pass Resort.

In 2017, the Inyo National Forest, the lessor of the resort property, under the auspices of the State Historic Preservation Office, determined that TPR was eligible as a historic district to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

When you operate at 9,550 feet in the High Sierra, there’s bound to be snow. In the winter of 2016-2017 there was so much snow that the weight of the season’s 800 inches nearly crushed the collection of old log and shingle buildings.3R Log home builder

Four of TPR’s buildings, three cabins and the lodge that date from 1914-1918, require the most painstaking care so their historical integrity is preserved. Meeker credits Brad Bloetscher of Three Rivers, who worked for Meeker Builders for 10 years until his recent retirement, with making the connection with the owners of TPR. Brad was camping in the area¬†and noticed that TPR was in need of some log restoration.3R Log home builder

Meeker Builders landed the job in 2017 and the rest is history; historic preservation, that is, with Three Rivers style. Tioga Pass Resort plans to reopen to the public in Summer 2020.3R Log home builder

Challenge of the day: Raise the cabin up, remove the damaged log, fit the new log in the space of the old one. Historic preservation at Tioga Pass Resort.



2 thoughts on “Three Rivers log home builder: Historic preservation has its rewards

  • August 30, 2019 at 7:18 am

    I always love to see historic buildings renovated or restored to their former glory. It’s a painstaking process, but worth the effort. Preservation over demolition!

  • August 30, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    Thank you for this article. We hated to see the damage caused to Tioga Pass Resort by the big winter of 2016-17. It’s great to see the restoration, and the connection Three Rivers has to that restoration. Nicely done.


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