The Cabin sits on a small corner of Julia Davis Park, between the Boise River and the Boise Public Library on Capitol Boulevard, gateway to downtown Boise. It was constructed in 1939 to house the Idaho State Forestry Department. The State Forester at the time invited timber companies doing business in Idaho to donate materials. As a result, each of its rooms has its own distinctive ceiling and molding pattern.
Two Finnish log craftsmen led a construction crew on loan from the Civilian Conservation Corps. Exterior walls are Idaho Englemann Spruce. The entry is Idaho Yellow Pine supplied by the Boise Payette Lumber Company (precursor to Boise Cascade Corporation). The two rooms on the main floor’s south side are Idaho White Pine, of which wood was donated by Potlatch Forests of Lewiston and Winton Lumber Company of Gibbs, Idaho. Idaho Red Cedar from the Diamond Match Company of Spokane was used in the northeast corner office; Idaho Red Fir from Brown’s Tile and Lumber Company of McCall in the center north room; and Idaho White Pine is used in the northwest corner office, donated by the Ohio Match Company of Spokane, Washington.
The City of Boise purchased the building from the state in 1992 and signed a long-term lease with the Log Cabin Literary Center in June 1996. Today, The Cabin is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Since 2000, The Cabin’s supporters and members have contributed over a half-million dollars for renovations and improvements to the building, creating reading and meeting rooms, classroom spaces, kitchen facilities, and other capital improvements to host its growing programs. A quiet capital campaign continues toward completing the new vision for the cabin, resulting in a unique, independent literary center for Idaho.