National Register of Historic Places in Santa Barbara County
The site is close to an important trail between the Santa Barbara Channel Coast and the southern San Joaquin Valley. The trail was used by Indians, Spanish soldiers, Mexican and American trappers, miners and settlers. It was incorporated into the first trail network of the National Forest.
A Californio named Old Marlo built a cabin here in the in the 1880s. In the 1890s, the Forest Service rebuilt the cabin and occupied it until 1929 when they demolished it and built a new frame cabin.
With the introduction of vehicular roads into the Los Padres National Forest tn the mid 1930s, guard stations off these roads lost importance and became forgotten structures.
Source: Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1979.
On October 11, 1999, the cabin was destroyed by an arsonist.
The arsonist, who was known to some as the wild man of the woods, had threatened hikers in the San Rafael and Dick Smith wildlands. Others knew the arsonist as a kind man who was deeply disturbed by his service in Vietnam.
The Zaca Fire burned this area in 2007, destroying many trails and campgrounds in the Dick Smith Wilderness. At the time of the fire, it was the second largest ever recorded in California.