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Identification:

Preferred Structure Name:
Rock Creek Park; Miller Cabin
Structure Number:
339-17
Other Structure Name(s):
 
Other Structure Name(s)
1. 
Joaquin Miller Cabin
Park:
Rock Creek Park
Historic District:
 
Historic District
1. 
Rock Creek Park Historic District
Structure State:
District of Columbia
Structure County:
Washington
Region:
National Capital
Administrative Unit:
Rock Creek Park
LCS ID:
011990
 
Historical Significance:

National Register Status:
Entered - Documented
National Register Date:
10/23/1991
National Historic Landmark?:
No
Significance Level:
Contributing
Short Significance Description:
Rock Creek Park is a natural reserve within a heavily urbanized area. It encompasses public reservation 339 which was created for the scenic and recreational enjoyment of the people of the United States on September 27, 1890. Miller Cabin was relocated to the park in 1912.
Long Significance Description:
Joaquin Miller (1837-1913) was known as the "Poet of the Sierras". His works dealt with themes of the American West in the mid-19th century and the rugged frontier life. He lived in DC during a campaign to be named ambassador to Japan.

The L-shaped cabin was built in 1883 at a site near the intersection of 16th and Belmont Streets. NW across from what is now Meridian Hill Park. Historic photographs indicate that Miller erected his house on a log foundation with log walls tied together by double-saddle notching and concrete chinking. The gable ends of the building were finished with smaller vertical timbers and the steep pitched cross-gabled hipped roof was covered by shingles. All fenestration openings were trimmed with simple frame surrounds, sills, and lintels and filled with six-over-six window sash. A fieldstone fireplace was built at the center of the cabin, and the protruding stack section was common bond brick with a stepped decorative corbel.

In 1911-1912 the cabin was disassembled and moved to its present site and dedicated on June 2, 1912. Newspaper coverage of the building’s move and reconstruction in Rock Creek Park indicate great care was taken in dismantling the building and replicating its appearance. Some original building fabric was lost in the move, but Miller’s cabin was reconstructed with a high degree of visual accuracy in terms of its design, materials, and workmanship.
 
Construction Period:

Construction Period:
Historic
Chronology:
 
Physical Event
Begin Year
Begin Year AD/BC
End Year
End Year AD/BC
Designer
Designer Occupation
1. 
Built
1885
AD


Miller, Joaquin
Architect
2. 
Moved
1912
AD




3. 
Stabilized
2000
AD




 
Function and Use:

Primary Historic Function:
Single Family Dwelling
Primary Current Use:
VACANT (NOT IN USE)
Structure Contains Museum Collections?:
No
Other Functions or Uses:
 
Other Function(s) or Use(s)
Historic or Current
1. 
Concession
Historic
 
Physical Description:

Structure Type:
Building
Volume:
2,000 - 20,000 cubic feet
Material(s):
 
Structural Component(s)
Material(s)
1. 
Other
Concrete
2. 
Framing
Wood
3. 
Foundation
Log
4. 
Roof
Shingle
5. 
Walls
Log
Short Physical Description:
Located at Picnic Area 6. L-shaped, 1 story w/gable roof. Hipped roof over small extension.6x6 windows, brick chimney NW end W facade w/2 entrances. Roughly finished logs & double-saddled notching. N&W walls buckling.
Long Physical Description:
The Joaquin Miller Cabin is located at Picnic Area ‘6, approximately 75 feet west of beach Drive and is approximately one-half mile north of Military Road, NW. The one-and-one-half story building is sited at the north end of a large meadow-like picnic grove. It was originally located at a site near the intersection of 16th and Belmont Streets. NW across from what is now Meridian Hill Park. Historic photographs indicate that in 1883 Miller erected his house on a log foundation with log walls tied together by double-saddle notching and concrete chinking. The gable ends of the building were finished with smaller vertical timbers and the steep pitched cross-gabled hipped roof was covered by shingles. All fenestration openings were trimmed with simple frame surrounds, sills, and lintels and filled with six-over-six window sash. A fieldstone fireplace was built at the center of the cabin, and the protruding stack section was common bond brick with a stepped decorative corbel.

In 1911-1912 the cabin was disassembled and moved to its present site. Some original building fabric was lost in the move, but Miller’s cabin was reconstructed with a high degree of visual accuracy in terms of its design, materials, and workmanship. The log cabin was rebuilt on a concrete foundation with its principal elevation facing south. Paired windows with six- over-six sash are on the first level of the north and south elevations and single six-over-six gable-end windows light the attic story. In addition, there is an identical single window on the stepped back wall of the main elevation of the L-shaped cabin. Historic photographs indicate this fenestration pattern appears identical to that built In 1883. The remaining openings are simple framed doorway entries on the east side of the cabin. These doors provide access to the two rooms in the building. An L-shaped flagstone walk creates an outside patio connection between the two doors.