Linsay Bodenheimer: The Cabin at Echo Summit

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Linsay Bodenheimer with her mother and daughter. ((Courtesy of Linsay Bodenheimer))

When Linsay Bodenheimer’s family cabin was destroyed by the Caldor fire what was lost was much more than a building. Here’s her Perspective.

Our three-year-old daughter, Frances Darling, took her first steps two years ago at our family cabin that her Great‐great‐great‐grandfather built.

The Hideout, as we call it, is in the woods near Echo Summit. This special place is where I learned about building fairy gardens and family. It is where my mom learned how to chop wood and light one‐match fires and sing campfire songs. It is where just last year my grandfather watched all his great‐grandchildren play in the creek behind it. Where my great‐grandmother’s old kitchen cabinets went to live their second life when they remodeled their Mill Valley home.

Our six‐year‐old son, Landon, helped stack firewood with his grandma and played in the tunnels that his great‐great uncle carved out of the Alder trees. We all helped gather rocks to line the path through the ferns to its door and chipped in on repairs.

My kids, who are the 6th generation of cabin goers, love nature and getting dirty and hiking to Lovers Leap and helping because my mom’s love for this place spilled over onto us. When I ask my children where we should meet in our dreams at night, they always tell me, “At the cabin”.


It breaks my heart to know there won't be any more first steps taken there on those 100‐year‐old floors. Others are having their hearts broken too by the devastation and loss of the Caldor Fire.

Linsay Bodenheimer's mother reads to her grandchildren in the family's 100-year-old cabin. (Linsay Bodenheimer)

When I close my eyes, I see our treasured heirlooms, each with their own story, going up in embers. The antique pie safe and Victrola, the vintage perpetual calendar, the quilts sewn and wood carved by the hands of the generations before me. I see the living room chair in the living room where my mom sat with her grandkids to read bedtime stories, the same chair that my grandparents read to me in.

I am reminded to open my eyes, hug my family tight and be grateful for all the memories and stories. I am thankful for our safety and our
homes and the firefighters’ tireless work.

When my mom told Landon what happened he said, "That makes me very sad grandma...but you know what? If we all work together, we can rebuild it."

With a Perspective, I’m Linsay Bodenheimer.

Linsay Bodenheimer is a Novato native.

The cabin at Echo Summit