Skinner Cabin – A Homestead Site
Sometime between 1905 and 1910, a stone cabin was built in the Fruita Paleontological Area just outside of the town of Fruita. It is believed that John Skinner, a stonemason, built the cabin. We don’t know why Skinner built his cabin in such an isolated location, with no trees or good water immediately available. We also don’t know how long he lived there. The last person known to have lived in the cabin was John Condon, an injured World War I veteran who livedthere in the 1940s and early 1950s. Condon had no car or horses, but he would walk to Fruita for supplies. Condon started digging up and selling dinosaur fossils he found near his cabin.
In 2016, the BLM partnered with HistoriCorps, the Museums of Western Colorado, and Colorado Canyons Association to restore and protect the Skinner Cabin. HistoriCorps provided volunteers, including skilled masons and woodworkers, who worked on the cabin for three weeks, replacing missing stones and rebuilding the roof. This is an important historic resource for everyone to visit and admire. Visitors to the cabin can peer inside to see where previous inhabitants may have stored water on the east wall, and where there may have been shelves on the north wall.