Cordova Chronicles: Out with the old, in with the new

A busy construction season is shaping up along the shores of Lake Eyak

Jeremy Kennison and Darrell Rollins of Old Town Construction begin cutting metal to go on the roof of the new cabin at Davis Cove on Power Creek Road. Photo by Dick Shellhorn/for The Cordova Times

The shores of Lake Eyak are witnessing a flurry of construction activity this summer, with two new homes as well as a small cabin being built along its scenic edges.

Three miles out Power Creek Road a crew from Paul Jensen’s Old Town Construction is going about finishing exterior work on a replacement for the historic Davis cabin. 

The quaint original cabin was built back the 1920’s during the heyday of activity on the lakeside byway and had fallen into disrepair. It was demolished two years ago and is gradually being rebuilt with a more modern version on the very same footprint.

The new cabin had been covered with water-proofing material for the past winter. During a break in the weather in mid-May, Jeremy Kennison and Darrell Rollins of Jensen’s firm were busy installing new blue metal roofing. Yellow-hued siding will soon follow. 

On the opposite side of the lake, just a mile out of town, the Rawlins family from north Texas has purchased the former home and property of Phil and Mary Ann Collins. They are in the process of tearing down the aging structures and beginning new construction at the same time.

Josh Tousignant, Jeremy Johanson, and Kris Albright of A2Z Construction take a break to discuss the next steps in building a home for Danny and Kayley Delozier on the end of Eyak Lake. Photo by Dick Shellhorn/for The Cordova Times

Roger, Randy and Leoana Rawlins, who have been coming up to sport fish on Eyak River for 15 years, are doing all the work, and have big plans for the lake-front location, which they bought sight unseen.

Currently, they are living in the old Collins home, while beginning work on a 24×38 two-story house that will feature separate apartments on each floor. 

After this project is complete, the plan is to tear down the old Collins home and build a replacement one and a half story house in that location.

The homes will be connected by a walkway, with decks facing out toward the lake. Plans for the extensive beach area may eventually include a gazebo complete with a fire pit, as well as significant parking space for RVs and vehicles.

Kayley Babic DeLozier discovered this photo of a plane anchored behind the Spit at the end of the lake in her family’s old albums. She will have the same view from the deck of their home now being constructed off Lefevre Avenue. Photo courtesy of the Babic family

Meanwhile, down at the west end of Eyak Lake off Lefevre Avenue, A2Z Construction has begun work on a 28×38 two-story home for Danny and Kayley DeLozier.

A Wasilla based firm, A2Z has considerable experience in building homes in remote locations throughout Alaska, often hauling materials in by snow machine or plane during the winter for work that is then done in the summer.

In recent years, A2Z has completed seven projects here in Cordova, including a home for Dale and Jim Johnson as well as a cabin part way up the Ski Hill. 

The lake home is being built on property formerly owned by Jack Babic, Kayley’s father.  At one time it contained a mobile trailer home. Considerable excavation work for installation of water, sewer and power was required.  

The home will feature a wrap-around porch, carport, and large deck facing the lake. Kayley is particularly excited about building there, and shared some old family photos, including one showing a large bi-winged amphibian float plane anchored in the nearby lagoon behind the spit on that end of the lake.

Soon they will have that very same view.

So despite soaring costs of building materials, it’s shaping up to be a busy construction season along the shores of Lake Eyak, where out with the old and in with the new is the theme.