Huntington Beach Boy Scouts celebrate their landmark log cabin in Lake Park, first established in 1924

Dominic Ureno, Troop 1 Senior Assistant Patrol Leader with grandfather Johnny Etheridge at Paxson Cabin.
Boy Scout Troop 1 Senior Assistant Patrol Leader Dominic Ureno, left, with grandfather and former scout Johnny Etheridge Saturday at Paxson Cabin in Huntington Beach.
(Susan Hoffman)

When Boy Scout Troop 1 was founded in 1917 by Huntington Beach pastor M.W. Coates, seven years after the inception of the Boy Scouts of America, plans were laid to erect a regular meeting place the troop could call its own. In 1924 those plans were realized in a simple log cabin built in the city’s Lake Park that became a hub of civic activity over the years.

On Saturday, about 260 people attended a centennial celebration of the founding of the original Scout house, which was entirely reconstructed about 50 years ago and named Paxson Cabin in honor of a respected scoutmaster, W.R. “Russ” Paxton.

“Russ Paxson was one of our first Eagle Scouts, in 1938, in the Huntington Beach Troop 1. He was a scoutmaster two times after [World War II] and oldest living member until he died in 2021,” explained Keet Veylupek, one of three Troop 1 Eagle Scouts in his family who were at the celebration, the other two being his father, Dav, and his brother, Alec.


The three Veylupeks were all acquainted with the late Russ Paxson.

“Russ Paxson was one our leaders,” said Dav Veylupek. “He always showed up at meetings in full uniform. He was very much like a mentor and patriarch. He was really respected by everyone and you could tell it meant a lot to him, he took a lot of pride helping scouts in the program.”

The Veylupeks referred to Paxson fondly of being like a grandfather to local Scouts because he was always talking to and teaching the youths.

Historic Paxson cabin in Huntington Beach's Lake Park opened its doors to the public Saturday in a centennial celebration.
(Susan Hoffman)

In addition to enjoying a pancake breakfast served up by the Lions Club, guests attending the celebration could take a look inside the cabin, which is filled with flags, photos, plaques, a roster of former Eagle Scouts, and animal taxidermy.

Assistant Senior Patrol Leader Collin Maguin explained the animals on display had been seized by customs. “They are really, really old and they didn’t know what to do with them, so they were donated to us,” he said.

Donations weren’t always confined to the interior, according to Donald Rodriguez, Troop 1 Huntington Beach Scout leader and spokesperson. He said the Edison Co. donated the telephone poles in 1924 and the local Carpenters Union, volunteers from the Scout troop, the community and Lions Club helped build the original cabin.

Former Eagle Scouts Keet, Alec, and Dav Veylupek,  during a centennial celebration Saturday of Paxon Cabin.
Former Eagle Scouts Keet, from left, Alec, and Dav Veylupek, check out vintage tents Saturday during a centennial celebration of Paxon Cabin in Lake Park.
(Susan Hoffman)

For a few years during WWII the cabin was used as a rest and recreation center for members of the armed forces, Rodriguez noted.

“In the 1970s the entire structure was condemned,” said Rodriguez. “The entire cabin had to be rebuilt in 1974, which was accomplished by the Huntington Beach Lions Club, the city of Huntington Beach and local community volunteers.”

Asst. Senior Patrol Leader Collin Maguin at Paxson Cabin in Huntington Beach, the historic home of Boy Scout Troop 1.
Asst. Senior Patrol Leader Collin Maguin describes a taxidermy display at Paxson Cabin in Huntington Beach, the historic home of Boy Scout Troop 1.
(Susan Hoffman)

Scoutmaster and Eagle Scout of Troop 1 Garrett Hay, a Huntington Beach resident, said he’s been involved in Boy Scouts since he was 5 years old. He described his job in planning the 100-year anniversary celebration.

“We sat down as a committee and used the rich history from the cabin,” said Hay. “Luckily our jobs were easy because it is a living museum.”