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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Historic log cabin needs new home

Thursday, June 7, 2007

(Photo)
Log Cabin circa 1950
By ADAM COATES

Staff Writer

Time is threatening to do away with a piece of Putnam County history and local preservationists are on a quest to save it.

Cloverdale resident and local Heritage Preservation Society member Lee Stewart was recently approached by an heir to a piece of property located southeast of Cloverdale concerning a period log cabin that occupies the site.

The cabin is said to have once housed 14 children who roomed upstairs.

The cabin's current owner, who is looking to sell the property where it sits, told Stewart he would donate the home to the society to be restored, however, the sale appears eminent and time is quickly running out for the society to find a location where the cabin can be moved.

Stewart approached members of the Greencastle Park Board Wednesday night hoping they would agree to have the cabin placed in Robe-Ann Park, but he came away disappointed after board members said they needed more time to consider it. Stewart was hoping for a commitment from the city Wednesday night so he could tell the property owner he wanted the cabin.

"I think it'll make a great addition to the park, I just don't think we can make a decision this quickly," board Vice President Tim Trigg told Stewart.

On Thursday, Stewart told the BannerGraphic he had placed phone calls with town officials in Cloverdale and Bainbridge, wondering if they would like the home placed in their parks.

"We are looking for a home for a very fine home," Stewart said.

Stewart said the society would dismantle the cabin, move it to its new site and then reassemble it at no cost to the city. But park board members were concerned about the annual upkeep of the structure and hidden costs that may arise during the dismantling and reassembly process.

During the 1950s, the owners of the cabin, who were living in it at the time, added asphalt shingles to the outside in order to keep the snow from blowing in and collecting on their baby's bed, Stewart said. The home has also been added onto through the years.

He said he hoped the shingles have helped preserve the logs through the years. In order to restore the home, the shingles and wood paneling on the inside of the home will have to be removed, but Stewart doesn't know what the condition of the logs may be.

Ken Eitel, who also serves on the preservation society board, said there is grant money available for these types of projects, but he didn't have any more detailed information at Wednesday night's meeting.

Greencastle Parks and Recreation Director Rod Weinschenk said he was planning to meet with officials Thursday about the log cabin that is already located in Robe-Ann Park, hoping to gain insight into how they care for that structure. The cabin was acquired and is maintained by members of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

It was suggested Wednesday night that the cabin south of Cloverdale be placed near the current cabin in Robe-Ann Park. But Weinschenk suggested is be placed on the grassy area east of the park maintenance facility.

Either way, Stewart said the society would seek volunteers from the community to help with the project.

"I think it's a great thing to involve the community as much as possible on this," Stewart said.

Park board members said they would not be able to make a decision about the cabin until next month's meeting, after they have a chance to look over their finances.

Stewart expressed a desire to move more quickly on the project and hopes to have it completed this summer.



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