Updating an 18th Century Treasure

For the past three years, I’ve done a number of posts about an 18th century log home that is one of the oldest structures in Rutherford County. According to folklore, it was built around the turn of the 19th century, but no one really knows for sure. Comparing the log and chimney work to known cabins, that seems like a reasonable date. Sometime near the turn of the 20th century, wooden siding covered the original logs, and a kitchen addition and porches were added. A metal roof replaced the original shingle roof decades ago, and plumbing and electricity were installed along the way. The cabin’s interior was paneled early in its life, and rain and snow was kept out. The last family to live there raised ten children, and the last inhabitant moved out five years ago. The following video was made before work began. 

The pine and walnut interior…KODAK Digital Still CameraTwo years ago, one of the descendants of that family decided to rehab the old dowager, and slowly, that work has progressed to where it is today. This is not a restoration of the original structure, but is a preservation of the home that has been on a hilltop above Otter Creek for over 200 years. The log cabin has never been placed on any historic places list, so the current owner has been free to make whatever changes he pleases. You can be the judge whether or not this was the right thing to do, but either way, the original frame, chimney, and logs are being preserved.

The porches were rebuilt first…KODAK Digital Still Camera…then a new roof with aluminum panels replaced the sagging old roof.KODAK Digital Still Camera

At this point, the decision was made to remove the old siding, and replace it with new wood. It was then that the original hand hewed logs were exposed for the first time…KODAK Digital Still Camera

The foll0wing images were made a few days ago as the work progressed. I’m amazed how much work this family has been able to finish. and I will continue to document its completion.KODAK Digital Still CameraThe front of the cabin is the last to be revealed. Can you imagine raising those huge timbers without modern machines?cabin-1New windows and doors have been installed. The original cabin would not have had these large openings. Glass was not available in those days… The small openings in the second floor sleeping loft might be original for ventilation and light.

log-3

The original profile of the log structure has been restored, with the kitchen and bathroom addition separated when the new roof was put on.log-4

cabin-2

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From what I could learn from the elderly gentleman doing the work, he wants to make a home where his kids and grand kids can enjoy the place where their ancestors lived. I can’t wait to see the final transformation.

civil-war-cabinTwo years ago…

 

8 thoughts on “Updating an 18th Century Treasure

  1. With this renovation the historic charm is somewhat lessened but the structure is being saved.it’s not a total loss.

    • Don’t know the guy fixing it up, but the ancestors were the Connors…. Insulation replaced the original chinking, that disappeared years. Down the line, someone could always buy the place and bring it back. It’s preserved. Vann

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