A celebration centered around a log cabin built 185 years ago will be held Sept. 19 when the Highland County Historical Society hosts its annual Log Cabin Cookout.
Serving will begin at 5 p.m. and reservations are required by Sept. 15. The dinner will be served near the log cabin that sits behind the historical society’s Highland House Museum in Hillsboro.
“The food used to be cooked in the cabin, but that’s really difficult anymore, especially when we have 125 people like we did last year,” said Vicki Knauff, director of the Highland House. “So were following tradition by having the dinner around the cabin.”
The history of the log cabin is interesting, and the historical society has a particularly unusual version on its website told in first person as if the cabin were speaking. Visit www.hchistoricalsociety.weebly.com to read it.
The cabin was built by George Robinson around 1830 along Mad River Road, about 2.5 miles from New Market, a short distance from the road and near a spring. It was constructed of hewn logs cut from trees in the area and when completed was a story and a half with one room on the ground level and another above.
The stairs were located behind the front door and the cabin had two small windows.
Robinson was born in Pennsylvania in 1808 and moved with his family to the New Market area. In 1808, he married Margaret Hunter and they had six children: Thomas, George, Robert, John, Nancy and Margaret.
In 1839, ownership of the land and the cabin was purchased by Thomas Robinson and he and his family lived there for 23 years, during which time an addition was added to the back of the cabin. In 1857, the property was purchased by George Robinson, but in 1860 Thomas bought it back. Thomas lived there until 1891, when it was sold to John Wood.
From 1891 to 1935, there were numerous owners of the land and cabin, until is was purchased in 1935 by Emmitt and Lydia Ann Johnson. Lydia was the last person to live in the cabin before she sold it to her nephew, Scott Butler, in 1974.
The Butlers sold it to Curtis and Cinda Wilson in 1977, and in 1980, the Wilsons donated the cabin to the historical society.
In 1990, the cabin was disassembled and hauled to the Highland House Museum. A log raising event during the Festival of the Bells saw the cabin reassembled, although not exactly as it appeared at its original site.
Flooring, a loft and 1800s interior furnishings were added later.
“So, now I sit proudly overlooking South East Street and welcome visitors who want to see what life was like in the early years of this area of the country. I hope you will come to visit me also,” the historical society’s version of the cabin’s tale says.
The menu for the Sept. 19 dinner includes ham and bean soup, cornbread, salads, desserts and drinks. Donations will be accepted. There will also be an auction of items from the Jack Chaney estate including a set of unusual earthenware, lamps, “singing bird cages” and more; plus a quilt raffle. Raffle tickets will be available at the dinner.
“It is a fundraiser, but it’s also a great time for people to get together, have a good close out to summer and an opening to fall, and learn a little more about the historical society,” Knauff said.
The Highland House will be open and crews that recently completed an estimated $80,000 reconstruction of its back wall will be on hand.
Reservations should made by Sept. 15 by calling the museum at 937-393-3392. Those interested should leave a message, including how many will be in their party, if no one answers.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.