- Associated Press - Saturday, July 18, 2015

DRAKESVILLE, Iowa (AP) - A cabin built along the Mormon Trail in 1848 that now sits in a southeast Iowa town park is being saved from demolition.

The log cabin in Drakesville came precariously close to being razed, the Ottumwa Courier reported (https://bit.ly/1KdiOFo ) Saturday.

Builder Glen O’Dell of Ottumwa said when the city called him, the cabin was on verge of being torn down.

“They asked if it could be saved, and I (inspected it and) said, ‘We can definitely restore this,’” O’Dell said.

Drakesville community leaders knew which contractor they wanted working on the restoration when they heard of O’Dell’s last historical project: The restoration of Mars Hill Church after it was destroyed by arson.

The cabin was moved to Drakesville City Park 50 years ago in the 1960s. It has been used as the backdrop for Davis County weddings and has been the site of countless community celebrations.

Now, the 167-year-old, 16-by-19 foot cabin has begun to show its age.

O’Dell has been using many original materials in restoring the cabin, including putting the wood floor back in. He and his crew have also been putting mortar in between the logs.

“We numbered every log, took them down, put in a concrete foundation, then put the logs back, one at a time,” he said.

Much of the work is being funded through donations of money and materials.

“When this cabin preservation is completed,” O’Dell said, “it should last another 150 years.”


Information from: The Ottumwa Courier, https://www.ottumwacourier.com

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