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Efforts underway to preserve cabin at Dollar General site

$10,000 needed to save logs


    Some believe the cabin at the proposed site off Cove Road for a Dollar General has historical value. Fundraising efforts are underway to raise money to save the original logs.
    With the group of residents that petitioned against a proposed Dollar General on Cove Road all but conceding defeat, new efforts are underway to preserve what many believe to be a historic log cabin on the site before it’s torn down.
    Marble Valley Historical Society member Ben Lohman is leading the charge. In a last-ditch effort Lohman is reaching out to the community to raise $10,000 to buy the original logs from the cabin and have them relocated

to a new site. The ultimate goal is to have the cabin reconstructed in the future, when additional funding is available. Lohman and others believe it is between 100 and 200 years old, and possibly built by Native Americans.
    “Our cultural history shapes our future identity as a community in our city and as an integral part of our great country,” Lohman said. “Our early history is an important part of what we are and what we stand for today. Very little of our Georgia local history is now taught in our schools. We have a standardized core curriculum from which we are taught with little time devoted to our roots and culture. Our cultural heritage is that which distinguishes us from the other small communities and towns in Georgia.”
    Lohman said the log cabin at the corner of Grandview and Cove roads has loosely documented dates from 1835, 1844, 1856-58 and 1910. He also believes the logs could have been salvaged from an even earlier cabin that dates to 1800, and possibly to the early Cherokee period of 1780-1800. He would like to conduct a historical survey of the cabin by having the logs dated by an dendocronologist.
    “In any case this cabin belongs to an early settler and is in excess of 105 years old, at a minimum,” he said.
    He pointed to the Quinton-Kirby Cabin (circa 1820-1860), now on the National Register of Historic Places, which was relocated from its original location next to the Old Jail on Main Street in Jasper.
    Lohman laments the loss of other historical structures from the Pickens landscape in the last 50 years he said made way for mountain communities, new homes or for the sake of progress.            According to an email from Dollar General site developer Bob Howard, the current owners of the property have agreed to sell the original logs from the cabin for $10,000. The developer said he is willing to number the logs and relocate them to a new site at no cost – but time is running out. In the email Howard says he has plans to close on the property by the beginning of October, but would delay site work a few weeks to give time for Lohman and other interested parties to acquire funding.  The developer said he would need a commitment to buy the logs within two to three weeks from the closing date. 
    “We don’t have a lot of time,” Lohman said. “Quoting a Spanish born American author of the late 19th and early 20th century, those who can not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Our cultural history shapes our future identity. If we fail to acknowledge this we are but ‘shifting sands on the sea of time.’ We can not reinvent what is past. We must take what is past and build on it.”
    If you are interested in making a contribution contact the Marble Valley Historical Society  at 770-597-6052. They can be reached via mail at P.O. Box 815, Jasper, Ga. 30143.