Two key chapters of Hamilton’s history can be found on grassy patch of the shoreline above the Great Miami River.
The iconic Butler County Sailors, Soldiers and Pioneers Memorial has long stood high over the High Main Bridge over the river, and nearby is a smallish but also important piece of local city history.
And it has a new caretaker who is working to put a historical pioneer cabin – located on South Monument Avenue - into the spotlight.
The fully restored “Pioneer Log House” from around 1804, which includes furnished with historical pieces, is now under the care of Hamilton history teacher and docent Christopher Maraschiello.
History “is sort of in my blood,” Maraschiello said of his new part-time job as tour guide for the log house.
“The house in its lifetime had over 50 owners,” he said.
The cabin, which is owned by Historic Hamilton Inc., was moved from the Rossville neighborhood across the river and reassembled at its current location in the 1960s. After a rehabilitation, it was re-dedicated in May of 2016.
It is the oldest surviving structure in the city and it’s opened on Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the summer and on some holidays during the year.
Historic Hamilton Inc. is the umbrella organization serving the historic districts of the city. In 2011 the group helped to raise $80,000 to cover repairs and renovations of the more than two-century cabin.
Maraschiello said he is working to make sure the public is aware of the cabin.
“We’re open on a more consistent basis. A lot of life-long Hamiltonians said they would have visited it more often if they knew about it,” he said.
Hamilton resident Sharon Haiber toured the cabin recently with her daughter and a friend.
“It’s pretty impressive. I have seen it my whole life, just driving by it,” said Haiber, who also visited the adjacent war memorial.
“It’s so incredible what they have done to this area,” she said.
For more information, go to Historic Hamilton Inc.’s website .
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