Pioneer cabin from early Ohio settlement taking shape in downtown Lebanon

Timbers dated pre-1800 and believed to be part of the Beedle Station cabin will be used in a reconstruction in process in downtown Lebanon.
Caption
Timbers dated pre-1800 and believed to be part of the Beedle Station cabin will be used in a reconstruction in process in downtown Lebanon.

Credit: Lawrence Budd

A new foundation for an early Ohio pioneer cabin is taking shape in downtown Lebanon.

Mason Jose Ruiz and Andy Stewart, co-owner of Architectural Reclamation, the Franklin-based family business overseeing the project, have begun the work expected to result in a historically accurate restoration of a cabin from Beedle’s Station opening for the public next spring at the south end of downtown Lebanon.

“You keep these artifacts to keep you honest about what happened,” Stewart said last week, standing near the foundation at the corner of Broadway and Cincinnati Avenue, U.S. 42 in Lebanon.

The cabin, believed to be the oldest still standing in Warren County, “If not one of the oldest north of Cincinnati proper,” according to Warren County Historical Society Director Michael Coyan, was discovered on prison property outside Lebanon and rescued by local history buffs.

This old cabin was believed to be part of the original Warren County settlement, Beedle’s Station, in the 1790’s. Historians are moving it from prison land outside Lebanon to a small downtown park.
Caption
This old cabin was believed to be part of the original Warren County settlement, Beedle’s Station, in the 1790’s. Historians are moving it from prison land outside Lebanon to a small downtown park.

It will stand at 121 S. Broadway, next to the county history museum, on the same block with the Lebanon Public Library, centered in an historic building commissioned by Andrew Carnegie. A train station across the street adds to the nostalgic ambience in the center of the city, older than Ohio itself.

Once the foundation is ready, hand-hewn logs dated to 1794-95 and made from saplings felled around 1660, will be used to build the walls, left exposed on two sides, but covered with clapboards on the other two, to take the weather.

This is a rendering of the early Ohio pioneer cabin to be reconstructed in Lebanon.
Caption
This is a rendering of the early Ohio pioneer cabin to be reconstructed in Lebanon.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

“A log cabin without siding doesn’t work. They rot away,” Stewart explained in furthering his explanation of the importance of historic preservation.

ExploreEarly Ohio pioneer cabin found on prison land to be moved to Lebanon

The cabin, expected to cost about $85,000 to rebuild, “is pretty much paid for, Coyan said. Donations are now being accepted for an endowment to be established for its maintenance.

This cabin, dated back to the late 1700s was disassembled and is being rebuilt in Lebanon.
Caption
This cabin, dated back to the late 1700s was disassembled and is being rebuilt in Lebanon.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

The plan and a certificate of appropriateness was approved in October by Lebanon officials.

“The proposed site improvements contribute to the cultural aspects of the area,” according to a staff report.

Rather than the two-floor structure found near Lebanon Correctional Institution, the cabin will be a single floor, based on difference in the wood on the first and second floors. Plans to sell the land have stalled, while reclamation of the old cabin continues.

Timbers dated pre-1800 and believed to be part of the Beedle Station cabin will be used in a reconstruction in process in downtown Lebanon.
Caption
Timbers dated pre-1800 and believed to be part of the Beedle Station cabin will be used in a reconstruction in process in downtown Lebanon.

Credit: Lawrence Budd

Credit: Lawrence Budd

The oldest logs are oak; the upper level was made from hickory, around 1812, after the Treaty of Greenville lessened concern of attacks by Native American tribes, according to tests.

“They probably cannibalized the block house to enhance their cabins,” Coyan said. A large stone fireplace, donated for the project, will take up much of one log wall.

Original stone will be used as a facade for the foundation. A split-rail fence will be added, along with handicapped accessibility. An I-Beam needed to assure its stability was also donated.

“We want to do it right,” Coyan said.