Tennessee Mountain Stories

Hidden Treasures

Photo used by permission of The Columbus Dispatch

Photo used by permission of The Columbus Dispatch

I ran across this news article from Columbus, Ohio about a couple who discovered a log home hiding behind a modern facade.  While Ohio is a little off the track that Tennessee Mountain Stories usually follows, the story hit home and I wanted to share it with you.

You may remember a couple of articles I’ve shared about a very historic log home near Cleveland, Tennessee that had suffered a fire and was being torn down rather than repaired.  Then in our architecture series we visited the The Taylor Place which is believed to be the oldest home in the Clarkrange, Tennessee area.

I was certainly thinking of both of these homes, as well as other examples of log homes that were added onto and sided and loved for many, many years.  In fact, the log construction that was so common in America may be hiding behind more houses than we realize.  Remember current resident in The Taylor Place didn’t really know the home was log until hebegan running cable inside the walls which have long since been covered on the outside by modern siding and on the interior with wallboard. 

Now I’m not advocating anyone tearing into your walls, but it is a little tempting, isn’t it?

I hope you enjoy this article.

Couple renovating Dublin home discover it’s a 19th-century cabin

By Jim Weiker
The Columbus Dispatch


Posted Aug 24, 2017 at 5:58 AM Updated Aug 24, 2017 at 5:58 AM


Home renovations can yield surprises.

But few are as big as the one that Kevin Kemp and Jennifer Alexander discovered.

The couple were planning to raze a home that they bought recently on Riverside Drive in Dublin, to build a new house on the property, when Kemp and a friend, Larry Daniels, decided to remove some paneling for reuse.

“We pulled off one of the pieces of paneling and I said, ‘Larry, that’s a log,’” Kemp recalled. “We pulled off another and I said, ‘My god, this is a log cabin.’”

Behind the knotty-pine paneling and drywall were walnut and beech logs, some more than 16 inches wide and 30 feet long. More deconstruction revealed the prize: a perfectly preserved two-story log cabin, probably built between 1820 and 1840.

Experts say it’s one of the largest and best-preserved log cabins discovered in central Ohio.

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The remarkable find prompted Kemp and Alexander to halt their planned demolition and contact the city of Dublin.

“I think history is really important,” said Kemp, a chiropractor who now lives in Gahanna. “This doesn’t belong to us. It belongs to the city.”

Dublin saw an opportunity to preserve a piece of its past.

“I was just amazed when I walked in and saw the cabin,” Assistant City Manager Michelle Crandall said. “I knew when I walked in we had to find a way to salvage it.”