In our travels, Sweetums and I come across many historic structures on the verge of collapse. I hate to see it but I also realize the amount of money and community support required to maintain old homes and buildings. Smaller communities without historical societies or people to apply for grants have the most trouble preserving their past.
Thankfully, some people in the Franklin County town of Russellville banded together to save an old cabin we photographed in 2014. The DeVaney Cabin, thought to have been built as early as 1790, is located near downtown Russellville on a grassy lot. It was a picturesque sight and we stopped to shoot several photos, but it was obvious the cabin was endangered. The roof had holes, which means the interior was sustaining water damage, and the foundation was sagging and sinking.
But when I came across the pictures recently, I checked on the status of the cabin and learned that in 2015, it was restored by its owner, Troy Oliver, according to an article in The TimesDaily.
NOTE: We took pictures from outside and did not attempt to enter the cabin, which was on private property AND would have been hazardous. Oliver said visitors should alert him of their presence before taking photos.
Oliver, a former Russellville mayor, plans to preserve the cabin as long as he is able. The article said records show Charles DeVaney was born in the cabin in 1790, the earliest record for it.
The previous owner said she thought the cabin was still on the property when Oliver bought it, but the area was too overgrown to be sure. Oliver searched the land and located the cabin about 15 years ago, the article said. He worked on the cabin at the time, but time and weather had once again taken a toll when we were there. I was thrilled to see the story on Oliver and history being preserved in Russellville.