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Located at Mt. Vernon,
Lawrence Co., Missouri

This article was publish sometime around 1993
and probably in the Lawrence County Record


It was 1845, and E. J. Adamson, lately of the state of Georia, was searching for
a place to make a home amongst the green Ozarks hills. On the banks of
Turnback Creek in Lawrence county, he found the perfect spot. Clear, cold,
sweet water flowed from Lumley's Spring nearby and thickets of white oaks and
black walnut trees would supply logs for a cabin.  Nature had even provided a
cache of sandstone - a ribbon of brown atop a layer of white limestone - just
right for slicing out chunks of chimney stones.
Adamson carved out a clearing for his cabin and fashioned those gifts into a
one-room cabin. And he fashioned it well; after nearly 150 years,the cabin still
stands - although slightly altered and in a different spot. Through the years a
dog trot (a roofed, open area between two cabins) and a second cabin were
added to the structure.  About 10 years ago, the double cabin was donated to the
Lawrence County Historical Society by an Adamson descendant.  It was moved
to a hillside just north of Mt. Vernon, near Jones Memorial (just west of the golf
course), where it is being restored.
Doug Seneker of Mt. Vernon is in charge of the restoration project and helped to
rebuild the fireplaces that had been dismantled during the cabin's move.  Doug
had to find an "expert" when it came to actually moving and placing the stones
and he found one in Jim Hill of Mt. Vernon, a retired stone mason from Kansas
City.  Workers who dismantled the fireplaces several years ago numbered the
stones as they were taken down, but those numbers were washed away by the
elements long ago.  So, Hill said, "We just kind of guessed at it..." But Hill could
tell at a glance which side should be exposed and which should form the inside of
the fireplace.  The fireplace rebuilding began in August of 1991 and by Apple
Butter Makin' Days last October, the chimney stone in both the 22 foot chimneys
were laid and a ceremonal "first lighting" was held.
Seneker said he hopes the cabin will be finished in time for the county's
sesquicentennial in 1995, when both the cabin and the county will celebrate their
150th anniversaries.

The cabin is being restored as faithfully as possible to its orginal state, using
methods and materials the pioneers would have used.  A broadaxe dating from
the mid-1800's and unearthed near Chesapeake has been used to reshape and
repair logs.  Square nails from the structure were saved and others were donated
to be reused were needed.  "We try not to think about how much we've got to do,
but how much we've got done," Seneker said.
Already, rows of native trees have been planted along the south side of the cabin,
to provide a screen for the city lights and noises.  Long-range plans for the site
included furnishing the cabin, maintaining herb and vegetable gardens, a nature
trail, and possibly an orchard.
The site also would be ideal for special weekend events, such as Civil War
re-enactments, old-time craft demostrations, folk music gatherings and black
powder shoots, said Seneker.  The cabin project is being financed primarily
through donations of money and time, fund-raising activities, and progresses
a step at a time.  Seneker said it has taken at least seven years to get to where
it is today.
"But we want to do it right," he said.  "There is no point in making something
that will last only 30 to 40 years when the last people made something that lasted
150... Our goal is to make it last another 150!"
(Text and information taken from
articles in the Lawrence County Record)

Recent Photos  (July 2000)


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