Mt. Vernon’s historic Adamson Cabin gets much needed repairs

Steve Chapman

Workers at Adamson Cabin replace deteriorating logs with period correct logs from the 1880s. (Photo submitted)

Lawrence County Historical Society sets sights on future upkeep of charming 1800s home, history
The Adamson Cabin in Mt. Vernon will continue to stand for many years, thanks to some repairs recently made to the building.
Kathy Fairchild, who is the cabin chairman for the Lawrence County Historical Society, said the cabin was discovered to have had some deteriorating logs about a year ago, but because replacing them would require a highly specialized process, it took time to find someone who could handle the task.
“Over a year ago, Gary Daughtrey discovered a log in the cabin was decaying, threatening the structural integrity of the north cabin wall,” she said. “This isn’t your everyday repair job. It took us months to investigate options and months more to find the right person for the job. We finally found Aaron Hagood of Sullivan, Mo., who has a passion for old cabins and has done extensive work with them.”
In making his repairs to the cabin, Fairchild said, he made certain to replace the old logs with new ones from about the same time period as when the cabin was built. Hagood made the repairs between Monday, Sept. 13 and Wednesday, Sept. 15.
“Hagood identified four deteriorating logs on the north wall and replaced them with some beautiful, sturdy oak logs he salvaged from an 1880s cabin,” she said. “He then re-chinked that section, inside and out. It was a painstaking process, fascinating to watch. While he was here, he discovered some additional structural issues and repaired them as well.”
Hagood also replaced the cabins doors; a member of the Adamson family and the Mt. Vernon Rotary Club helped to raise funds to pay for the new doors.

Vandalism a concern for the structure
“Protecting the cabin from vandals has also been a big concern, so we asked Aaron if he could build sturdier doors. The existing doors were built by local Boy Scouts during the restoration. Most of our break-ins have been the result of people kicking in those doors,” Fairchild said. “Hagood milled the wood for the doors himself and built them onsite.”
Fairchild said the Lawrence County Historical Society paid Hagood for replacing the logs with funds they had raised over the years from publication sales and other fundraisers, while the doors were paid for with help from a member of the Adamson family and local organizations.
“We invited the public to ‘sponsor’ doors to cover the cost,” she said. “An Adamson descendant from the West Coast came through immediately with a door sponsorship. Mt. Vernon Community Betterment held a biscuit and gravy fund-raiser for the project. With the help of Mt. Vernon Rotary, they sponsored all five of the remaining … doors”.

Ongoing need for cabin upkeep
While the Adamson Cabin has been saved for now, Fairchild said there is more to be done.
“We know we have more logs that could give out,” she said. “We know that to prevent future issues, we need to re-chink and seal the entire cabin. That’s going to be extremely labor-intensive and costly, so we’ve already started raising money for the work.”
Preserving the cabin is important, Fairchild said, so that future generations will be able to continue enjoying it in the years to come.
“The Adamson Cabin is a beautiful, calming place that transcends history,” she said. “We want to ensure that it will still be here so people who are children today will be able to bring their grandchildren to experience it. We want to give them that opportunity to gain insight into their heritage and the tenacity of their ancestors in a way they can’t get from books or the Internet. That’s why we are focusing on what we can do now to better preserve it for the future.”


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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