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Lebanon Welcomes Historic Cabin From 1795

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Ann Thompson
/
WVXU
Putting the William Beedle log cabin back together again is not easy. Some of the logs are 22' long and weigh 500 pounds.

When people drive by Lebanon's intersection of Broadway and South, some are doing a double-take. A log cabin from 1795 is being reconstructed right Downtown.

The William Beedle cabin, once located behind the Lebanon Correctional Institution, was part of the first settlement in Warren County and taken apart in a massive effort that WVXU first reported on in 2019.

The 18 x 22-foot cabin, with logs as long as 22 feet and weighing 500 pounds, is being erected next door to the Armstrong Conference Center.

"It feels like a fortress," says Executive Director of the Warren County Historical Museum Michael Coyan. "You would feel incredibly safe in that building. I've had people tell me that they almost got into automobile accidents as they were driving down Broadway, craning their necks as the cabin came up out of the foundation."

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Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
/
WVXU
Executive Director of the Warren County Historical Museum Michael Coyan points out the wood slats that are inserted into the chinking to help prevent leaking.

Preparing the cabin for the move was no easy task. Volunteers, including the nonprofit Dayton Diggers, had to take off the siding to expose the giant logs. Each one was marked so it could be reassembled properly. Then the logs were moved to a barn north of Lebanon that had venting so the logs could dry out. The interior was tested and experts determined there was a window in January when the logs should be moved to Lebanon and the reconstruction would start.

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Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
/
WVXU
Architectural Reclamation is putting in a working fireplace.

Architectural Reclamation is handling the reconstruction. At the site behind the prison, there was a second story on the log house but Coyan believes that was added later. So the cabin will remain one story in downtown Lebanon.

Chinking is underway and Coyan doesn't think it will be too long before the roof is on. He's going through the museum's inventory to furnish it.

Sept. 18 is the date the cabin will be dedicated. "We're going to present the 'Frontier Fair,' which will be a festival celebrating Ohio, the Northwest Territory, and Lebanon and Warren County," says Coyan. "It will take place here, at Glendower, and at Molly Harmon Park across the bridge."

Coyan points out the irony with the Armstrong Conference Center next door. Astronaut Neil Armstrong lived much of his adult life in Lebanon.

The move was privately funded.

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Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
/
WVXU
The cabin, at Broadway and South, is going up on what is becoming Warren County's historical campus.