What is believed to be the oldest structure in Muscogee County was on the move Tuesday morning, though the trip was a short one.
The old trader’s log cabin, which has been behind the Woodruff Farm House in the 700 block of Broadway, was moved into Heritage Park, just across the street.
The house is owned by the Historic Columbus Foundation and was moved by I.L. Davis House Movers Inc., of Salem, Ala. Murphey Pound, son of foundation board president Garry Pound, worked with the movers and the foundation as part of his Eagle Scout project.
“It is always exciting to move something that isn’t supposed to move,” said Justin Krieg, director of Planning and Programs at Historic Columbus.
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The cabin was believed to be constructed in the early 1800s and was used by trappers who traded with Indians in the years before Columbus was settled in 1828.
It is constructed of pine timbers. It was originally moved in 1986 off the Woodruff Farm near where the Woodruff Farm Soccer Complex is now located.It has been in the Historic District behind the Woodruff Farm House since then. The new location is much more visible.
The foundation paid $15,000 to have the cabin moved. Murphey Pound offset some of the costs by the work he has done in an attempt to earn his Eagle designation. Murphey Pound started early this month removing trees and taking down a 35-foot stone chimney in preparation for the move. He will also landscape around the cabin at its new location in Heritage Park, which pays tribute to the city’s history.
“I thought it was a good project to show leadership,” Murphey Pound said. “It takes a lot of coordination, planning and supplies to move a house.”
Murphey Pound, 17, pointed out the cabin is similar to his Troop 6 Boy Scout hut at Lakebottom.
“The Scout hut at Lakebottom is almost identical to this,” Pound said. “The cabin has a lot of character and history to it.”
Krieg said Murphey Pound’s involvement has been helpful.
“It is always great to have partners,” Krieg said. “He has not only saved us money, but he has given us a watchful eye during the construction process.”One of those watching the house move down Broadway less than 100 yards, up Seventh Street to Front Avenue and then into the park was retired Columbus State University history professor John Lupold.
Loupold does not doubt the history of the cabin, but is cautious about referencing it as the oldest structure in the county.
“I am personally not real wild about firsts and lasts and that sort of thing,” he said. “But I can talk about what Fred Fussell and Joe Mahan discovered when it was first brought to their attention years ago. There was smoke in rafters. Inside, it was a dirt floor. It looked like somebody who was trading with the Indians and taking the deer skins and at least smoking them to dry them out to be able to sell them to a larger trader who would take them back into Savannah or Charleston.”