We recently discovered the provenance of the old bus that emerged from the woods alongside Veterans Parkway as the right of way was cleared for the road widening project. That led us to another mystery just up the road a bit.
Less than a mile up the road on the other (west) side of the street, an old A-frame cottage juts at an angle from the woods. It looks like your standard A-frame design with a galvanized chimney sticking out of the steeply pitched roof. The front door stands partially open out onto a front deck. A two-pane vertical window still has some glass in it, but not much. The upper part was once mostly glass, which is now mostly broken.
According to city records, the 720 square foot cabin was built in 1974. It has one bedroom and one bath. It sits on one of two lots owned by the Edge family.
Last week, I put a picture of the cabin on our website and Facebook page and asked people if they knew anything about the old A-frame. I heard from a few people who said they had actually lived in the place when it was a rental.
One woman who lived there for a while, Diane Culpepper, said it has a loft in the back that houses a “tiny bedroom.” On the main floor, which was heated by a wood-burning stove, is a living area, a small kitchen and a small bath off the kitchen. As you can see in the picture, it also has a small deck out front.
“It was way out in the country back then,” Culpepper said.
Another woman, Tammie, said she lived there for a few years in the early to mid ’80s with her young daughter. She remembers it as a nice place to live, tucked away in the woods away from the bustle of the city. (Lord, has that changed.) She said when she lived there it shared a driveway with another house that sat closer to the road.
I bet the front porch was once a nice place to sit and have a beverage and unwind. Now, the view is of road construction and instead of the scent of pines, you have the aroma of auto exhaust.
From what I can piece together from personal accounts, city records and such, the land was once owned by the Calhoun family, which had a couple of old farm houses on it, closer to the road (the old road) than the A-frame, which hadn’t been built yet.
The Calhouns apparently operated a small general store out of the front of their house, but they eventually sold the property to the Edge family, who also owned Park Hill Cemetery.
A man named Julian Edge, I’m told, was living in one of the old farm houses when he built the A-frame for his daughter, who I’m told still lives in Columbus. I’ve tried, but failed, to get in touch with her to get her account of living in the house.
Some of the accounts I’ve heard that I do not think are true include that it’s one of the old Callaway Gardens chalets that the gardens once sold off. I don’t think it’s one of those houses.
My favorite observation comes from a Facebook post by a guy named Lucas, who said, “I hear it’s haunted by the original founders of Columbus. If you go out there on a quiet night, you can even hear their voices moan, ‘Stop building car lots!’”
So there you have it. We’ve solved two mysteries uncovered by the widening of Veterans Parkway. If there are any other mysterious buildings or structures around town, drop me a note and we’ll see what we can find out about them.
Otherwise, if you’ve seen something that needs attention, contact me at 706-571-8570 or firstname.lastname@example.org.