Restoration of the historic log cabin belonging to Joseph Greer, the “King’s Mountain Messenger”, continues to move forward with volunteers working to dismantle the structure before the elements take more of a toll.
Three months ago, the Gill family of Petersburg, who owns the land on which the 200-year-old cabin was originally built, donated the structure to be restored and eventually reconstructed on the Camp Blount site along the Elk River in Fayetteville. One of the most significant pieces of local history, the Greer cabin has survived the passage of time, although the structure will need significant work to be restored as closely as possible to the original home, constructed around 1810.
“We want to get as many logs separated and down as quickly and safely as we can and get them stored out of the weather,” Colin Wakefield said at the site of the cabin on Friday morning. A member of the Joseph Greer Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) Chapter, as well as the Camp Blount Historic Site Committee, Wakefield helped facilitate the donation from the Gill family and was one of the volunteers on hand on the day after Thanksgiving to begin dismantling the structure.
“That’s the critical thing right now, to get the logs stored,” he said. “It’s going to take a while. It’s very labor intensive.”
Wakefield was joined Friday by a fellow SAR chapter member, Bill Wendt, who is experienced in dismantling and reassembling log cabin structures, as well as Eddie Hall, a member of the Camp Blount Historic Site Committee. Local Scouts and leaders from Troop 489 were also on hand Friday, the third day the Scouts have worked to prepare the cabin for dismantling.
The Scouts had learned about Joseph Greer during troop activities and wanted to get involved in preserving the cabin once they learned of the restoration project.
“We called Colin up and asked if we could help out,” said Truman Carroll, Scoutmaster.
Since that time, six Scouts and four adult leaders have worked at the site, helping to tear off the roof, cleaning up debris and donating tarps to help protect the structure.
“We really hope we can just adopt this cabin (as a project),” Carroll said, saying he envisions Eagle Scout projects along the way. “It’s been really neat.”
First logs removed
The first log was removed Friday morning with some help from Warren Gill, a member of the Gill family, and his front-end loader which was used to hoist the massive log from the top of the cabin’s wall. Once the log was lowered back toward the ground, it took a team of 10 men, made up of volunteers and Scouts, to carry the log by hand to a trailer for transport to storage.
Some of the smaller logs were removed by hand using ropes and wooden supports to roll the logs toward the ground, where they were lifted, again by a team of volunteers, and moved to the trailer.
“Once we get it all down and secured out of the weather, we will start to hunt for replacement logs,” Wakefield explained. “We’ve already talked to some locals about maybe donating some logs from existing structures.”
Prior to removing the logs, volunteers had documented, photographed and numbered the logs to assist in reconstructing the cabin, something those involved say will be a lengthy process.
“People are really excited about what we’re trying to do,” said Wakefield, who calls the Greer cabin perhaps the most historically significant structure in Lincoln County. “It’s just going to be a long process. It’s going to take some time to do it and do it right.”