90-year-old log cabin gets prepped for move behind cobblestone schoolhouse

Photos by Tom Rivers: Rick Ebbs puts plywood sheets inside a 10-by-14-foot log cabin that will be moved from Linwood Avenue to behind a cobblestone schoolhouse on Gaines Basin Road.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 September 2020 at 1:25 pm

There are plaques with the initials of the scouts who built the cabin, including Faris Benton.

ALBION – A log cabin built by Boy Scouts nearly a century ago is getting prepped for a move from a backyard to behind a historic cobblestone schoolhouse.

Rick Ebbs, a local carpenter, is volunteering to get the cabin ready for the move. He is put plywood sheets inside the cabin and will put in cross-bracing to help keep the cabin together for the journey, which will be about 4 miles from Linwood Avenue, down Route 98, to Bacon Road and then behind the cobblestone schoolhouse on Gaines Basin Road, north of the Erie Canal.

Ebbs said the cabin could be on the move later this month. He is lining up volunteers and equipment for the task. He expects to use two forklifts to get the cabin up on a loader and then to set it behind the schoolhouse in Gaines.

Patricia and Ralph Moorhouse donated the structure to the Orleans County Historical Society. Mrs. Moorhouse’s father, Faris Benton, was one of the scouts who built the cabin with help from his father, Fred Benton. The scouts dragged logs from the nearby woods.

They built a fireplace on the inside and outside. That fireplace has deteriorated but will be reset and repaired in its new location.

Rick Ebbs said the log cabin has deteriorated and has some rot, but has held up remarkably well for nearly a century. He is getting the structure ready to be moved to its new home.

Mrs. Moorhouse said the cabin has provided three generations of fun for her father, when she was a kid and for her children. It is in her backyard.

“There have been many happy times in there,” she said this morning. “I played in it and so did my kids.”

Her father and his friends had bunks in the cabin, which has proven durable. They likely built it in 1930, when her dad was 14.

The only major improvements since then was a new roof about 40 years ago. Moorhouse said she feels sentimental about the cabin but is grateful the Orleans County Historical Society is willing to display it and give it an extended life.

The cabin will be moved to this spot behind the Gaines Basin No. 2 cobblestone school on Gaines Basin Road. That schoolhouse, built in 1832, has been rescued from decline in recent years by the Orleans County Historical Society. Bill Lattin, retired Orleans County historian and director of the Cobblestone Society Museum, and Al Capurso who spearheaded the effort to relocate the cabin with lots of work by Ebbs.

The cabin had an impressive stone chimney, which was knocked down by a fallen limb. The scouts used an oil tank to keep the fire going. The chimney and fire place will be moved to the new location and reset.

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