The homestead and cabin — abandoned for decades — hardly looked worth saving in 1989 (right). Generations of the Wildman family had built around, over, and onto the original structure. Fortunately, the cabin’s timbers, long protected by the cladding, were in fine shape.
Craftsmen painstakingly disassembled, marked, and then reassembled the original cabin on a hilltop yards away.
(Below) Our master woodwrights inspect and explain the restoration challenges. The completed cabin reassembled. Sarah sits in an upstairs window before the chinking begins. The first fire in the fireplace, before the mortar had dried.
Shortly after the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, Wildman ancestors came to Ohio. Much of the farmland was part of a 1600-acre land grant given to a Wildman who had served as a chaplain in the Revolutionary Army.
When Sarah Wildman and her late husband, Austin, acquired the farm, they originally planned to use it as a weekend retreat. At the time the woods were overgrown and the farm had been out of production for about 40 years; Multiflora Rose, Honeysuckle, Osage Orange, and various other undergrowth had taken over. The log cabin was home to cattle, sheep, raccoons and countless other varmints. They were advised to bulldoze the structure.
Sarah, however, saw potential in the log cabin where everyone else saw a mess. “I saw what it could be, ” Sarah said. The cabin is part of the family history, so the Wildmans decided to rescue the cabin.
Enjoyed for many years by family and friends, the cabin and grounds are now made available for others to enjoy as well.