Log cabin being moved near old Burlington jail

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Passionate about preserving history, Lee Fitzhugh “Danny” Daniel Jr. decided to move a log cabin on his farm into the Village of Chesapeake and restore it.

In the mid-1990s, Daniel and his friends began dismantling the cabin log by log and moved it to its current location on County Road 1.

“He worked for months and months on it and got it fairly well to the point of completion,” said Ruth Daniel, his sister-in-law, of Chesapeake. “He was an antique buff and he was going to fix it up like a little museum and he unfortunately died in 1997.”

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It is believed the cabin was built in the late 1880s. The chimney was built of flat fieldstone.

“Danny was quite a perfectionist,” said Betty Burcham. “If he was doing it, he would do it right or it wasn’t done.”

Little is known about the first owners of the cabin, but in the early part of the 20th century, Jim and Challie “Tike” Riley lived in the cabin.

Their niece, Margo Lemley, of Proctorville, lived with them when she was growing up.

“I lived there for many, many years,” Lemley said.

The cabin was on Bear Creek across from Greasy Ridge.

“It was across the creek and you’d have to wade the creek or have a bridge to get to it,” said Betty Burcham, of Proctorville. “The chimney was made of flat fieldstone. He built a kitchen on the back part of the house but it didn’t come with it.”

After the Riley family, a man named Singer moved in and lived there the rest of his life. Daniel decided to move it after he died.

The last owners of the cabin, Don and Sue Livingston, donated the cabin to the Concerned Citizens of Burlington.

“I’ve had people trying to buy it from me,” Sue Livingston said.

Workers have started dismantling the cabin and it will be rebuilt in Burlington next to the old jail.

“It was probably about a year ago that the Livingston family contacted us about donating the building and we’ve been working on it,” said Dave Milem, a member of the Concerned Citizens. “We had to get a grant, set up a contractor and go through that process — and it takes a lot of time.”

Granville Conn, is supervising the project.

“He has a lot of expertise in moving log cabins,” said Harriett Ramsey, president of Concerned Citizens.

The Lawrence County commissioners, Fayette Township trustees, a NatureWorks grant and several individuals have contributed to the project.

The date of completion has not been announced.