It was the 1850’s, and E. J. Adamson, lately of the state of Georgia, was searching for a place to make a home amongst the green Ozarks hills. On the banks of Turnback Creek in Lawrence County, Missouri he found the perfect spot. Clear, cold, sweet water flowed from Lumley’s Spring nearby and thickets of white oaks and black walnut trees would supply logs for a cabin. Nature had even provided a cache of sandstone – a ribbon of brown atop a layer of white limestone – just right for slicing out chunks of chimney stones. Adamson carved out a clearing for his cabin and fashioned those gifts into a one-room cabin. And he fashioned it well; after nearly 165 years, the cabin still stands. Through the years a dog trot (a roofed, open area between two cabins) and a second cabin were added to the structure. About 37 years ago, the double cabin was donated to the Lawrence County Historical Society by an Adamson descendant. It was moved to a hillside just north of Mt. Vernon where it was restored over a period of more than 20 years. (Text and information taken from articles in the Lawrence County Record)
Assisted by donations of monies and labor, my father Doug and his brother Don restored the cabin out of love for history. Both passed away a few years back. Each October, during the local Mt. Vernon Missouri Apple Butter Making Days Festival the cabin is open to the public. While thousands of folks gather on the square, a few miles away my sister Mary and I put on a living history demonstration at the cabin. We move in Friday morning and move out the following Sunday night. I had spent years at that cabin during Apple Butter Days with my father and family. It’s nice to have my big sister to continue the effort in repairing the cabin and passing along information to the community about life at the cabin.
In those days, ladies had to sit sideways near the fire to avoid catching their dress on fire. Mary cooks on a trivet which is a three legged stand under which you place coals. Although it might have been interesting to stomp out the fire on her dress, I’m glad she is careful – and never burns my breakfast!
The Adamson family lived in this cabin into the 1950’s. Having added a second cabin room, eventually they closed it in with wood siding thereby connecting the cabins. The wood siding had a hidden benefit of protecting the logs. Mt. Vernon is 70 miles north of Branson Missouri. In this part of the country there are other cabins hidden below the siding of what looks like “modern” homes. For some reason if you happen to find yourself in the area let me know. I’m sure we can get a cousin to open the cabin up for a tour along with the local museum located nearby. I’m planning to park our future fifth wheel nearby for as many October festivals as we can find time to be in the area. I’ll also have to remember to add experience with living history demonstrations on the future workamping resume.
My goal this year was to repair old logs used for the split-rail fence. Trees had been cut and were laying on the ground nearby. I was amazed as both children and adults walked up asking to help split the logs. We have decided having demonstrations where guests can join in might be a good thing. Next year is the 50th anniversary of Apple Butter Making Days. We talked about having steam engines, soap makers and a blacksmith out at the cabin as it is a special year. I’m still trying to talk my sister into allowing a few Indians to setup camp in the area. I’ve got a year to convince her!
I’d rather be at the cabin than with the thousands who attend the festival which runs from noon Friday (the second weekend of October) and 4:00 pm on Sunday.
Click Here for short video of Bluegrass fund raising event in 2013.