Log cabin dates get­ting clearer

The Weekly Vista - - News - KEITH BRYANT kbryant@nwadg.com

A log cabin the Bella Vista His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety is work­ing to ac­quire is slightly newer than ini­tially be­lieved.

Bella Vista His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety pres­i­dent Xyta Lu­cas said she spent some time search­ing through tax records to see what she could find about the cabin.

While sources ini­tially stated the struc­ture was built in Bella Vista in 1912, Lu­cas said the tax record sug­gests it was built at some point in 1916 be­cause of how the val­u­a­tion of the land fluc­tu­ated. In 1912, she said, the as­sessed value was $80 for Christo­pher Colum­bus Cooper’s — no re­la­tion to Cooper Com­mu­ni­ties — 80-acre prop­erty, but it jumped to $200 in 1917, sug­gest­ing the struc­ture was built in 1916. That value in­creased again, to $240 in 1918 and again to $265 in 1920.

“That would ap­pear to be when the struc­ture was erected,” Lu­cas said.

By 1950, records showed the prop­erty had ex­panded to 140 acres and was as­sessed at $475.

The prop­erty came to be pos­sessed by T.R. Allen in 1962, she ex­plained, and was then as­sessed at $520. Allen owned the prop­erty un­til Cooper Com­mu­ni­ties pur­chased the land in 1972. A deed on-hand at the mu­seum showed that the prop­erty was sold to Cooper Nov. 29, 1971. This prop­erty was part of a 315 acre sale that came in at $175,000.

“What was in­ter­est­ing to me is that the prop­erty stayed in the Christo­pher Cooper fam­ily un­til 1962,” she said.

This also sim­pli­fies the his­tor­i­cal so­ci­ety’s record anal­y­sis, she said, by giv­ing them two own­ers to look at. She wouldn’t have been sur­prised, she said, to find there were half a dozen or more own­ers dur­ing this time pe­riod.

In 1974, the cabin was dis­man­tled and moved to Pease Drive by Paul Par­ish, though the orig­i­nal struc­ture had been ex­panded on and be­came sig­nif­i­cantly larger than what re­mains.

Lu­cas said she ex­pects the cabin to be moved to the mu­seum grounds some­time this fall. She would pre­fer to move it sooner, she said, but the in­mate crew that is mak­ing the foun­da­tion will not be avail­able be­fore then.

In the mean­time, Lu­cas said, vol­un­teers will work on clear­ing the grounds and re­mov­ing the ex­ist­ing porch from the struc­ture.

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