Log cabin dates getting clearer
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.