Rural Missouri - May 2022 - 40

With the the help of family and friends, Bev
McCulloch saved and rebuilt the 1829 cabin
of Benjamin Fry on her farm near Plattsburg.
Deer Creek Cabin now serves as a hands-on
classroom of living history from the pioneer
days of Missouri.
by Zach Smith | zsmith@ruralmissouri.coop
W
hen Benjamin Fry built
his log cabin south of the
town that would one day
become Plattsburg, northwest
Missouri looked a little different.
In 1829, the cabin was on Missouri's
frontier. The Platte Purchase had
not been made, Kansas City was not
incorporated as a town and Smithville
Lake was more than a century away
from existing. But today Fry's cabin
looks much the same as it did almost
200 years ago, thanks to a retired music
teacher who couldn't let a piece of
history be forgotten.
The cabin, which in 1991 was part
of a barn across the road from where
Bev and her late husband, Ron, lived,
was due to be dismantled. " I thought
maybe I'd try to save it, but the only
thing I'd ever built was a doghouse, "
recalls Bev, a Platte-Clay Electric
Cooperative member.
Saving Fry's cabin took Bev a little
more effort than tacking together
Fido's abode. Pressed for time, she
paid the cabin's owner $100, and with
the help of friends, family, neighbors,
some chains and a pickup, Bev transported
the cabin one log and foundation
rock at a time to their farm. For
the next three years, on a hillside in
the woods, Fry's cabin - now known
as McCulloch's Deer Creek Cabin -
was rebuilt.
On the banks of
Deer Creek
Bev McCulloch rebuilds 1829 log cabin
40 RURAL MISSOURI | MAY 2022
" For the longest time we were just
trying to get it up, " Bev says. " The
flood of '93 hit and you couldn't get a
tractor or a truck in here. But everybody
was safe and nobody got hurt.
That was my goal. "
Bev had the foresight to label the
logs before dismantling the structure.
Wrangling the 200-year-old oak and
walnut timbers, some weighing as
much as a half a ton, took some ingenuity:
With an iron bar and rocks, Bev
managed to raise them on to a ramp
built from other trees on the property,
and hoisted each piece into position
using a tractor and cable. She added
windows to the west wall, and learned
to chink the spaces between the logs

Rural Missouri - May 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - May 2022

Contents
Rural Missouri - May 2022 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - May 2022 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - May 2022 - Contents
Rural Missouri - May 2022 - 4
Rural Missouri - May 2022 - 5
Rural Missouri - May 2022 - 6
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Rural Missouri - May 2022 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - May 2022 - Cover4
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