This spring, Jasper County Historical Society solicited volunteers for two “Chinking Saturdays,” asking workers to devote a few hours to re-chinking the hewn logs of the 1867 Quick-Walter-Hall Cabin at the Jasper County Fairgrounds.
As its name suggests, the cabin’s history includes several owners and a long roster of different uses. Pioneering farmer Mark Quick built the cabin in 1867 as his home in Barkley Township. Thomas Walters purchased the farm in 1901 and added another four rooms onto the cabin, using the original pens (the term for rooms in a log structure) as a lambing shed. In 1929, Paul J. Hall, Sr., bought the farm from the Walters family and moved the cabin inside a cattle barn for use as feed storage. The cabin retired from farm duty in 1967, when the Hall family donated it to the Jasper County Historical Society and relocated it to the Jasper County Fairgrounds, where it now stands as the only complete log structure in the county.
The historical society started working to preserve the cabin in 2017, inviting county fair attendees to chip away at the heavy cement chinking between the logs, added sometime after the cabin’s move to the fairgrounds. Chinking composed with Portland cement retains moisture and tends to shrink overtime, causing damage to the logs.
Once the old chinking was gone, volunteers applied a more appropriate replacement. After inserting wood slabs to fill most of the space between each log, workers used a modern substitute for traditional chinking and daubing. Originally, farmer Quick would have packed moss, clay, and even animal dung around the wooden slabs and then added clay and lime daubing to seal the joint. The new modern material will expand and contract with the seasons and will shed water away from the vulnerable logs, just like the traditional method. The historical society was able to purchase materials for the project with the help of personal donations and a generous contribution from Alliance Bank.
The historical society maintains two other historic buildings relocated to the fairgrounds: the 1938 Parr Post Office and the 1877 Rosebud School – the only remaining one-room schoolhouse in Jasper County. Visitors can see them during the 2019 Jasper County Fair, July 20-27.
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