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180 Year Old Cabin Moving to Historic Illinois Fort

Posted on: 2:52 pm, March 29, 2012, by , updated on: 04:52pm, March 29, 2012

A long overlooked piece of history is about to go for quite a ride in Northwest Illinois. A 180 year old log cabin is about to be relocated from a Jo Davies County farm to the Apple River Fort historical area. Historians say the fort and the cabin played unique rolls in the Black Hawk War.

It may not look like much, but this cabin is one the oldest buildings in Northwest Illinois.

“When I was a kid it was just another building that we used on the farm,” explains Jeff Koester.

His farm near Scales Mound Illinois has been in the family for more than 8 decades, and right in the middle of it all was this old log cabin. Koester says he never knew much about it in fact he almost tore it down. But 5 years ago he asked local historical experts to take a look at the old building. Their prognosis: the cabin was built in 1830, more than 180 years ago.

“It’s a shame to throw away history,” says Koester.

Since then plans have been in the works to pick up and move the cabin to the Apple River Fort State Historic Site. Last week movers lifted and loaded the cabin onto a trailer with plans to move it this week. After nearly 2 centuries on this farm the cabin was now ready to leave.

“You know it just feels like there’s something missing. But now it’s been a week just sitting out here and I’m getting used to it kinda being gone, but yeah I kinda miss it,” says Koester.

Today was supposed to be moving day but a missing permit means this 180 year old cabin will have to wait another week before it makes its way to a new home.

“Took a while but at least it’s on wheels and it’s going to head south,” says Koester.

Once all the paperwork is in order movers say it should only take an hour or two to move the cabin to the Apple River Fort. For Jeff Koester the move is a little bittersweet. He knows the cabin will be put to good use, but when it goes it’ll take plenty of memories with it. Some of which are already long forgotten.

“I just wish walls could talk sometimes, it’d be neat to hear stories about how this all come about,” adds Koester.

Historical experts with the Apple River Fort say once the cabin arrives it should be ready for the public by this fall.

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