The Anderson Building Movers crew pose alongside the log cabin once it was raised from the foundation. Photo by Neil Anderson
The historic log cabin at the Grant County Historical Society Museum was lifted off its foundation, by Anderson Building Movers, last Tuesday, for some much-needed repairs. Around 160 linear feet of logs will be replaced by new logs, cut and fitted by Jake Wasson of Fergus Falls, who owns a sawmill. Then frost footings will be dug and installed by Jessie Schreiner’s Lake Country Concrete. After new chinking is completed, the structure will be set back in place. Anderson Building Movers owner Neil Anderson said the job was a challenge because the bottom logs were rotted and could not take the weight of the cabin as it was lifted. “But we got it done,” he said, adding that his company has moved around a dozen old log cabins in the last couple of years.
The log house was built in 1865 by Ole and Molly Flor, of Pelican Lake Township. They had one son, Peter, who married and lived in the 16 by 24 foot cabin with his wife, ten children, and his mother. The Flors moved to Fergus Falls in 1920, and the cabin was occupied by various other families until 1940 when the Rohloff family purchased the house. They installed electricity and lived in the log structure until the mid-60s. The cabin was purchased by the Historical Society and moved to the grounds of the museum in Elbow Lake in 1971. Stabilizing the cabin for future generations is being paid for by a generous grant from Elbow Lake High School 1956 alumni Jerome Ostenson. Ostenson is a retired professor at Iowa State and worked for the United States Atomic Energy Commission.