Leatherman Log Cabin

  1. 1
  2. 2
The two-story log house on the town square was built by blacksmith John Leatherman about 1826 and is the only remaining house from the original city plan. In 1841, Leatherman sold the house on lot #22 to his nephew, John H. Leatherman, a wagon maker. The house was sold to Dr. William Senteny for his medical practice in 1849, and in 1876 it was purchased by Dr. Benjamin F. Owens for his own practice.

The house was later occupied by various owners and businesses, and was eventually covered by a layer of siding. In 1977, Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Risinger purchased the building and planned to renovate it. They were going to cover the weatherboarding, but it was so rotten it had to be torn off. When townspeople saw the original yellow poplar log cabin for the first time in decades, everyone was charmed, and Mr. Risinger realized he needed to leave it that way. 

The date 1826 is based on what appeared to be Roman numerals carved on a log of the house, although it may be older than that because of the way it is constructed, according to the director of archives and records of Jefferson County. Supporting the house are sections of a tree that had the bark left on them. Some of the logs of the house are as long as 15 feet and range from 18 to 24 inches in height and 6 to 10 inches in thickness. The spaces between the logs were chinked with stones and white clay mixed with hog's hair.