A local historical group has purchased the log cabin that first served as the county courthouse in 1841, and plans to restore the building in Memphis for display.
An important piece of Scotland County’s history dating back to its initial official organization by the state in 1841 has been rediscovered and efforts are underway to help preserve the artifact.
The original log cabin that served for nearly a decade as the county’s first courthouse, has been located and purchased by a local group, which plans to restore the building for public display.
“After a lengthy process, the old log cabin has been located and purchased, with the plan to move it to Memphis and eventually restore it as part of the Wiggins Family Museum,” said Carl Trueblood, a member of the group that is spearheading the project.
The log cabin, which originally stood in Sandhill, the initial county seat, had been lost to the community after being relocated more than once after being sold.
Just a decade after Scotland County was officially organized, being separated from what is today Lewis County, growth necessitated another division, with the creation of Knox County. This transition, meant Sandhill was no longer the geographic center of the county, and led to the relocation of the central government to Memphis.
Local history books reported the former courthouse building was sold to a private owner, and relocated to the J. Petty Farm.
In her book “History of Scotland County 1830-1971”, Mable Rice described the process. “Mr. Petty entered the land on which it stands and moved the old building on rollers, using oxen as the moving power.”
The building was utilized for many years before falling into a state of disrepair. However the author noted that once it’s history was learned, then owner De. Owens of Iowa, ordered a shed erected around the building to preserve what remained of the original courthouse.
Trueblood said the search began last year to locate the court house and its current owners. Finally in February, the group was able to make contact with the property owner, a non-resident of Scotland County.
By March the parties reached an agreement for the sale of the log cabin to the local historic group.
“We hope to get it moved into town and are already looking for a variety of components to help rebuild the roof and to replace any missing logs,” said Trueblood.
Anyone wishing to support the project may make donations to “The Original Courthouse” care of US Bank in Memphis or at the Scotland County Veterinary Clinic.
“We also need the public’s help in locating any history on the building,” said Trueblood. “We want to preserve as much of the history as possible, so anyone with any information, pictures or stories, please contact us.”
You can reach Trueblood at 660-341-7392 or Doc. Wiggins at 660-216-4390.