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  • Writer's pictureJoe Lyons

Saving the Log House at Ashland County Wildlife Conservation League

On January 18, 2024, a group of dedicated individuals, including Andy McClure, Bob DeSanto, Mark Barnhill, Christopher McClure, and Scarlett Raines, came together at the Ashland County Wildlife Conservation League in Ashland, OH to host a remarkable event. Their goal was to raise funds for a noble project - the preservation of a 200-year-old Log House. It was an evening filled with camaraderie and a shared passion for historical conservation. The event commenced with a generous act of philanthropy, as Andy and Christopher McClure became the first to contribute, presenting a commendable $1,000 check. In their footsteps, Bob DeSanto, representing his esteemed law firm, DeSanto & Kellogg, donated an additional $500.

The league passionately explained the importance of their mission, highlighting the historical significance of the cabin. To further their cause, they are also seeking sponsorships to match a community grant of $7,500, recently honored to the project by the Ashland County Community Foundation. The purpose of this venture is to not only protect and preserve a piece of history but also to educate future generations about the rich heritage of the region. Through their collective efforts, this dedicated group hopes to ensure that the log house stands tall for another 200 years.


Evaluating the Log House


Mark Barnhill, a BFA, RN, and Historic Researcher, initially raised concerns about the potential removal of the log house due to termite infestation. However, upon further examination by a historical structural engineer, it was determined that the house was currently free of termites. The evaluation did reveal areas of structural concern, but the overall condition and historical significance of the log house were remarkable.


Uncovering the History


A group of dedicated volunteers has embarked on a journey to uncover the history of the log house. Through extensive research and the discovery of historical photographs, they have pieced together a narrative that dates the original structure to the early 19th century. The preservation crew, comprised of passionate volunteers, has spent months revealing and documenting significant information about the log house.


Remarkable Structural Details


The log house consists of a large two-story front building and a west building of later design. The square-cut nail construction suggests a date after 1815, and the presence of "rose head" forged nails indicates even earlier origins. The original fireplace and chimney were removed and replaced in the 1940s, likely due to the transition from wood to coal or wood stove heating. The roof's design reflects Victorian influences, but the overall integrity of the structure remains intact.


Restoration Efforts


To ensure the log house's preservation, the restoration efforts include several key aspects. The east and west buildings are proposed to be lap sided for visual consistency and historic accuracy. Historic reproduction windows will be reinstated, and original doors and floors will be restored where possible. Additionally, electrical and plumbing updates will be necessary to bring the log house up to modern functional standards.


The Significance of Location


The log house is situated on the idyllic "Seymour Run" east of Mifflin, Ohio. This area holds historical significance, as it is tied to Philip Seymour, who published a book in 1858 detailing pioneer life in Richland County. The log house's location, surrounded by two lakes and accessible to the public, provides a beautiful and educational experience for visitors interested in Ohio's history.


Support and Sponsorship Opportunities


The ACWCL welcomes any support and sponsorship to help fulfill their mission of preserving the log house. Businesses can choose from four sponsorship tiers: American Chestnut, Walnut, Cherry, or White Oak, with corresponding donation amounts. Individuals and families can also participate in the sponsorship program at various levels. Donations can be made by writing a check to ACWCL and sending it to their address at 1930 County Road 1035.



Preserving the log house at the Ashland County Wildlife Conservation League is an important undertaking that requires the support of the community. By coming together and contributing to this project, individuals and businesses can help ensure that this historic structure remains intact for future generations. The dedication of volunteers and the generosity of sponsors will play a vital role in saving this architectural gem and turning it into an educational center for all to enjoy.

Keeping updates on the progress of the Log house preservation project at the Ashland County Wildlife Conservation League. The league has been diligently working towards saving this historic structure, and are pleased to announce that the project is well underway. However, in order to complete the restoration and ensure the log house's longevity, we still require your generous contributions.

For businesses that wish to support this endeavor, we offer four tiers of sponsorships. The American Chestnut Sponsorship, at a donation value of $1,000, offers excellent exposure to your business, demonstrating your commitment to community preservation. The Walnut Sponsorship, requiring a $500 donation, provides an opportunity to showcase your support while benefiting from enhanced recognition. Additionally, the Cherry Sponsorship, at a $250 donation level, and the White Oak Sponsorship, with a donation value of $100, offer you valuable exposure and acknowledge your valued contribution.

Ashland Community Foundation believes in those undertaking and looking to assist with a community grant to help with updating the electric.

During my visit to the Ashland County Wildlife Conservation League, I had the opportunity to meet with Mark Barnhill, a passionate collector.

As we conversed before the presentation began, BarnhilI shared the intriguing history behind the log house we were in. He explained that the cherry stand he had purchased from Junior and the Stoffers farm sale, which was situated roughly a mile and a half, possibly two miles from our location.

Based on its construction, the log house itself might date back to the early 1820s, or perhaps the other section could be from the 1830s or 1840s. Accompanying the rustic ambiance, a Bible sat atop a table, dating back to the 18th century. Originally, the German Reformed Church had a significant presence in this area during the early 19th century, making this Bible a fitting reflection of the time and place.

Furthermore, a carefully crafted clock, believed to be from the Black Forest region of Germany, had found its way to Ashland County from Richland County, and had resided here for an extended period.

These German clocks were brought to the region in large quantities between 1825 and around 1870, adding to the cultural tapestry of the area during the 1830s and 1840s.

The richness of history preserved within the log house at Ashland County Wildlife Conservation League is truly remarkable, offering us a glimpse into the past and keeping alive the legacy of the region's German immigrant community.


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