Wednesday, March 5, 2014

An Update on the Turner-Peters Dogtrot Log Cabin Project

Members of the Brazos Heritage Society will recall that at our 2013 Annual Membership Meeting Mervin Peters provided us with a report on a restoration project of a historic log cabin located on property owned by the Texas Municipal Power Agency.  And at our 2014 Annual Membership Meeting Tom McDonald provided additional information about this project.

Earlier this week we received an email from Mervin Peters containing some good news on the progress of this project.  His email reads as follows:

Please pardon the long stretch since you last had an update on the cabin relocation and restoration project that you have been so supportive of and helpful with.

Many months ago the Board of Directors of Texas Municipal Power Agency approved transfer of the cabin for the purpose of moving it to Boonville subject to the Texas Historical Commission granting them unrestricted permission to do so.  On February 21 we received the THC letter clearing the way for TMPA to transfer ownership.  This project would not even be a possibility had TMPA not done such an exceptional job of preventing further deterioration during the last thirty years with them as the owners.

On February 24 TMPA forwarded the executed copy of the Bill of Sale to me transferring ownership to Boonville Re-Development, LLC, an entity created solely for the purpose of acquiring assets and arranging for their restoration and placement in Boonville Heritage Park subject to approval of the Brazos County Commissioners Court.

On February 25 at the regular meeting of the Brazos County Commissioners Court’s unanimous approval was given to the placement of the cabin in the Park subject only to our completion of the restoration and other planned improvements.

While all of this has been proceeding we have also been working with Heritage Restoration in Waco that does log structure recovery and restoration all over the United States and Canada.  We will be signing a contract in the coming days with them for about $109,000 to include everything but the foundation and a few outside items needed.  The cabin will be in first class shape when done and should have at least another one hundred and sixty years of use and enjoyment.

Heritage Restoration expects to start the disassembly within the next couple of weeks.  That will take a week and they will do all of the restoration work in Waco taking about forty-five days and then deliver to Bryan and it will be set up for the final time.  Another month or two will be required to add the fireplace, roof, porches and ADA entry.  Somewhere along in this process we will start working with the Curator at the Star of Texas Museum to layout a typically period furnished two crib cabin.  She will also help us identify some possible sources of furnishings that might be appropriate.

We have also been raising funds and to date have $105,900 with hopefully additions to come.  If any of you happen to know of individuals or entities of any sort who might be interested in a project of this nature and might offer financial support, please let me know as I would be happy to visit with them.

Without your support, assistance, professional expertise and maybe most of all encouragement, we would not be on the threshold of beginning the placement of assets in Boonville Heritage Park that many with the County and the public spoke and dreamed of some thirty years ago.  It will become a terrific educational venue and well as an interesting tourist attraction and a place of enjoyment for all of the residents of Brazos and surrounding counties.

When work begins at the Boonville site, I hope you will check by from time to time to see firsthand the community asset you have significantly helped to become a reality.

This is wonderful news.  The Brazos Heritage Society, which has supported this project, commends Mervin Peters for all his work in making this happen.  Persons interested in contributing to this effort may send a check to the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History with the notation that it is for the Turner-Peters Dogtrot Log Cabin Project.

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