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Marlinton log house, circa 1850, nearly restored

Pocahontas Times photo by Suzanne Stewart The McGlaughlin house, the oldest dwelling in Marlinton, is close to completion. Pictured outside the house are Pocahontas County Historic Landmarks Commission member Dennis Driscoll and contractor Colt Zendik.
Pocahontas Times photo by Suzanne Stewart
The McGlaughlin house, the oldest dwelling in Marlinton, is close to completion. Pictured outside the house are Pocahontas County Historic Landmarks Commission member Dennis Driscoll and contractor Colt Zendik.

MARLINTON, W.Va. — Seven years ago, a hand-hewn pioneer log cabin was discovered inside another residence near St. John Neumann Catholic Church, in Marlinton. Upon further inspection, members of the Pocahontas County Historic Landmarks Commission found that the cabin was built by Squire Hugh McGlaughlin in 1850 and is known as the oldest existing house in Marlinton.

The Landmarks Commission rallied together to raise funds for preservation and restoration of the cabin, including the risky move of the cabin to its present location near the Marlinton Depot. Volunteers worked tirelessly to move the cabin, log-by-log, and carefully reconstruct the original cabin in preparation for new construction.

Through fundraising and generous donations, the Landmarks Commission has been the working on the cabin, which was missing a wall and stairs to the second floor and missing modern conveniences like electricity and indoor plumbing, as well.

Last week, Landmarks Commission member Dennis Driscoll took a look around the cabin to see the progress of the construction. He explained that some building materials had been found stored in the freight car parked behind the Depot.

“It had been leftover for years,” Driscoll said. “We don’t know what it was from but there was enough to do that wall, this wall and that one over there. I asked [mayor Joe Smith] if the town needed it and he said, ‘no, we want to get rid of that.’ I said, ‘we’ll take every bit of that that we can.’”

When it came to completing the cabin, the focus was making it whole again, not replicating the way it was.

“Ninety percent of it is original,” Driscoll said. “You would never replicate the way it looked, but you can come fairly close. You can’t find materials like that anymore, so you’ve got to do what we’re doing.”

The cabin was in such good shape considering its age, partially because it was inside another house…

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