We are truly lucky to live in a town with so much history.
Through the decades, our city has done a good job of preserving our history for future generations to see. We are fortunate to have a lot of historic buildings still standing in our city and we are fortunate to have markers and plaques that tell people about events that occurred in our city at different periods in our history. We are also fortunate to have remnants of several Civil War forts still visible for people to explore, and the Kentucky Museum at Western Kentucky University is a treasure trove of artifacts and documents pertaining to our area and Kentucky history.
On many occasions, it is not uncommon to see people looking at the historic buildings downtown and walking through and taking pictures of the historic Fountain Square Park.
One such building that WKU has done a great job of preserving since it was donated to the university in 1978 is the Felts Log House, located outside the Kentucky Museum on campus.
The history behind this log house is really amazing and highly interesting. The log house was constructed in Logan County in 1810, and for 150 years afterward was home to the descendants of Archibald Felts, a Revolutionary War veteran and early settler of Kentucky back when it was considered a frontier. Felts’ descendants continued living in the house until the 1960s.
Built from poplar, oak and walnut trees, the two-story cabin is divided by a dogtrot, which is a roofed passage similar to a breezeway. On summer days, residents could have used it to flow air through the home’s rooms. On one side lies a kitchen and dining area, and on the other, what could have been the Felts’ bedroom. Two children’s rooms are upstairs, past a steep staircase that twists around a corner.
The cabin’s living quarters are filled with simple wooden furniture and tools meant to mimic the age, including a sugar chest that a 19th-century family could have used to keep supplies.
Anyone who has been in the the log house will know it is like walking back in time. It’s a beautiful structure that is full of history from the Felts family.
While it’s full of history, anything that old needs repairs to maintain and preserve and the Felts Log House is now in need of repairs.
Restoration of the log house will begin soon with the help of a new $36,000 grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.
It will be restored using period-appropriate materials. The project will focus on areas near the home’s entryway and doors, along with improvements to its chinking, meaning the material between each log that helps insulate the cabin.
While it might take some time to restore the building, we are really glad WKU is restoring the Felts Log House because it really is a history worth preserving.