The image I use in the header of my blog is not just a random log cabin I photographed. It has historical significance to me. It was the dwelling place for my grandfather of the American Revolutionary War generation Shadrach Claywell — and he is believed to have built at least a portion of the cabin.
Originally located near Settle, Ky. on U.S. 90 in Cumberland County, the cabin was moved to Veterans Park in Burkesville in 1969. My paternal grandparents moved to within a mile of Veterans Park in 1968. And, despite spending a considerable amount of time with my grandparents in the late 60s and early 70s, I knew nothing of the cabin’s existence until around 2000 when I started doing genealogy research after my father’s death.
According to historical documents, portions of the cabin, including the 1/2 dovetail section is believed to be original and may have been built as early as 1794. In 1969, Randolph Smith wrote a piece for the Cumberland County newspaper called the History of Shadrick Claywell Log Cabin and states his belief that Shadrach built the second portion of the cabin when he purchased the land in 1813.
The cabin and much of the land associated with it left the Claywell line with Shadrach’s death.
Shadrach, who lived in Virginia at the onset of the War was a bit of a restless soul. He was captured by the British during the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, lived in Canada awhile before eventually returning to Virginia. Before heading to Kentucky, he would first moved his family to North Carolina where his brother, Peter, was a minister. Then at the age of 46, Shadrach left North Carolina to settle in Kentucky on the land given to him for his War service.
Shadrach lived in the cabin and worked the 200 acres surrounding it more than 20 years until his death in 1839. In his Will, Shadrach bequeaths the cabin and surrounding land on Bear Creek to his daughter-in-law Obedience Shugart Claywell. Upon her death, Obedience would will it to her daughter Permelia B. Keen. The cabin remained in the Keen family until it was moved in 1969.
Historical documents describe the cabin as a one story log dogtrot (20′ x 52′), built mostly of poplar logs, consisting of two pens (20′ x 22′ and 20′ x 20′) connected by an enclosed 10-foot breezeway. It has gable and cut stone hipped chimneys.