Log cabin in newest town park to be saved

A log cabin at the corner of Washington and Johnson will be preserved in place instead of being torn down.

The Nashville Town Council purchased about a half-acre at that corner last month to make into a town park. The three lots side by side contained two trailers and the cabin, and none of them are inhabitable, council members said.

President “Buzz” King estimated it would take $100,000 to make the cabin into a useful structure for the park, such as a bathroom, and he said he’d planned to have it torn down. But Town Manager Scott Rudd asked permission to continue talking to a historic preservation group, and that request was approved.

Last week he said that the town was trying to restore or save the cabin in place if possible, and no preservation group was involved at this time.

Some newer additions to it were removed last week, but the cabin structure stayed.

VIDEO: One of the two trailers on the site comes down

According to an email from historian and storyteller George Monroe, the cabin dates back to around the 1930s. He remembers it being built when he was about 9 years old by Abner Mobley, also known as Rex.

Rex’s dad, William “Bummer” Mobley, bought that whole half-block and shared it with his two sons, Monroe said. All three Mobleys built houses at the northeast, southeast and southwest corners of the land, and Monroe believed Abner hewed the logs himself.

All of the buildings always flooded a few times each year and had to be evacuated a few times until the water receded, Monroe said. That still happens; in the summer of 2015, a man who was living in the cabin was rescued by canoe.

At a July 13 council meeting, neighborhood resident Tricia Bock mentioned the flooding in her opposition to having a park here. She also thought neighbors needed to be notified that a public space was being placed in a residential area, but real estate agent and town council Vice President Jane Gore said she didn’t believe that needed to be done, and King agreed.

“For the record, I think it’s an awful idea,” Bock said. She also bought up concerns about security and putting additional work onto town police to patrol this area.

King also mentioned a plan to raise and level the site to “drain the swamp” and to help with flooding and mosquito problems.

The council plans to plant trees in advance of any actual park-building, so by the time they have the money to start installing paths and other park elements, the trees will have had time to grow.

A couple of dying or leaning trees on the site were being considered for removal last week while the trailers were being demolished.

A group of local teens has been looking for land to become a teen park with a skateboarding area, outdoor movie screen, hammocks and a fire pit, and is trying to raise $100,000 to build those elements. But they don’t have a place to put it yet.

King has said he doesn’t want this land, which is a neighbor to his house, to become a skate park. The general vision for it is to be a green space for picnicking.

The council approved transferring $100,000 into a fund to pay for the land purchase, but there is no overall budget for the park project, King said. He said it wouldn’t raise anyone’s taxes.

“This isn’t going to be an overnight thing,” he said. “We don’t want to spend money we don’t have and we want to make sure it’s done right.”

Public input meeting about new park

When: 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16

Where: Brown County Public Library, lower-level meeting room C

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Sara Clifford has been raising a family in Brown County since 2005 and leading the Brown County Democrat since late 2009. In addition to editor, she is the beat reporter for town government and writes columns, features and general news stories.