When Curtis Grant first bought a plot of land in Flower Mound, Texas, he intended to turn it into a 12-lot subdivision.
Though after unearthing an 1800s-era log cabin in the walls of an existing home, Grant has amended his plans.
Grant bought the home from Mary King, the owner since 1978. She told The Cross Timbers Gazette, “Mr. Grant was told that there was a log cabin within the front living room walls. He explained that he wanted to incorporate the stone from the original fireplace into the entrance of the development.”
But after removing the walls to reveal the log cabin core, Grant had the logs analyzed by Dr. David Stahle, director of the Tree-Ring Laboratory at the University of Arkansas. Professor Stahle dated the cabin by coring the logs, determining they were cut between 1857 and 1860. He concluded the structure was most likely built in 1860.
According to Mark Glover of the Flower Mound Foundation, the land on which the cabin was built was originally part of a Republic of Texas land grant given to a Texas settler from a Missouri man in 1854.
The walls of the existing home were built around the walls of the log cabin. The original 16-by-16-foot structure served as the living room for the 5,000-square-foot farmhouse surrounding it. Once the history of the cabin was established, public interest in the historic home grew and the Flower Mound Foundation requested Grant sell three of the 12 original lots in order to preserve the cabin in its original location.
The Flower Mound Foundation intends to carefully remove the surrounding farmhouse and restore the original cabin. The project has yet to be undertaken however, since the cost for the project is around $750,000. The high price tag combines the cost of the restoration with the price of purchasing the three lots from the developer.
The other option available to the community in its efforts to preserve what is likely to be the oldest standing structure in the area, is to disassemble the cabin and move the logs elsewhere, where the cabin could be reassembled and preserved, for about $150,000. However, this would greatly reduce the cabin’s historic value.