Road Trips

Log cabins on the Michigan Road

It’s not much of a stretch to imagine an 1830s road dotted with log cabins such as along Indiana’s Michigan Road. But would it surprise you to learn that some of them survived to today?

Two houses that are probably log cabins still stand on the road. Until a year or so ago, a third stood on the road’s original alignment south of Napoleon in Ripley County. It had seen better days when I photographed it. It has now seen its last days, as current Google Maps Street View imagery shows nothing on this spot.

Under restoration?

This one is in Indianapolis where the town of Augusta used to be. It’s right across the road from the Boardman House. At least I think it’s a log cabin. The front portion is about the right form factor – small and rectangular with two small windows flanking a centered front door, and tall walls which would accommodate an upstairs loft. The back portion would have been added later. I gather that log cabins were known by their builders to be fairly cramped and primitive housing. As they were able, they expanded their homes and modernized them, such as by attaching siding.

Log cabin?

Blogger Hoosier Reborn, my partner in crime on the Michigan Road Historic Byway project, thinks that the other log cabin is a certain little house on the Michigan Road in Lakeville, in St. Joseph County.

And in case you’ve forgotten, we’re working to have the Michigan Road named a state historic byway. Read more about it at the project’s Web site.

As you drive the Michigan Road you’ll encounter many older homes. Two of my favorites are the Corbin House and the Fairmount House.

I’ve documented Indiana’s historic Michigan Road extensively. To read all about it, click here.

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11 thoughts on “Log cabins on the Michigan Road

  1. Hi Jim! What great photos of these buildings around the United States. It really captures the essence of America in a way that I certainly haven’t seen on any blog on here yet! thanks so much for stopping by my blog and posting earlier today and I very much look forward to coming back and visiting yours often! Stop by mine again anytime!

  2. Pingback: Log cabins on the Michigan Road (via Down the Road) « The Historic Michigan Road

  3. Marilyn Templeton says:

    Hi, Jim!
    Do you know if there are any plans for the log cabin that was dismantled a year ago from the 51st and Michigan Road area and taken to Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park for storage? The park property manager has not returned phone calls nor emails, and I am looking for a contact person that might be able to give me some information.
    Thank you,
    Marilyn Templeton

    • Marilyn, it’s been a long time since I’ve been involved with that cabin, but my understanding was that the Crooked Creek Community Council was involved and was working to find a site to have the cabin rebuilt. You may wish to contact them. The contact I had there was Barbara Burcham.

  4. Philip Dalbey says:

    Regarding the Boardman house…and the possible log cabin across Michigan Road from it, I need to put in my 2 cents worth. I live in a house more or less behind the Boardman house. Address is 3150 West 77th St. It is in fact a log cabin. I knew it was log when I bought it in 2004, but wasn’t brave enough to remove 3 layers of siding until 2015. The logs had not been chinked (they are now) an I’ve wondered if it may have been the barn for the Boardmans. no one knows!

    • How cool that you bought an original Augusta log cabin! I’ve lived near 62nd and Michigan for most of the last 23 years and drive through Augusta all the time, but have never turned in to see what the town is like beyond the Michigan Road. I really ought to sometime.

    • I am the contractor who took the Cabin down at 51st and Michigan Rd. Peaceful Valley Construction- Nashville,In. I have often wondered what happened to the Cabin. I believe there are 2 houses on Michigan Rd. that are log cabins. I recently took a large 2 story log home just out of Napoleon, In, South of the Michigan Rd.

      • I’m under the impression that the cabin’s parts are stored at Ft. Benjamin Harrison in Indy, and are out in the open air. We had hoped that it could be rebuilt somewhere near its original site, or at least somewhere on the Michigan Road, but so far no luck.

    • I rebuild antique log cabins- Peaceful Valley LLC. I took down the cabin where the gas station now stands. Most log structures we find with no chinking typically were barns or out buildings.

  5. Phil Dalbey says:

    Dennis, I believe you are correct. My house can be seen from Michigan Road. My copy of the 1884 tax map shows my house in it’s current location on “Meridian Street, Augusta, Indiana” As the crow flies, my house / old barn surely are close enough to the back of the Boardman house to be his barn. The logs are now chinked and the remainder of the house is painted dark green with brown trim.

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