PORTAGE | The Linden log cabin has found a new home.

Agreements were completed last week to allow the Kankakee Valley Historical Society to take possession of the Swedish-built cabin, thought to have originally been constructed around 1880.

"We are going to save it. That is part of our mission," said John Hodson, president of the KVHS.

While the cabin's origins are in north Porter County, Hodson believes it will be a nice fit along the Kankakee River. Once re-erected, Hodson said they plan to locate the cabin just southeast of the site of the original Collier Lodge.

The cabin was moved from Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore property to Countryside Park on U.S. 6 about six years ago. It was the intention of the Portage Parks Department to restore the cabin, but when that was found impossible, the department started looking for a new taker and donated it to the Indiana Landmarks group which put out the word last month it was looking for a new, permanent home for the cabin.

Since it was announced that a new home had to be found for the cabin, Hodson said interest has "snowballed."

"This has become a real community project," he said, adding that Judy Collins, a National Park Service architectural historian, has volunteered to help in the process as well as the Northern Indiana Historical Power Association, which will cut timbers for the cabin as a demonstration project during its September festival. A local Boy Scout troop also has volunteered its help along with a few individuals.

Hodson said they are looking for additional volunteers. Work started this weekend on dismantling the cabin and he targets the weekend of May 18 and 19 to have it completely dismantled and transported to his property near Kouts. There it will be stored until they are ready to reconstruct the two-room building.

"We are looking for help all along the way. We are looking for people in the trades," he said, adding they are also looking for general labor volunteers.

Hodson said when it is reconstructed, it will likely be how the cabin was circa 1900. However, they will have to do some updates, including adding windows and making it American with Disabilities Act compliant so that it can be used as a visitor center.

The historical society will be setting up an account at Chase bank to accept donations for the cabin's restoration. Hodson estimates it could cost $10,000 to restore the building.

And, said Hodson, he will be posting continuous updates on the cabin's progress at the historical society's website www.kankakeevalleyhistoricalsociety.org. Photos and a history of the cabin and the Linden family are already on the website.

Anyone interested in helping should contact Hodson through the site or via email at jophod@gmail.com to offer assistance.



Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for nearly 40 years, including 23 years with The Times. She's a native of Merrillville, but has lived in Portage for 39 years. She covers municipal and school government in Porter County.