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 The Log Cabin 


The Hollingsworth log house at the corner of Third and Merchant Streets was built in the late 1860s, around the time Oswego became a city.

The log cabin.

In addition to housing many artifacts of the earliest pioneer days in this area, it is home to the Pioneer Mother and Child statue. Now, there are no historical records of pioneer mothers waiting with their children in an enclosed "bus stop" anywhere on the Plains, so you may be supposing there's an interesting story behind it. And, you are correct.


The House

One of the remarkable historical facts surrounding the Hollingsworth log house is that it was not moved here from some other site. It sits in its original location, right where it was built by James Smith, out of oak and walnut logs from bottomland around the Neosho River.

Smith sold it to Mrs. Elizabeth Hollingsworth, a pioneer mother with seven children. They and their descendents occupied the home for 74 years, as did several other Oswego citizens for approximately 40 more years after that. Over that span, a second story was added, plus modern siding and other appurtenances. By the middle of the 20th century, few townspeople ever considered that the original log cabin was still part of the structure.


Marker Dedicating the Site as Thomas Park

In 1974, Mrs. Nellie Thomas (then the owner) donated the property to the city for a downtown park, and the Oswego Historical Society was assigned the task of restoring the cabin to its original state.


The Statue

Click to enlarge.In the late 1990s, well after the cabin restoration was finished, lightning badly damaged one of the maple trees in front of the house. Only the trunk remained after the cleanup, and the thought arose of turning it into a statue honoring pioneer mothers such as Mrs. Hollingsworth. In the course of time, Labette County artist Georgia Denton came to the attention of the Society, and was given the commission to carve the statue. The carving was completed in August, 1999, and was dedicated in October of that year. You may click the small picture at right to see the plaque in a larger view.

Where there is art, there is always someone who thinks he could do it better. In this case, the "critic" was a persistent woodpecker, who valued the old tree trunk more as a potential source of food than for its aesthetic value. As a result, the structure was built which now shelters the carving.


Visitors

The log cabin is a popular spot for school field trips and tourists interested in how our ancestors lived. The cabin has no regular hours, but can be toured by appointment. Contact the museum.


Please check back periodically. We will be adding new information to this section over time.


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