We ended part 3 on the Kibler Cabin, with the agreement by the Kibler Cabin owner’s daughter, to honor her recently deceased father’s wishes to allow the Palmetto trust to save the cabin and remove it to a place where it can be rehabilitated.
Since our discovery of this place and developing the ability to access and work on it, we have had several groups come visit as we attempt to decipher its history and expand the circle of support that will be necessary as we pursue the resources needed to undertake this endeavor.
As I mentioned before, the Palmetto Trust tries to find a sustainable use for historic structures, and this cabin will be no different. However, this particular building is very small and would be difficult to be used as a private home, and its historic integrity is so intact and rare, that it is worth the effort to develop it as a historic site that can be visited by the public and maintained by a non-profit.
As we explored the possibilities, the house was visited by J.R. Fennell, Director of the Lexington County Museum, The Executive Committee of the Newberry County Historic and Museum Society, the state’s leading conservation attorney and advocate Yancey McLeod, members of the Dutch Fork Genealogical Society, and as we have mentioned in part 3, the organizers behind RootsandRecall.com: Wade B. Fairey and Rusty Robinson.
Newberry County is fortunate to have the Palmetto Trail developing plans to bisect the central spine of the county. The Kibler Cabin is especially fortunate to have the trail located a mere 500 yards from its current location. The organization responsible for the Trail is the Palmetto Conservation Foundation and I thought it an opportunity for our two organizations to work together for a project that could be a perfect fit for our missions. I invited its Executive Director Natalie Britt who in turn brought with her the local trail manager, to scope out the cabin. We had a productive visit in that we are currently developing a strategy for its future use. More of that possibility to come in a later blog as it (hopefully) develops.
My friend and PTHP Advisory Board member, Dr Jim Kibler also met us at the cabin along with a very special family, that of Mr. Marshall Kibler of Columbia. Marshall was accompanied by his wife and son Haskell. Marshall is a direct descendant of the cabin’s namesake, John F Kibler who died in 1829. It was an inspiring moment to see the discovery in Marshalls eye’s as he looked upon his family’s original frontier home for the first time. Marshall’s family had left Newberry County several generations ago as they struck out for the opportunities a growing Columbia could better provide their business interests. Marshall had built a successful real estate firm that just recently has added his son Haskell to its ranks. There is nothing more inspiring to witness the joy of discovery of a family’s heritage. To witness Marshall and Haskell being so touched by the ability to physically touch their family history, a history they didn’t know existed until a few weeks prior to their visit, was a moving moment that I’ll never forget. We look forward to coordinating more visits to this place by other descendants in the near future.
Unfortunately, within a few weeks of this visit Marshall passed away. It was a shock to those of us who were still enjoying the thrill of our initial meeting in his family’s home. I will never forget how the power of place was awakened in him that day as it pertained to his own personal history. It is that power that has motivated his family to help save the cabin in Marshall’s honor by donating the funds necessary so the Palmetto Trust can purchase the cabin.
R&R’S link: http:http://www.rootsandrecall.com/newberry/buildings/kibler-log-cabin/
Episode 5: Palmetto Trust takes ownership.
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