Le Sueur County Pioneer Power 1859 Log Cabin

In 2009 we celebrated the 150th Anniversary of the Log Cabin.
This log cabin was probably built in the fall of 1859 by Matthew Hynson, using native logs of ash, oak, and basswood. It was located three miles northwest of the Pioneer Power show grounds in what was known as the “Big Woods” area of southern Minnesota.

The courthouse records show that Hynson received the deed for the land early in 1860. In 1870 Hynson sold the property to Michael Schmitz.

The type of corners used on the cabin are known as “compression fit”, unlike other styles that use a pegged corner. The “compression fit” is hewed in such a manner that as the logs are stacked up on each other, they suck each other together, making it impossible to tip out. The chinking, or mud, between the logs was made of using clay and limestone dust and using straw as a binder. In the samples that were saved, straw and oat hulls can clearly be seen.

Members of Pioneer Power disassembled the cabin piece by piece and reassembled it on the show grounds in 1986. Red cedar shingles were sawed at the showgrounds for the roof. The rock foundation of the log cabin came from the 114 year old barn on the Merlin and Evelyn Moore farm near New Prague, Mn. Their barn was dismantled in 1987, and some of the rock, which was quarried near Jordan, Mn, was placed under the log cabin by members of Pioneer Power and then Merlin Moore cemented the spaces between the rocks.

Over they years several room additions were added but the little cabin remained intact inside. The last family to occupy the cabin was the Ray Fiebelkorn family from 1968 to 1971 at which time the property was sold to the Ken Straub family, who donated the cabin to Pioneer Power.

A small log smokehouse has been added in the backyard of the log cabin. In 1994 a porch was added which makes for a very nice entrance to the cabin.