Covering Kentucky

Aug 10, 2013 5:13 PM

Officials Work To Move, Repair Historic Log Cabin

MAYSVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Driving along on Kentucky 324, the log cabin is easy to miss if one isn't paying attention, but that is about to change.

Efforts are under way to move the log cabin, which was once home to one of May's Lick's most notable citizens, to a new location and bring prominence to the career of the man born there.

The cabin was once home to Col. Charles Young, whose legacy as a member of the United States Army continues to grow and has become the focus of a national movement to have Young promoted posthumously to brigadier general.

Mason County Judge-Executive James L. "Buddy" Gallenstein recently confirmed he and the current property owner, Karen Hopkins have agreed for the cabin to be donated to the county. In return, the county will make repairs to the property after the cabin is dismantled and moved.

Gallenstein said he will meet with members of the Kentucky Heritage Council next Wednesday at the site for the purpose of documenting the cabin, its current condition and location for historic purposes.

To date, the logs have been tagged and numbered, for reconstruction purposes which will take place at a later, undetermined date. The timbers and other materials salvaged from the site will be stored in the meantime.

Gallenstein has been in contact with Charles Blatcher, chairman of the National Coalition of Black Veterans Organizations. The coalition has been a driving force behind efforts to have Young promoted and to bring recognition to his military and diplomatic career, which began in the late 1889 when he became the third African American to graduate from West Point.

"Veterans around the country are very excited about this project ... we are lending our full support to the project," Blatcher said recently. "We're all very excited about the possibility it would serve to attract tourism to the area of interested groups."

Blatcher said once the cabin is dismantled he wants to work with Gallenstein on the best location to raise public awareness and access. He said a feasibility study will need to be conducted to determine the location and future use of the structure.

Research on Young's career, from his graduation from West Point in 1889 and service as a Buffalo soldier to his diplomatic service in Liberia and Nigeria, has resulted in the conclusion he never achieved a higher rank than colonel because of the color of his skin. Although Young died in Nigeria on Jan. 8, 1922, his body was brought to the United States for burial in Arlington National Cemetery on June 1, 1923. Young's funeral was held in the massive marble amphitheater, where only three other persons had been given formal burials (up to that time) -- two Confederate veterans and the Unknown Soldier, according to a June 1, 1923 article in The Evening Star, Washington, D.C.

Young was born in May's Lick and later moved with his parents to Ripley, Ohio.

The Charles Young House Museum in Wilberforce, Ohio, was designated a national monument in March 2013 by President Barack Obama. The house has been on the National Historic Landmark since 1974.

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Information from: The Ledger Independent, http://www.maysville-online.com

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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