The O’Fallon Historical Society operates the log cabin museum in Civic Park. The log cabin depicts life in the 1800’s and the museum shares artifacts and stories from O’Fallon’s past that visitors can self-tour. The exhibits are updated periodically to share items never displayed before. The Museum is open to the public on the second and fourth Sundays between May and October; however, the Society always welcomes large and small groups who wish to arrange a tour by appointment. There is no admission fee but donations are appreciated to help keep the Museum going. For more information, or to arrange a tour contact the O’Fallon Historical Society at firstname.lastname@example.org
The log cabin was originally located at the corner of Highway K and Veteran’s Memorial Parkway and dates back to the mid 1800s. We don’t know exactly when it was built, but the property on which it sat changed hands many times between 1860 and 1890. For many years, it was the home of the Bernard Menne family. In 1972, National Supermarkets, Inc. purchased the property which in recent years was the home of the Patton family. When demolition on the white farmhouse began, it was discovered that a log cabin remained under the white clapboard siding. The company offered the log home to the Historical Society with the stipulation that they tear it down and remove it from the property. The City of O’Fallon generously granted the Historical Society permission to relocate the log cabin in Civic Park.
The late Bill Westhoff who was to become the Historical Society’s first president, and his wife, Kathryn, had dismantled some log cabin motels near High Hill, Missouri and built themselves a weekend home in Warrenton. With the expertise he gained from that project, Bill organized the dismantling and rebuilding of the cabin, a project the Historical Society undertook to commemorate the nation’s Bicentennial.
Holes were put in the roof so that O’Fallon Lumber Company could lift the roof from the house. Then the shingles were removed. The logs were numbered as they were dismantled and then rebuilt at Civic Park. Once the logs were in place, O’Fallon Lumber picked up the roof at the original location and brought it down Main Street on a Sunday afternoon and set it in place. A miracle happened–it fit!
Though the log home was originally two stories, the Society’s resources only allowed for the rebuilding of the two first floor rooms. The stones used to build the fireplace were from the foundation of the original house. The mantle features one of the last remaining logs from Jacob Zumwalt’s homestead fort. In the early 1980s, the back room was added as a museum for items donated or loaned to the Society. The porch and its roof were added later.