June 2, 2014 at 11:37 AM CDT - Updated July 10 at 1:47 AM
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS)
Endangered historic buildings in the Heartland may have a second chance at life thanks to their new distinction on the list just out from the state of Missouri.
The Missouri Preservation organization released the list of the state's Most Endangered Historic Places. On the list of 11 sites, three are Heartland homes in located in Cape Girardeau, Stoddard and Butler counties.
In Cape Girardeau County, The Franz Schmidt Cabin turned out to be a home with a secret. It was in danger of being demolished, as the city designated the home to be in a state beyond renovation. However, no one knew until 2013 the home was actually a Civil War era cabin, and logs existed beneath the siding.
Last year the two women who owned the rental home began rehab work on repairs, and that's when the walls started talking and pieces of the cabin began to show.
Historic records and oral accounts from descendants revealed it belonged to Franz Schmidt a blacksmith, likely built in the 1860s, and possibly used in the Civil War because it was so close to Fort A. Some family members believe Schmidt served the Union Army as a blacksmith.
Local preservationists and other historians began work to save it and submitted applications to the state to get the cabin on the endangered list.
They feel the repairs need to be made and the city placed a halt on demolition as volunteers work to stabilize the structure. Preservation experts feel the cabin, being one of our oldest original pieces of history just can't be forgotten.
They started gathering volunteers, and they say they need more as they work to raise awareness and build a non-profit group to create a living history lesson.
"I love how every time I walk in here you find something else you thought was interesting," said Jim Blakemore who runs the Facebook page 'Save a Cape Girardeau, Mo log Cabin.'
"The hope is that when it is stabilized we can have students come in and work with us to learn hands on and also help with repairs," said Blakemore. "The city is working well with us. There is a stay on the demolition and hopefully we can totally get that out of the way soon so that we can continue with preservation."
The other two sites in the Heartland include the Coleman House in Butler County built in 1902. In sits in a residential area of Poplar Bluff. It was also a home on the demolition list but because of the endangered distinction has a better chance at survival as they too work to tell others about work the home needs to continue standing.
In Bloomfield, the Henry Miller House, dating between 1845 and 1849 remains one of the oldest homes in southeast Missouri. Work to repair that structure is going on as well.
Other Missouri locations on the watch list include school buildings statewide and the Russell Hotel in Charleston, Missouri.