Tribute to the Past: Cabin at Ragersville is Replica of Founder’s Home

By BARB LIMBACHER, T-R Staff Correspondent

RAGERSVILLE – Employees of Old Virginia Log Homes Inc. of Pennington Gap, Va., braved the steady rain and kept building the shell of a log house for the Ragersville Historical Society.

The Society members and others will finish the house, which is located on the corner next to the historical society’s museum that once was the Ragersville Emmanuel Lutheran Church.

Shawn Hogan of Old Virginia Log Homes said this particular log cabin is called an Eagle system, although the company has many more styles to offer.

Historical Society President Ray Hisrich said the logs are hand hewn and the building will be 24 x 18 feet when it is completed.

Hisrich said the crew of about five came into the village on Sunday and began constructing the house. It was completed on Tuesday.

“The idea is that this log house is a replica of Conrad Rager’s first cabin,” said Hisrich. “He was the founder of Ragersville. His cabin was not on this site but farther up the road. We could tell they style because there are eight or nine houses in Ragersville that are made of logs with siding or something covering them.”

Maxine Eberle, corresponding secretary for the society, has wanted a log house to be erected for years.

Hisrich said the cabin was Eberle’s idea.

“This is so exciting to watch,” she said. “What was most fascinating was when they were digging the foundation for the log house, they found ashes at the rear, indicating there was once a fireplace at that site.”

Hisrich said the log house took five years of planning. He said funds for the house came from membership dues and donations.

The 60- x 100-foot lot was donated by Earl Hisrich and Ray and Sharon Hisrich for the project.

“We found this company on the Internet by looking for someone who specializes in constructing historic buildings. Our vice president, Dale Krebs, was in Virginia and went to get information on this company. They just finished building a covered bridge,” said Hisrich.

Old Virginia Log Homes put up the shell of the building, which includes three windows and a door. Ragersville Historical Society members will place stone around the outside, build a stone fireplace, stone chimney and install a slate roof.

“The chinking will be done by members,” said Eberle. “That is putting mud between the cracks of the logs. This is a pioneer cabin.”

Hisrich said the log house will provide an educational setting.

“All the cabin items are related to the era of Conrad Rager. We have his cradle to display. There is a loft and bed, quilts, hooked rugs, a spinning wheel to be placed inside the house when it is completed,” said Hisrich.

Ragersville Historical Society plans to dedicate the log house at the 175th anniversary of Ragersville on Aug. 6 and 7.

The tiny village of 100 residents was settled prior to 1830. The first school house dates back to 1828. A log church was constructed and the Lutheran and Reformed churches worshiped together. The Ragersville United Church of Christ was built in 1867 and is still the center of worship in the village.

The historical society museum is closed until June unless by appointment. Elementary classes are invited to visit the museum, and Ragersville Elementary students will be decorating the museum for the holidays.

Eberle said many school children visit the museum this time of year.

Other officers are Lloyd Mizer, president emeritus; Sharon Hisrich, treasurer; Irene Walter, recording secretary; Robert Huprich and Larry Bosler, curators, and Earl Hisrich, Joel Yakley, John Garver, Blaine Miller, Ken Huprich and William Andreas, directors.

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