Log by log: Steamboat company relocates 110-year-old home
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A 110-year-old cabin, planned for demolition, has gotten a second chance and a second home at a ranch in South Routt.
Over the weekend, local construction firm, Vaussa, relocated the historic house at 513 Pine St., which was believed to have been built in 1905.
Beau Christiansen, who owns Vaussa, said this is his first preservation project. He bought the lot with the intention of replacing the cabin with a boxier, modern-style house.
In online listings, realtors emphasized the history of the cabin as a selling point, so Christiansen knew its preservation was important. He reached out to several people in the hopes of finding a taker.
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Routt County resident Scott Adams agreed to relocate the two-story structure to his ranch south of Emerald Mountain. He said he has been admiring the cabin since he and his family moved to the area from South Carolina three years ago.
Adams described himself as retired, apart from his ranch work and several real estate ventures. He plans to use the cabin as a hay barn for his horses.
This is the first of what Adams hopes to be many preservation projects he wants to complete in the Yampa Valley.
“You see these buildings getting torn down all the time, and it makes you sick,” he said. “People need to step up in the community and try to save them.”
Adams owns a second cattle ranch in Virginia, where he said he has done similar projects. One included the relocation of a 19th–century cabin. Such work has become a family hobby, something he shares with his twin boys.
“We just love history and the story it tells,” Adams said.
On Saturday, he steadied a ladder on which his 11-year-old son Jeff stood to mark the logs of the historical Pine Street home. The marked logs will help them know how to put them together in the correct order. Jeff and his brother Alston likened the process of disassembling and reassembling the cabin to a game of Lincoln Logs.
Meanwhile, Christianson and his crew tore apart the interior of the house, wearing protective masks to shield themselves from clouds of dust and debris.
According to historical records, the Helvey family built the cabin after they homesteaded the area in the early 20th century.
“All the materials were sourced here locally in the valley,” Christiansen said.
The original cobblestone foundation remained largely intact through numerous families — 10, according to historical records — and a century’s worth of winter storms.
“It’s amazing what this house has withstood over the years,” Christiansen said.
Later residents poured cement between the logs to seal gaps and improve insulation. In certain places, people had etched their names into the grey slabs, dating back to the ’60s, according to the etchings.
By Tuesday, the cobblestone foundation and a detached door with a broken window were among the only signs the cabin existed on Pine Street.
In 2018, preservationists did similar work to move the historic Arnold Barn to its current location at Mount Werner Road and Mount Werner Circle. Instead of disassembling the barn, crews lifted the entire structure onto a trailer and transported it to a new foundation.
With the cabin off the lot, Christiansen will set to work on the 2,560-square-foot house, offered at $1.8 million, he plans to build in its place.
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