Home on the Range 4th of July at the Cabin by Sharon Black

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On a nice cooler day than it has been, El Dean Holthus, caretaker of the cabin, and nephew of Pete and Ellen Rust, who lived on the property for many years, put up the flags and greeted visitors to the site.

What made it more special was the construction of a new bridge over Beaver Creek, directly south of the cabin. This creek supplied water to the settlers and the Pawnee living in the area. Pete had found many arrowheads and they displayed them in a frame. It has been documented through stories of descendants of the Pawnee. {{more}}

According to the book Home on the Range by Margaret Nelson, men in the area constructed or put up the cabin for the doctor on July 4th. Since the corners were never fastened together, it has been discussed that the cabin was a dug-out first, and the south side was timber. Most likely the logs were shipped in since trees were very scarce in this area at that time in 1871 when Dr. Higley staked his claim there.

Bridge and cabinDoc Higley met Trube Reese in a meeting with an Indian agent over a discussion of the Pawnee braves.
Trube lived to be 100 years old and was the person who could tell all the history of Smith County.

The new bridge is very welcome since the creek has flooded many times washing away the wood bridge. Over that bridge and up a hill is the planned site for an amphitheater. Another bridge is planned in a different spot so trucks can move in the materials for the theater.

Evidently, through erosion and flooding, the soil up against the rock walls sifted away and exposed them. It would most likely make sense that the cabin was built into a hill to provide protection from the north wind and snow, making it warmer as an earth home. Most dugouts were in a hill with a front door exposed.

Nancy Shaffer board member

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