Okeechobee Historic Society prepares historic cabin to be museum; requests county support

OKEECHOBEE — A piece of Okeechobee history will be preserved, thanks to the efforts of the Okeechobee Historical Society.

On Thursday, Magi Cable, president of the Okeechobee Historical Society, asked for the county’s support of the Peter Raulerson Log Cabin Project.

She said Historical Society was offered an opportunity in May of last year to be able to purchase the original log cabin for $50,000, well below the property’s appraised value.

She said between August and December, the Historical Society was able to raise donations of $58,000, which will allow them to purchase the building and start some preliminary work.

She said they hope to obtain grants for some of the more extensive work that will be required to expose the old logs, replace the roof and make needed repairs.

The first white settlers to the area, Peter and Louisiana moved here in 1896, she said.

Peter Raulerson’s cabin. First home in Okeechobee. Photo courtesy Okeechobee Historical Society.

“He was a cattleman. That was our first industry.

“They built the log cabin three years after they got here,” she said.

Louisiana Raulerson had six children and they lived in the loft of the barn.

When they started the school, five other children and the teacher also lived with them in the barn, Mrs. Cable said.

The original log cabin was two rooms, separated by a breezeway.

After they lived there several years, they built the “big house” where Jeanette’s Interiors is now, she said.

As time went on, the old log cabin, on the corner of Southwest Ninth Street and Southwest Second Avenue was enclosed and paneling was put over the original logs.

“Our plan is not to take the house down from around the log cabin,” she said. Instead, the Historical Society plans to remove paneling to expose the old log walls within the structure.

“The logs are 126 years old,” she said.

The other rooms around the original cabin will be used for museum-type displays. For example. Mrs. Cable said a copy of the family tree will be on display in the home showing the Raulerson impact on the Okeechobee community.

The Historical Society is also planning to put a historic marker at the historic log cabin.

The commissioners agreed to accept the cabin as county property and provide insurance and utilities.

County administrator Robbie Chartier said adding the cabin to the insurance policy that covers all of the county buildings will be a negligible cost.

This is the Raulerson home now enclosed in a newer home in Okeechobee.

Publisher/Editor Katrina Elsken can be reached at kelsken@newszap.com

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