Shaff Cabin

Shaff Cabin

This cabin was moved from a farm south west of Dixon Iowa in 1978. The farm was at the time owned by Marian Thede Shaff. In 1864 the farm with this cabin on it was owned by Peter Thede and his wife Maria Siercks Thede, it was at this time that Johannes Thede was born.

Between 1864 and 1866 the farm was rented or sold to Henry Petersen and in 1866 Katherine Petersen was born. In April 1884 Johannes and Katherine were married.

Around 1930 the farm was return to the Thede’s. The log cabin had been sided and the fact that it was a log cabin was forgotten. A tenant on the farm installed a new oil stove and drilled through an outer wall to pipe in the fuel. The wall was 8 inches or more of solid wood and the log cabin was discovered.

In 1987 a new house was to built on the site so the Shaff’s, who now owned the house contacted the Scott County Historical society and with the assistance of the Scott Conservation Board the log cabin was moved to this site. This cabin is one of two cabins at the village.

Both cabins are built of hand hewn oak logs and the cracks were filled with mixture of clay and grass, which was called "chinking". Both cabins are typical of how the early settlers built their homes in the early 1800's. They used what was most available, logs from the many trees.

The Shaff cabin has a loft and is furnished in a less primitive fashion than the Tobin cabin which would indicate the family could afford better things.

The cabin is intact except for the massive fireplace that was designed and built by George Endlich. It features a separate oven for baking purposes. A fire is built right in the oven to heat up the stone and then the ashes are removed. Bread or other baked goods are put in the oven and baked from the heat generated by the hot stone.