To preserve the historic building, the Wallendorf Cabin was moved to a new location

On the move

With ties to agriculture through early German immigrants and to national history through a Civil War battle that almost was, the Wallendorf Log Home certainly is a historic Jefferson City Landmark.

To preserve it, the Missouri Farm Bureau relocated the double dogtrot style cabin from its original location at Edgewood Drive and Missouri 179 - where the new El Jimador is being built.

Soon the site will be open to private visitors. And Farm Bureau hopes in the future that it will be a focal point of further educational programs about the history and presentday value of agriculture, said Dan Cassidy, chief administrative officer.

"We're pretty excited about the opportunity to show it off," Cassidy said.

Joseph and Elizabeth Wallendorf moved their family into this home built by their son Bartholomew Wallendorf on a native stone foundation about 1830. It is one of only a handful of buildings remaining in Cole County from that time period. The length of the logs ates how early as built, before e harvest of he larger trees. Clifford Wagner, who reassembled the log home, said at 21 eet wide, it was ne of the biggest houses he had seen.

Jane Beetem, who prepared the home's National Register of Historic Places nomination, suspected that the home was not whitewashed or covered with clapboard siding for many years as a means to promote a family lumber company. The 1877-78 city directory listed Mathias Wallendorf, the couple's son, as owning a lumber mill.

The Wallendorf family continued to own the homestead until the 1970s.

Ironically, the Missouri Department of Transportation reviewed the Wallendorf House at it original location in 1995, prior to the construction of nearby Missouri 179. And the road project avoided the house because of its historic eligibility to the National Register.

The two-year reconstruction project was completed in July 2007. Inside, visitors can see the log and chinking materials.

In addition to its reflection of early settlers' architecture and as a reminder of the role of agriculture in Missouri, the home represents vernacular history.

Confederate Gen. Sterling Price briefly occupied the home, where he ultimately decided not to attack Jefferson City to the dismay of Confederate governor and former state Gov. Thomas Reynolds, who met with him at the house.

In "Civil War in Missouri as Seen from the Capital City," Dino Brugioni wrote: "Reynolds gave vent to his frustrations and cursed the general's timidity and ineptness."

"Family legend states that the general paid the family $27 in Confederate currency for his room and board," Beetem's nomination said. "The situation must have seemed somewhat ironic, with a Confederate general staying with a German family, whose views were anti-slavery.

"However, the Wallendorfs appear to have been perfect hosts, and in later years proudly displayed the walnut bed where General Price slept during his stay."

And soon members of the public will have the opportunity to see a piece of history, saved for the future.

"It's a piece of a larger puzzle of telling the story of product agriculture and what our successes have been over time," Cassidy said.