Hahn's Peak Hahn's Peak's oldest home has a new home.
The Wither Cabin was transported Thursday from its original location on Main Street to land owned by the Hahn's Peak Area Historical Society at the other end of the street.
A second move will be required to place the cabin onto a permanent foundation. The historical society is in the process of obtaining a building permit for that move. The permanent site is at the corner of Main Street and Second Avenue in Hahn's Peak Village.
The cabin's move has been in the works since last August, when the Wither family decided to gift the cabin to the historical society and sell the land underneath. Things were slightly delayed because the sale of the land was not separated from the sale of the cabin, which left the cabin in the ownership of Kathy Clark, the Hahn's Peak resident who purchased the land.
But Tim Wright, vice president of the historical society, said there was never any doubt the cabin would be donated to the society to preserve. Clark agreed. "We always knew there was a positive outcome," she said. "We just didn't know how it would work out."
The exact age of the cabin is unknown. Cindy Wither, who has been heading up efforts by her family to gift the cabin, recently found a copy of the newspaper The Denver Republican in the cabin dated Oct. 25, 1896. The society estimates that the cabin was built in the 1880s.
The cabin is historically significant as the birthplace of George Baxter Wither, the first white child to be born in Hahn's Peak. Hahn's Peak was once a booming gold mining town, a former county seat of 5,000 people and the first permanent settlement in Routt County.
The Withers left the cabin in 1901, but George Wither bought it back in 1948. It stayed in the family and was owned by eight Wither cousins until last August.
When the cabin was added to the Routt County Register of Historic Places more than a year ago, Cindy Wither said the pressure to do something with the cabin increased. The idea to sell the land and gift the cabin was suggested by one of the historical society's board members, and Cindy Wither said the family thought it was a great idea.
The cabin was prepared for its move by Clark-based Fair & Square Construction and moved by Craig-based Acord Crane Service. Many of Hahn's Peak's full- and part-time residents turned out for what was hailed as a historic day for the village.
"It's a big day for Hahn's Peak," said Clark's boyfriend, John Lamb. "We're all very excited about it, to move it all down and preserve it for perpetuity."
Wright said the cabin will be restored and expects the cabin to be open to visitors as a museum beginning next summer.
"This is important to people who like history," Wright said.
Last month, Routt County commissioners approved a $20,000 grant to preserve the cabin. The money came from a property tax dedicated to preserving county heritage that voters approved in 2005.
Thursday's move was paid for by an $8,500 donation from the Wither family, with Clark making up the difference, which she said would be thousands of dollars. Wright said the historical society was prepared and working toward moving the cabin itself, but Clark, who plans to build a house near the cabin's original location, wanted it moved sooner and was willing to pay the money to do so.