Historic cabin being moved

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The Wither Cabin will be moved to a new spot in the Hahn's Peak Village. Pictured is George Wither circa 1920. Wither was the first white man born in Hahn's Peak.

— The oldest building in Hahn's Peak will be moved this summer to a new site within the Hahn's Peak Historic District.

Routt County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a $20,000 grant that will help pay to move the Wither Cabin, built circa 1880, from its current location to the "Greenbelt Property," a 1.3-acre parcel at the corner of Main Street and Second Avenue in the Hahn's Peak Village. The site is owned by the Hahn's Peak Historical Society.

"I just think it's a great project," Routt County Commissioner Diane Mitsch Bush said. "Everyone seems to have worked together on it."

The Wither Cabin will be across the street from the historic museum and Hahn's Peak School House, which is on the National Registry of Historic Properties.

"Hahn's Peak has a tradition of taking care of its history," said Routt County historian and author Sureva Towler.

Hahn's Peak was once a booming gold mining town and was the first permanent settlement in Routt County.

The total cost to move the cabin is estimated to be about $50,000.

The county grant funds being used come from the proceeds of a tax that also helps fund county museums and historical societies.

Hahn's Peak Historical Society president Marge Eardley said the group plans to raise its own funds to help finance the project. Members are producing a cookbook called the "Frontier Family Cookbook." Local artists also plan to raise funds by selling original paintings.

Additional funds will be used to restore the Wither Cabin.

Cindy Wither has been heading up efforts by her family members to gift the cabin to the Historical Society.

A plaque at the Wither Cabin once stated it was the birthplace of George Wither, the first white person born in Hahn's Peak.

The four Wither brothers for whom the cabin is named homesteaded in North Routt County and opened the area's first mercantile business. The history of the Wither family will be on display at the cabin once it is moved. The cabin will be operated as a museum and open to the public during summers from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Moving the Wither Cabin and enhancing the Hahn's Peak Historic District comes as Historical Society members mourn the loss of one of their biggest supporters and founding members, Rilla Wiggins. She was 89 when she died April 14 of natural causes.

"It's a perfect tribute to her," Towler said.

Eardley said she spoke to Wiggins in the nursing home before she died and told her the Wither Cabin was being moved.

"She said she just thought it would be such a nice addition," Eardley said.

She said a garden would be established next to the Wither Cabin and named after Wiggins.

Routt County Commissioners on Tuesday also approved a $1,399 grant to help fund $1,632 worth of repairs to the historic Hayden Masonic Temple. The money will be used to stabilize the base of the north and south walls. Brick will be repaired at the base of the chimneys.

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