LaFAYETTE, Ga. — When the annual Marsh House Heritage Day Festival rolls around on Oct. 6, visitors to the antebellum mansion will have something new to see: A replica slave quarters.
This past week, workers from Walden Log Homes on Lookout Mountain have been erecting hand-hewn timber walls of a 10-by-14-foot cabin near the mansion, located in the heart of town.
The cabin wasn't originally a slave cabin; it was an outbuilding built about 100 years ago. LaFayette insurance business owner Breck Parker donated it to the Marsh House Task Force.
He bought the cabin about 10 years ago from cabinet maker Steve Mikell, but never moved it from Mikell's property on East Broomtown Road.
"That was just something I had to have," Parker said of the cabin. Later, he thought, "Now why'd I buy that?"
After Parker donated the cabin, Marsh House Task Force volunteers hauled it off Mikell's property.
The next stop for the cabin's timbers was at the home of a LaFayette-area man who offered to repair the building free of charge.
"He just didn't have time to work on it because he had so much stuff happening," said LaFayette architect David Cameron, who's overseeing the rebuilding project.
So the task force hired Walden Log Homes to do the work. All four walls should be up soon, Cameron said, and a cedar-shingled roof should be installed in time for Heritage Day.
Once the cabin's up, visitors will be able to look through an iron grate at its interior, which will be furnished, he said.
"There aren't any windows. A lot of the early cabins ... they only have doors," Cameron said. "If they needed any light, whether it was winter or summer, they opened the door."
Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.