Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Our Historical "Hotel"

The Colonel and I are back from a trip to Indiana. I flew to Indiana mid-May and The Colonel drove north about a week later. We try to visit my family at least once a year and I also visit with dear friends.

After the visits, we began our driving trip back to Florida. We were not in a hurry and made a few stops along the way. All stops will be revealed in following posts.

This post is about where we spent our first night after leaving my Mom's house.

The Colonel and I found the Starlight Country Cabin on the Internet before we left for Indiana. I sent an email to Jerry Finn, the owner, asking if the cabin was available for the night we were going to be in the area. He said it was and that I was to send him a check (he did not do credit cards).

I heard no more from Jerry. We drove to Starlight, Indiana (we didn't even know there was such a place). I had neglected to print out a map to the cabin but knew it was near Floyds Knobs, Indiana (love that name and again, did not know it existed, but apparently my mother did). With some luck and directions from a lady with bad arthritis in a gas station, we found the cabin in the hilly, curvy country roads of Starlight.

We saw the sign for the cabin and turned right onto a gravel lane. We saw a big log cabin to the left but I told The Colonel that it did not look like the one on line (it was Jerry Finn's restored, 1859, ancestral, log cabin home). We continued straight on the gravel lane. Finally, I saw the cabin from the Internet. We turned right onto a little grassy drive, past an old chicken house and coop and this is what we saw.

This 1830's log cabin was to be our place of rest for the night. No one was around to welcome us and to make sure we were at the right place, I called Jerry. He let us know that we were at the right place and that it was open and we were to go on in.

The two-story, 1400 square foot cabin was a blend of old and new. The hand hewn logs are native chestnut oak. The chinking between the logs was mud an straw. You could still see all of the ax cuts made by the original owner and builder of the cabin.

Francis and Theresa Schmidt, early German settlers of Starlight, built this cabin on a farm next door to where the cabin sits today.

The living room has the original fireplace made from massive hand cut sand stone.

Jerry Finn found the cabin in this state before he moved it and rebuilt it.

Over the years the Schmidt family had made changes to the original 1830 cabin, but the cabin was still hiding within the changes and additions.

Jerry performed a miracle restoration.

Inside the cabin Jerry had a binder with the history of the cabin as well as photos of the cabin before, during and after the restoration. He also had two guest books that were filled with words of praise and thanks for his restoration of the cabin and sharing it with others. The Colonel and I left similar words behind in the guest book.

Here are some pictures of the inside of the two-bedroom, two-bath cabin.

I am glad we stayed in the cabin while there was warm weather (although there was some lightening and thunder that did not amount to anything) because some of the chinking was missing in the kitchen and sunlight was pouring through the holes.

Our stay at the cabin was very peaceful. We sat on the porch and listened to the birds and watched the sun set. When it was dark out, hundreds of Lightening Bugs surrounded the cabin as they flew around the yard. It reminded The Colonel and I of our childhood.

The Colonel even got to feed a cat (he had a bag of dry cat food in the car's trunk). The cat returned for breakfast before we "checked out" of the cabin which entailed making sure the lights were all off and the A/C was set to 80 degrees. We didn't even have to lock up behind us.

As we were driving away from the cabin, The Colonel and I both confessed to one another that as we laid down to sleep, we had thoughts of ghostly visits in the night (you always think an old place is or can be haunted). Perhaps a German-speaking ghost from the Schmidt family would make an appearance. It didn't happen of course, but if it did, I was thinking The Colonel's two years of high school German might have come in handy.

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