By Allen Edmonds
Planning to rebuild the historic Sloan-Tribby Cabin in Belton’s Memorial Park has picked up momentum in recent months, and the official project kickoff is set to happen just yards from the eventual site of the rebuilt cabin, in Belton’s Memorial Station at Memorial Park, on Saturday, Feb. 29.
The “Raise the Roof” Gala will feature dinner, entertainment, a live auction, a silent auction and a presentation by Don Peters, the local historian that played a major role in the cabin’s discovery.
Peters, “is very passionate about this project, and he can speak on it like a preacher,” said Belton Park Director Brian Welborn, who is spearheading the development of the Sloan-Tribby Cabin in Memorial Park as a destination historical education site.
Peters, who was formerly executive director of the Cass County Historical Society, took a call one day in 2015 from a property owner who had purchased land in west central Cass County between Freeman and Cleveland. The man was preparing to demolish an older home on the property when he discovered the home was built around a log cabin, estimated to be more than 150 years old.
Peters supervised the careful stripping of the structure around the cabin, as well as the piece-by-piece dismantling of the cabin itself for storage and future reconstruction. Each piece is numbered and stored in a climate-controlled facility.
Peters’ interest was piqued the more he investigated the structure. Finding that it pre-dated the Civil War, he wondered why it remained standing through the destruction Union soldiers wrought on the area – burning most structures after residents were ordered out as part of Gen. Thomas Ewing’s Order No. 11.
He said initial discussions regarding the potential for such an agreement were held in what he believed to be a small cabin in the vicinity. It was there that an agreement to meet for formal negotiations in Jackson County were finalized, and he theorizes this might have been the cabin, and it was left standing as a courtesy to the property owner.
That owner, the Sloan family, were early pioneers who settled in Cass County before the county even existed. The Tribby name refers to a neighbor, Mark Tribby, who married a Sloan daughter, Katie, and later purchased the land and cabin. They were married in the cabin in 1878 and raised a family there. Around the turn of the century, they expanded the living space by building a house around the original cabin.
Mark Tribby and Katie Sloan Tribby were married 65 years and raised six children. He died in 1943, and she in 1952.
The goal of the reconstruction project in Memorial Park is to follow the history of these early settlers as part of the effort to preserve and restore the home, focusing on the early history of Cass County, the struggles and lives of its people, the cabin itself, the Civil War, the post-war period and the families who lived in the cabin.
Attendees at the “Raise the Roof” gala will have the opportunity to sponsor a specific cabin log.
Premium sponsorships are available for the Gala as well.
A Platinum Sponsorship of $750 buys eight Gala tickets, a company logo in the program, social media exposure, event night recognition (public address), premier seating at the front table and an authentic Sloan-Tribby Cabin log centerpiece.
A Gold Sponsorship of $500 buys six tickets, social media exposure, event night recognition (signage) and premier seating.
A Silver Sponsorship of $250 buys two tickets and event night recognition (signage).
Individual tickets to the banquet are $50, and can be purchased at the High Blue Wellness Center, 16400 N. Mullen Road, or the North Cass Herald office, 120 Main.
All proceeds will benefit the Belton Friends of the Park Foundation’s Sloan-Tribby Log Cabin project.
Welborn said this week that he believes around $35,000-$50,000 will be needed to complete the project. The Park Department has had $6,083.05 donated already, and the Foundation has had $1,000 donated so far.
“Our goal is to get this cabin built just as soon as the funds become available. Once we have a contractor in place, we will work with them to do some of the work in-house to save money towards the project. But 100 percent of the funds raised from the event on the 29th will be earmarked for the Sloan-Tribby project,” he said.
Welborn said architectural services have already been donated, and that work has begun.