By Thomas Palmer

On several occasions over the last 30 years I have been approached by individuals with news of a possible surviving log cabin within the Galion corporation limits.

There are certainly at least a handful of cabins that survive. Below is a compendium of those about which I have become aware and a bit about each. In all cases, these buildings would date from the 1830s or, at the latest, the early 1840s.

I am absolutely certain that the moment that this post is published I will hear about others. With the possible exception of identifying Sears or other “kit” homes, cabin-hunting is Galionites’ favorite historic architecture-related hobby.

The Log Cabin in Heise Park

This certainly is a surviving cabin, although it was dismantled for its move from behind the Galion Public Library to its current location. For years it had been covered with a “shell” of a frame residence and was the home of “Heritage Hall,” a museum facility of the Galion Historical Society from 1969 to the opening of the museum in the Brownella Cottage Carriage House in the 1980s.

It was, in a former life, the home of the first Galion Public Library, but where it sat before that use is uncertain. It is said that it was always sitting on that spot, but the earliest available Galion Sanborn Map, which dates to 1887, shows two side-by-side 1 ½ story structures at that location. Unfortunately, the construction of the Library took place in the period for which there are no known surviving Galion newspapers (the first few years of the 20th century), so no clues there.

133 West Church Street

I have been told that this is a log structure, and I have absolutely no reason to doubt it. Not only does the exterior (which was later framed and sided) have the outline of a cabin, but it sits right up against the property line with almost no setback – a sure clue that it predates any structure around it. This cabin is likely in its original location.

House on East Atwood Street behind the former Beverage Center on South Market Street

A few years back, the owner of this property invited me to view the interior during a renovation project. Sure enough, the walls inside were hand-hewn single logs. There have been suggestions made as to where this cabin originally sat, but nothing conclusive has been discovered to date.

The Log Hotel On West Main Street (125 Gill Avenue)

It is entirely possible that the oldest structure in Galion, and the only surviving piece of Greensburg, the settlement platted three years before Galion that stretched from approximately the location of the Gill House to Taco Bell, sits inside the house at 125 Gill.

The logic for that theory goes like this:

It is known that 125 Gill has, inside of it, the original Gill family residence located on the current site of the Gill House. That house was built about 1855, although accounts differ on the exact date. At least one historian has stated that that house included logs from an older structure on the same spot. Finally, the 1881 Crawford County history shares that that particular property was an old hotel or house located “…at the foot of the hill” (an apt description for the GIll House lot) in which a “Dickerson” lived in the 1820s.

Some years ago, the Preserving Galion Board was given a tour of 125 Gill Avenue and saw hewn timbers inside the walls. 

Somewhere on Dawsett Avenue

I remember someone telling me that a cabin exists inside a house on Dawsett Avenue in southeast Galion. If anyone has information on this, please drop me a line at:

Each Saturday, we share a post about local history. We call this series “Galion History Corner,” and we will be sharing not only stories about our shared heritage but also updates on history news here in southeast Crawford County.

This series is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Bernard M. Mansfield, whose “Your Historical Galion” was a fixture in weekend editions of the Galion Inquirer. Dr. Mansfield was a friend and family physician, and he inspired the current generation of Galion historians to continue his work.

Image by Mickey Estes from Pixabay