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McGlaughlin House sustains water damage

The McGlaughlin House – the oldest log structure in Pocahontas County – recently sustained a water leak which damaged the wood floor and a sheet rocked wall in the bathroom. With the help of Interstate Hardwoods, Pocahontas County Landmarks Commission is working to replace the damaged material. S. Stewart photo

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

While the Mc-Glaughlin House in Marlinton is the oldest log structure in Pocahontas County, it was restored and fitted with several modern conveniences, including a restroom. With such a convenience, comes inconveniences, one of which occurred in January when the water pipes froze, causing a major water leak.

The house, owned and maintained by Pocahontas County Landmarks Commission, was the headquarters for the Pocahontas County Arts Council.

Along with damaging a portion of the restroom – one sheet rocked wall and the toilet – the water flowed into the main room of the cabin, damaging the wood floor.

With the water cleaned up and heaters drying the area, Landmarks president Jason Bauserman was faced with the task of repairing the damaged area.

Bauserman contacted Interstate Hardwoods to see if the company had any cheap wood he could purchase for the project.

“When I first asked Interstate if they had some wood flooring they could sell cheap, they said, ‘we do, but it’s going to take us some time to gather it together,’” Bauserman said. “I know they have these log cabin kits, and I thought that you never think of sheet rock in an 1850 log cabin, so I asked them if they, by chance, have some log cabin siding.”

Interstate Hardwoods in Bartow donated log cabin siding to the Pocahontas County Landmarks Commission to replace the water damaged materials in the McGlaughlin House. Allen Sisler, (front) of Interstate Hardwoods, is assisting the Landmarks Commission president Jason Bauserman in his search for siding and flooring. Photo courtesy of Justin Sisler

Donnie Nottingham and Allen Sisler at Interstate told Bauserman they did indeed have log cabin siding and agreed that they would donate it to the Landmarks Commission for the project.

Sisler is also working with Bauserman to find flooring for the cabin to replace the damaged planks.

“They make flooring up there, but I said, ‘we’ve got twelve inch planks here,’ and he felt that was too wide because that just buckles so much more,” Bauserman said. “He thought he could come up with some planks – this is actually tongue and groove – and he thought he could come up with something.”

The water break was no one’s fault, although Bauserman said the Landmarks Commission was ill prepared for the winter season.

“This is the first year Landmarks has let the building out through the winter, and we just really weren’t insulated enough,” he said. “We didn’t think about wintertime. All the windows were single paned and just for a little bit more money, we could have doubled paned. There’s some gaps right around the logs and the stone chimney and underneath the doors. One big thing that was forgotten about, there’s a big crawl space underneath the door.

“Part of that was on me for not coming up here and checking,” he continued. “I really just felt so sick about all this happening.”

The facility will not be open for public use until the repairs are completed.

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