Our Call: Preserving historic cabin has a value beyond money



Crestwood city officials have a once-in-a-lifetime decision to make next week: Whether or not to pay to move a 200-year-old log cabin from Affton to the city-owned Sappington House in Crestwood, doubling that museum’s number of Sappington houses from one to two.

The museum already has its namesake, the brick Thomas Sappington House, and supporters of Sappington House hope to add the 200-year-old log cabin once owned by Thomas Sappington’s first cousin Joseph.

The Sappington Foundation, the nonprofit behind the museum, feels so strongly about what the move would do for Sappington House and for tourism in Crestwood that it has put up $26,000 of its own money for an engineering study to see how the move could be done and what it might cost.

The Board of Aldermen meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 8, where a vote will presumably have to be taken on moving the house since owner Joseph Freund has given an Aug. 1 deadline for the move to happen.

Bids are set to close this week, although the city did not yet know which day as of press time.

Without knowing the estimated cost of the move at the time this editorial is written, it’s difficult to know whether this one-of-a-kind trip from Affton to Crestwood makes sense from a financial standpoint.

We wouldn’t be surprised if the cost is eye-opening — after all, it’s rare to move a 200-year-old log cabin, and the engineering required behind this endeavor is breathtaking in scope and certainly beyond the capabilities of most modern-day contractors.

Imagine a house standing and lived in for 200 years. Will your house be standing 200 years from now? Will Crestwood City Hall still be standing in 200 years? The mall certainly isn’t.

There is value beyond numbers in preserving rich history that has survived so long, for lifetimes before any of us were born.

After every single current Crestwood alderman and city official is no longer around, these houses might still be at Sappington Park, open for future generations to learn about the past.

We believe that if the city can afford the cost, moving this cabin is a worthy undertaking that future generations will appreciate.