|In 1856 Chrisman
Hill obtained the land from the U.S. government. We don't know if he
built the house. The two rooms (pens) were probably built at
different times as they are not the same size, and the notching and
construction are different.
Hill-Johnston families were closely related, and Mary Johnston on her 90th. birthday stated she came to the long-established farm as a bride in 1869. Her husband was William B. Johnston, a brother to Chrisman Hill's wife, Elizabeth. Mary Johnston told of stagecoaches stopping under the widespread trees to feed and water the horses, while drivers and passengers fared bountifully at the well-filled table in the old dining room. An advertisement in a Clinton newspaper in 1869 also stated the Southern Missouri Stage Line served Germantown and Hudson. The log house was between these two towns, 3 miles west of Montrose.
The original two log rooms were later connected by a third room when a dog-trot area was enclosed. A room was added to the west and one to the east. The whole was then covered with weather boards and porches added. The "encased" log rooms were discovered in 1977 when the "Stage Stop" story was told by one of the neighbors.
The house was on property owned by Clark Welling of Montrose, Missouri. In January 1992, he gave the house to the Henry County Historical Society. The question of where to put it was finally solved when the Cowan daughters and W.D. Scott gifted the lots across the street from the museum where the former Cowan Lumber Yard once stood. In addition to that good luck, the society received a NAP grant in the amount of $48,000.00.
On November 18, 1993 the log house was moved to Clinton, Missouri and onto the lots where it has been restored. This move was possible only after much preparation. It had to be stabilized, permits had to be obtained in order to move it on the highway, escorts from the Sheriff's department, Utility trucks and workmen to move obstacles, and volunteer vehicles with flashers, etc.
Magic hasn't made this restoration project work, it has been the PEOPLE! Many volunteered hours have been put into it, bringing rocks for the foundation and fireplaces, replacement boards and a few replacement logs, old hardware for the doors, cleaning old whitewash and wallpaper from the boards and logs. Many other tasks were undertaken as well.
Bert Chrisman is our Master Restoration Carpenter, together with Patrick Camden and faithful volunteers, a wonderful job has been done preserving the old house. The Stone Masons were Larry Cornett and Frank Simpson. The west fireplace rocks were once incorporated in the Squire Paul home, west of Huntingdale, which was built in 1842.
There are plane for developing the back of the lots into a homestead restoration. The Master Gardeners of Clinton plan to do the landscaping as it might have looked over 100 years ago. They will include native flowers and grasses with flagstone walks. Work will continue on the house, and it is open to the public now for the first time. Improvements will continue, so please stop by again in the future.