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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Mayhew Cabin renovates log schoolhouse for historic village

  • Mayhew Cabin and Historic Village recently unveiled the renovated log schoolhouse that site director Bill Hayes will provide teaching opportunities for the abolitionist movement and Nebraska City's role in the Underground Railroad.

    He said John Kagi, the brother of Barbara Mayhew, was a school teacher before he met John Brown and participated in the famous raid on Harpers Ferry.
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  • The cabin was originally built for Nebraska City's centennial celebration in 1954 and craftsman Butch Bovier said its construction appears to have included timbers dating back to the 1860s.
    The schoolhouse joins the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Missouri-Pacific Railroad Depot as village features.
    Director Bill Hayes said the schoolhouse represents the time period when the Underground Railroad was active and opens the discussion about the abolitionist movement.
    John Kagi, the brother of Barbara Mayhew, was a school teacher and an active abolitionist.
    He was forced to leave a job after calling into question the validity of the U.S.'s slavery system.
    Kagi was later part of John Brown's famous raid on Harper's Ferry, which Brown hoped would help him arm and secure an abolitionist army.
    Bouvier, who earlier renovated the Mayhew Cabin, completed the renovations to the schoolhouse. He also built the Indian earth lodge at MRB Lewis & Clark Center and worked this year on displays for the Kregel Windmill Factory Museum.
    He said it is evident that some of the timbers used in the schoolhouse date back to the 1860s.
    He said they were probably taken from other buildings and brought to Nebraska City in 1954 to build the cabin for the city's centennial.
    The renovation includes new "chinking and dubbing," which repairs cement between logs, a new roof and new bell tower.

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