Old McKendree Wearing White

Old McKendree Chapel in snow 02-09-2016It dawned on me the other day that I had photographed Old McKendree Chapel in just about every season, but never when it was dusted with snow. Since I was already as far as the Benjamin F. Hunter Cabin, it was only right to venture down the lane to the chapel, its grounds and across the road to the cemetery.

Other stories

I covered the history of the chapel in this tale when I feared the Methodists had set a trap for a backsliding Lutheran.

When I ran across photos of the chapel from 1962, I was disappointed to see how many of the huge old trees had succumbed to old age and the weather.

Old McKendree Chapel photo gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery.

 

Time Is Running Out

Benjamin F. Hunter cabin 02-09-2016There’s quite a difference in the way the Benjamin F. Hunter Cabin looked February 9, 2016, and the way it looked when I photographed it in August 2014. Click on the photos to make them large enough to see how much the building has deteriorated in less than two years.

The cabin in August 2014

Benjamin Hunter Cabin 08-09-2014I did a post December 13, 2014, that explored some of the history of the reconstructed log cabin on the road to Old McKendree Chapel.

Has been treated with benign neglect

Benjamin F. Hunter cabin 02-09-2016The structure, which was built outside Sikeston in the 1880s and taken apart in the 1980s, was a preservation project undertaken by Southeast Missouri State University in the 1990s. It quickly became a house without a home, with the university proposing, then discarding a number of possible locations.

Gravity will take its toll

Benjamin F. Hunter cabin 02-09-2016The story I did in 2014 said Dr. Bonnie Stepenoff continued work on the cabin in the mid 1990s, including repairs on the roof, chinking and daubing the walls, placing a gate around the property, reglazing the windows, and conducting additional student research.

From the amount of light streaming through the gaps between the logs, I would say most of that chinking has fallen out. The roof has holes in it, and you can see some of the logs have fallen out just between 2014 and this week. Unless something is done fairly soon, gravity is going to take over and all that will be left will be a stack of rotting logs.

Of course, that’s the university’s approach to preservation: neglect a property until you can say that fixing it will cost more than tearing it down.