Tucked behind Sibley’s Bar-B-Q Restaurant on West Hundred Road in Chester, is a log cabin that has a historic past that includes being the home of the first library in Chesterfield County. What’s left of the structure will be torn down and hauled away within days. The roof collapsed and prompted a complaint that the building was an unsecure-collapsing structure. According to county building inspection officials, an inspector ordered the owners to raze the rest of the building. The owners said they would apply for the demolition permit right away.
Only six months ago the log cabin continued to stand, a small section of roof in need of repair. When the property was rezoned commercial in January of 2010, the owners promised to repair the cabin to stabilize it until a use could be found for the building, according to notes from a community meeting held for the rezoning in 2009.
Maud Hurt, whose portrait hangs in the current Chester Library, is honored for founding the first library in Chesterfield that she located in the log cabin.
Founded in 1938 the library served the community and residents of the county from as far away as Beach. Library patrons flipped through the last book of the one-room fireplace-heated book repository in 1952. Chaperoned dances were held there through the 1970s.
Once any house becomes unstable from neglect it will no longer be viable and will be lost just as the log cabin in Chester is lost. Log cabins have been one of the trademarks of Chester. Lafon Street and Percival Street have excellent examples of the log houses that Chester treasures.
The magnificent Shepherd House, the Chester Hotel, two Chester Railroad stations, the Ruffin House were all razed in the name of progress. Several others were lost due to the new Route 10 expansion, still others to neglect.