THE BIG ROCK CABIN STORY
BIG ROCK CABIN WAS BUILT WITH REUSED MATERIALS
I was driving thru a Northern suburb of Cincinnati when I made a wrong turn into the parking lot of a playground equipment store. While turning around, I noticed a roof structure in a field behind the store. It was complete with shingles but with no walls. At first glance it seemed as if it were the roof of a building that was sunken into the ground. One corner of the structure was seriously damaged revealing some of its framing members. Where I would have expected to see two inch thick framing, were TIMBERS! At that point, I had to get out and investigate. I found that it had timber trusses that looked to be about 35 feet long. I was amazed. What in the world was this thing? What was it doing here? And most importantly, what was its disposition?
I went into the play-set store and asked an employee if she knew the story on the roof in the field. She said that it was owned by the man that operated the scrap operation in the rear. I went into the office of Star Recycling, found the owner and asked him what the scoop was on the roof in the field. He told me that it had been the roof of a Victoria Station restaurant. Victoria Stations were railroad themed restaurants that had a train depot as the main hall. The depot was surrounded by passenger railcars that were used as the dining rooms. When the restaurant went out of business, the owner of the swing-set store had hired a rigging company to move the depot to his place of business. To get the building underneath I75 the riggers had removed the walls and set the roof right down on the floor structure. They then moved it about a mile to where it was currently sitting. He had intended to re-erect it as a depot, use it as his storefront, and call it “Swing-Set Station”. But, for whatever reason, the City of Glendale refused to issue a building permit.
At this point it was to be disposed of. The scrap company brought a backhoe over and attempted to tear the structure apart for disposal. The old depot however was not ready to be destroyed. The massive trusses and beams were a worthy opponent to the demolition machinery and the only damage that they managed was a hole big enough for me to see into. The owner said that I could have the materials for the price of removing them! When I learned that it was mine for the taking, we immediately started planning to retrieve our treasure.
I didn't live in Cincinnati but I do have friends there so I had a place to stay. I also had some evening and weekend help from several friends and my girlfriend who drove over from Big Rock when she could. Starting with tearing off the shingles and tar paper, then by pulling thousands of nails, we disassembled and bundled the insulation panels and the tongue & groove roof decking. We then laid the trusses down and stacked them. It was only then that we discovered that the floor structure(hidden until now by the roof) was constructed of massive 8”x12” cedar beams with 2”x10” joists! Some of the big beams were 35 feet long. Our neighbor who operates a trucking company, sent a semi tractor and flat bed trailer to haul it all back to Big Rock for storage
A FEW OTHER REUSES
The foundation of Big Rock Cabin was recycled as well. The big 12” corner piers were leftovers from piles that were driven for a bridge construction project in East Jackson . The smaller piers were scrap from a demolition job that I did in Springfield years earlier. The three huge windows in the corner of the cabin as well as the counter tops, and front door were intercepted from the dumpster of a hospital. The whiskey barrel in the bathroom is from the Seagrams Distillery (gives the linens a bourbon scent). The toilet, a rare remote tank model, was cast in 1946 and was to be thrown out during a remodeling job in Chillicothe . The kitchen sink is from re-use industries in Athens . The kitchen faucet is an antique hand pump and the valve is from a fire truck. The crosscut saw/pan rack is from a shop in Lebanon . I bought the stove at a steam tractor show in Plain City . Even the water storage tank and septic tank were scavenged items. All of the antiques that decorate the cabin were donated by friends and family and pictures on the walls are of our ancestors. For the most part, the only items that are new, are the walls, and the plumbing/wiring.
|Salvaging the Old Depot|
|Cabin Construction Gallery|
We would like to thank the following people for donating swell stuff and hard labor
John and Linda Harris
Ramey and Janice Hoskins
Gordon and Kim Jones
Bob and Jackie Karl
John and Marcia Remy
David Stevens and crew
Greg and Barbara Wolf
Big Rock Cabins
4348 Big Run Road
Beaver, Ohio 45613
Copyright © 2004-2009 All Rights Reserved