34 minutes ago
Pamela Barroso likes old buildings.
She likes them so much, in fact, that she made plans to move her second such structure — a log cabin originally set off Route 250 between Moundsville and Cameron in West Virginia — and will assemble it this weekend in Murrysville.
“Both sides of my family have farm history in Pennsylvania, and I’m currently pursuing a master’s degree in library science with a concentration in archiving and local history,” said Barroso, a Monroeville resident and Braddock Carnegie Library employee. “History’s a big part of my life.”
In the fall of 2018, Barroso saw an advertisement for the cabin, which was disassembled and stored in a West Virginia barn.
And while Barroso doesn’t have a final destination yet for the cabin, she does have a crew ready to put it back together.
It will be headed up by Tom Spears of Murrysville, and it’s a project that’s right up Spears’ alley: he is about to open the Export Maker Space on Kennedy Avenue where projects of all sizes and shapes will take place.
As projects go, this is a big one, but Spears is up for it.
“I watch a lot of the ‘Barnwood Builders’ television show, and I think it’s really neat what those guys do,” said Spears, who will assemble the cabin Sunday at his property in Murrysville.
Barroso had originally met Spears when she was looking for someone to erect fencing at one of her properties, and he helped bring the cabin pieces back to Pennsylvania.
There was one problem: they weren’t all labeled.
“Only about 50% of the logs were labeled, so it’s a little bit of a jigsaw puzzle trying to figure out which pieces go where,” Barroso said.
Spears thinks that Barroso is in possession of roughly 90% of the cabin’s pieces.
“We did our best to find the identification for the logs, but they were written on just regular paper, which disintegrates really quickly,” he said. “So we started marking them as we figured them out.”
As one of the coaching staff for an Allegheny Hockey Association Badger team, Spears also thought he might have a good idea where to find a work crew.
“We were talking about a good team-bonding project, and I tossed out the cabin,” he said.
Team members will help move the logs to the area where they’ll be assembled. When it comes to stacking, that will be left to the adults, Spears said.
As for the cabin’s history, Barroso said she is still working to determine it.
“There’s some clues,” she said. “There’s old newspaper used as parts of its wallpaper that have dates on them. I’ve done some research, but there’s still more to be done.”
The work also includes finding a final spot to place it, but Barroso has already had some practice at that. Several years ago, she and her cousins moved an old granary building from her father’s Moon Township family farm to a cousin’s farm in Oakdale.
“Right now we’re really enjoying pulling the cabin back out and learning what we can about it,” she said.
Spears has his fingers crossed that the group has things labeled correctly.
“If things are identified properly, it should go up fairly smooth,” he said. “That could be a completely different story on Sunday, but we’ll see how things go.”
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .
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