Fort Boreman Park cabin move in limbo

PARKERSBURG –The county may not be able to move the cabin at the entrance of Fort Boreman Park to a new location as originally planned.

Wood County Commission reported Monday an engineer who specializes in moving structures has looked at the estimated 25-foot by 20-foot cabin and determined it could not be moved easily due to structural issues. The commission wants to move the cabin to open up room for a new picnic shelter at the park.

”Our engineer says it is too risky to move that cabin,” County Administrator Marty Seufer said. ”If we try to move it, it would collapse.”

The issues revolve around the bottom two rows of the log structure, officials said.

The commission wanted to move the cabin, which sits off to the right side just inside the park’s gate, across the road to make room for a new 16-foot by 24-foot picnic shelter where the cabin currently stands.

Commissioners said the spot in the park where the cabin is best suited would have more green space to be utilized. Officials said playground equipment could eventually be brought in and placed near the new shelter to make it more appealing for family use.

One proposed plan would have put the shelter behind the cabin which the commission may be considering again, officials said.

The commission’s original picnic shelter proposal includes the installation of a 16-foot by 24-foot park shelter kit, which will be purchased by the commission using grant funds. The kit does not include metal roofing; the contractor will purchase and install synthetic underlayment, 29-gauge 40-year warranty green metal roofing, corner trim and drip edge. A concrete pad for the shelter will be constructed.

A sidewalk that ends right before the cabin can be extended and ADA access put in more easily there than on the other side of the road, officials said. Handicapped parking spaces would be marked off nearby.

Carlin’s Battery D uses the cabin as its headquarters and has held events there, including its annual Christmas at the Cabin celebration and to commemorate West Virginia Day. Area amateur radio operators do a national field day operation from the cabin every summer.

The cabin was donated to the members of the Civil War re-enactment group from a site on New England Ridge Road. They reassembled the cabin at the park around 10 years ago. The group’s leadership said they wanted to keep their headquarters there and continue to use the cabin as an example of what Civil War soldiers might have lived in at that time.

Commissioners discussed the possibility of having the cabin taken apart and reassembled across the road to strengthen the structure.

Seufer said the commission is considering the option of leaving the cabin where it is and putting the shelter behind it. The shelter project has not yet been put out to bid, he said.

In other business, the commission appointed and swore in local surveyor Charles Hughes to the position of county surveyor to fill out the remaining term of former surveyor Kim Marshall, who resigned recently as he was moving out of the area.

Hughes appeared before the commission on Monday. He has been a licensed surveyor in West Virginia since 1989 and has worked for various companies. He set up his own surveying business locally in 2003.

The position does not pay anything and has no defined duties, officials said. State law requires the county has someone in the position and provides an office.

Officials have said they would pay the surveyor his regular rate for work the county requests.

Because Marshall was a Republican, his replacement would have to be of the same party which Hughes is.

Hughes can seek election to the position in 2020. The current term ends Dec. 31, 2020.

Brett Dunlap can be reached at bdunlap@newsandsentinel.com