Alpharetta Historical Society adds music to cabin open house event

Group hopes to raise funds to save structure



ALPHARETTA, Ga. — The Alpharetta & Old Milton Historical Society is bringing in a heavy hitter to headline an open house it is planning Saturday at the old Future Farmers of America log cabin on Milton Avenue.

In addition to games for children and refreshments, the event will feature music from renowned musician Randy Elkins and the Virginia Highland String Band.

Elkins has a close tie to the cabin. He is the grandson of Pearce Elkins, the teacher and sponsor of the FFA Club at Milton when the Log Cabin was built in 1934-35.

He is a member of the String Band which features two fiddles, mandolin, guitar and bass. In addition, Elkins leads the music ministry at Virginia-Highland Church in Atlanta and has performed organ recitals and choral concerts throughout the Southeast and Midwest.

The open house runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 15 and is part of a communitywide effort to raise money to save the log cabin which sits on property owned by the Fulton County School District. The structure sits in a wooded corner of the old Milton High School campus and must be gone when construction on the district’s new STEM facility begins later this year or early in 2018.

“We are hoping this Open House will reach even more people,” said Historical Society President Mary Lee.

The nonprofit has spent this year raising funds to help have the structure moved to a small park nearby.

In May, the Fulton County Board of Education declared the cabin surplus property, waiving the legal requirements for an appraisal before it could be given to the city of Alpharetta. Deputy Superintendent of Schools Patrick Burke said the value of the property is less than it would cost to demolish the building.

The Alpharetta City Council is still debating whether to accept the gift. The city has called for estimates on how much it would cost to have the cabin moved. The costs include disassembly, transport, site preparation and reassembly. Unofficial estimates place the figure anywhere from $250,000-$400,000.

So far, the Historical Society has raised a little more than $50,000, Lee said, and contributions continue to trickle in. The City of Alpharetta has committed another $50,000 to the cause, and the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau has contributed $15,000.

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