ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Two local historical societies are working together in the name of historical preservation.
Recently, the Roswell Historical Society has agreed to send the Alpharetta and Old Milton County Historical Society the cabinets from Hembree Farm to use in the Alpharetta Log Cabin.
“This a great example of how the historical societies in the area are working together these days on historic preservation,” said Pat Miller, president of the Alpharetta and Old Milton County Historical Society. “We’re looking for ways we can collaborate. If there’s a historic building in danger, for example, the presidents of the historical societies would write a letter in support of whichever historical society is trying to save a building from destruction.”
Miller, who is also on the board of the Roswell Historical Society, first learned about the cabinets during the society’s restoration project of Hembree Farm, one of the oldest still-standing buildings in North Fulton.
The Roswell Historical Society is working to restore Hembree Farm to its original condition when it was built in 1836. That restoration, however, does not include a kitchen that was added in the 1930s or ’40s.
Miller stepped in and suggested the kitchen cabinets and sink be donated to the Log Cabin in Alpharetta.
“It is, as far as I know, the first time one of the historical societies has donated to the other,” Miller said. “It’s a unique opportunity because this way the cabinets from Hembree will still be available for the public to see.”
The Log Cabin was built by Old Milton High School Future Farmers of America students during the 1935-36 school year.
A man who owned a farm near where North Point Mall currently stands allowed the students to cut down the trees on the property to use for the cabin, Miller said.
“They brought the trees back to the campus on wagons, they stripped all of the bark off, they did everything from scratch,” she said. “At the time that it was built, other than the churches, it was the largest indoor space in Alpharetta. It became the center of community life.”
The Log Cabin was the site of several proms, weddings and celebrations. And, for many years, the historical society provided heritage programs for Fulton County students in the building.
The heritage programs were discontinued because of changes to the school system’s curriculum, but Miller said she hopes to revive them along with community events at the Log Cabin once it’s opened to the public.
She added that the Alpharetta and Old Milton County Historical Society is planning to open the Log Cabin this October, but the timeline may be pushed back because of surrounding construction.
In the meantime, the Hembree cabinets and sink will be restored and installed in the Log Cabin.