Originally Constructed: 1802
Relocated to Village: 1974
In the late 1700’s, Josiah Elam was pursuing horse thieves from his home in Kentucky and arrived in the Caesar Creek area. He was pleased with what he saw, so in 1802 he returned to the area and purchased 600 acres along the banks of Caesar’s Creek. On this land near what is now Elam road and Spring-Valley Paintersville road, he built his first cabin. He also planted a good sized orchard.
In the spring of 1803 he returned to Kentucky to bring his wife Sarah Porter Elam and their four children to their new home. Sarah’s mother Susannah Porter also made the long trip with them to the Ohio country.
Josiah selected a site some 100 yards to the south of his cabin to build a home for his mother-in-law Susannah Porter. He chose chestnut trees to construct the one and a half story cabin you see today measuring 16 by 20 foot. The humble house was heated by a single fireplace which was also used for cooking.
A few feet to the west of Susannah’s back door they also constructed a log smoke house to preserve and store food for the long winter months.
In 1812-14 Susannah’s daughter-in-law Jane Porter moved in with her due to the passing of James Porter as a result of war injuries. Jane brought with her their nine children. This building had to be bulging at the joints from the eleven people living there even for a short time.
After Susannah’s passing in 1821, the cabin returned to the Elam family to be handed down through the generations. From 1803 until the early 1970’s parts of Josiah’s original 600 acres and the cabin remained the property of Josiah’s heirs.
In 1974 the cabin and smokehouse were given to Caesar’s Creek Pioneer Village. Once again warm fires light this humble home as time marches forward while we take a glance backwards.
As you leave the back door of the Elam house you can see on the right hand door jamb where the proud builder left his name.