Log Home History

Log Home History Subject of Auburntown Historical Society Meeting June 18

 The Auburntown Historical Society hosted a specialist in Tennessee log homes, iron furnaces and barns at the June 18 meeting. More than 30 Society members and guests attended the free educational multimedia presentation.
Michael Thomas Gavin is the Preservation Specialist for the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area administered by the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University.
“We feel very fortunate to have Mr. Gavin speak to our society and share his slides and expertise on historic log homes,” said Danny Nichols, president of the Auburntown Historical Society. “Mr. Gavin is a respected researcher, speaker and author, whose research and writing is helping educate and entertain those who love the history of Tennessee.”
Gavin’s current research areas include the Civil War, African American history, Tennessee’s charcoal iron industry and vernacular architecture - particularly log buildings.
Recent books include Barns of Tennessee, written with colleague Caneta S. Hankins; Restoration Guide for Historic Log Houses; and Tennessee Iron Furnace Trail: A Guide to the Resources of the Western Highland Rim. His article “From Bands of Iron to Promise Land: The African-American Contribution to Middle Tennessee’s Antebellum Iron Industry,” has been published in the Tennessee Historical Quarterly.
A former adjunct professor in the History Department at MTSU, Gavin received his bachelor’s degree in English from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in History from MTSU. For 25 years he was president of a restoration company that specialized in rehabilitating historic buildings.
The AHS has brought several prestigious programs to Cannon County in the past year, including a lecture by Dr. Calvin Dickinson on historic roadways in Tennessee, a slide presentation on the Smithsonian’s forensic analysis of a Civil War soldier by Claudia Nichols and an overview of a book on area families by author Tommy Webb.
The Society’s charter has recently been approved by the State of Tennessee, and the three-year-old organization expects to obtain federal nonprofit status this year.
“We are seeking members of all types, including individuals, families, businesses and organizations,” Nichols said. “Please visit our website to learn more about membership opportunities and benefits.”
Nichols emphasized that the public is invited to AHS meetings, which are held at 7 p.m. the third Thursday from January through October.
Visit www.auburntowntennessee.blogspot.com.