Grainger County neighbors move and restore Gertrude Janeway's 200 year old cabin

6:51 PM, Jan 31, 2011   |    comments
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Tucked away off a rural road in Grainger County, there's a tiny, tin roof cabin that is easy to miss.

"The cabin is a little more than 200 years old,"says Del Morgan who lives in Blaine.

Aside from the red, white and blue paint, you'd never know it was home to one of the last Civil War widows, Gertrude Janeway. "She married him when she was 18."

The year was 1927. And, her husband, John, a Union Veteran,
was 81 years old. "He had no money, it must have been love."

Sadly, John died just ten years later. "She never wanted to remarry."

So, Gertrude lived modestly in her one room cabin. "This was the way she lived- 2 windows and a back door. No water, no electricity, no bathroom up until late 80's."

Gertrude even walked to church, about 12 miles one way. And, her only income was a pension check from the Civil War.

"At her death it was $70 dollars a month, and that's what she lived off of."

In January of 2003, Gertrude died at home in the cabin.

Recently, Gertrude's nephew donated the cabin and all of it's furnishings to the city of Blaine. The roof will be taken off and moved to a new home at Blaine Crossing.

"It's a piece of history, and we didn't want to lose it. so, we're going to move it the best that we can, put the mud back in the walls, and put a small porch on the front just like it was 200 years ago."

Once the home is fully restored to Gertrude's original style, it will be open to the public and listed on the National trail of Civil War monuments. It will be a lasting legacy to Gertrude's true love and simple way of life.

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