Robert and Permelia McPeake built this cabin near Rock Hill, Tennessee, in 1851. Danny and Rose Garner donated the cabin to the Parker's Crossroads Battlefield Association in 2006. After being painstakingly recorded, the cabin was dismantled and moved to the battlefield. The reconstructed cabin was dedicated in May 2008.
Robert and Permelia McPeake
The McPeake family came to Middle Tennessee from Pennsylvania in the mid-19th century. Some of the family, including Robert Carroll McPeake, settled in Henderson County. In 1850, Robert, then 20, was living with his brother a few miles east of Lexington, about 10 miles south of here.
In 1850 or 1851, Robert married Permelia "Melia" Reed, granddaughter of Joseph Reed, the first permanent settler in Henderson County. The young couple purchased several hundred acres near Rock Hill, five miles east of Lexington, where they built this cabin. Robert and Melia had thirteen children. One child died in infancy, the other twelve were raised in this cabin. The cabin remained in the McPeake family for many years and a number of Robert and Melia's descendants lived here for a time.
The McPeake Cabin
Accounts of the battle mention several log cabins at Parker's Crossroads. There is evidence that one cabin stood very near here but on the opposite side of the old Lexington-Huntingdon Road.
Hundreds of homes similar to the McPeake cabin were built in Tennessee in the 18th and 19th centuries. Sawn lumber was expensive and not always available. Timber was abundant and log houses were fairly easy to build. The McPeakes probably cut trees on their land to build their "dogtrot" house. A dogtrot is a one-story house with two rooms, or pens, separated by a passage, the whole covered by a gable roof.
Although log houses are often thought of as being temporary, many were lived in for generations. In fact, many surviving 18th and early 19th century historic homes have a log structure at their core, disguised by episodes of remodeling and weatherboard cladding.