JACKSON, Wyo. – Jackson town officials are discussing whether to accept ownership of a historic cabin that must be moved to avoid demolition, a Teton County historic preservation official said.
County Historic Preservation Board member John Eastman said Town Manager Bob McLaurin is expected to discuss the cabin with the Town Council soon.
“He said they have a bid to move the cabin,” Eastman said. “So we have some momentum.”
Cabin owner Graham Mercer has offered to donate the cabin and pay $5,000 toward the cost of moving it. Mercer and his wife have sold the property but the deal is contingent upon the cabin being moved or demolished by Friday.
The Historic Preservation Board has offered to match Mercer’s contribution. The total cost of moving the structure has been estimated at $12,000 to $20,000.
The height of the cabin will require that utility wires be removed and restored, complicating the move.
The 1940s-era cabin once stood on the town square and was featured in a Life magazine photo taken in 1948. It has been a family home, jewelry business, law office and storage building.
It has been moved three times over the past 44 years.
The Historic Preservation Board hopes the city will use the cabin in a park, perhaps on a Nordic ski trail.
Mercer said he had not heard from town officials as of midday Monday, but many other people have called who are curious or concerned about the cabin.
“They want to come around and save it,” Mercer said, “but there’s this time factor.”
Assistant Town Manager Roxanne DeVries Robinson has confirmed that McLaurin is investigating moving costs and possible sites and that Town Councilor Jim Stanford is also working on a solution.