ROME, Ga. - Restoration efforts at the Cave Spring Log Cabin have been briefly halted until crews can stabilize the structure.
Archaeological analysis is under way on what is thought to be part of an early 1800s Cherokee settlement. But when a section of the old Green Hotel was peeled away to fully expose the rear wall of the building, it also exposed structural shifts and deterioration of the foundation joist beam.
"We've got to replace the bottom of it and brace it up before we can take the side off," committee chairman Billy Abernathy said. "It's not going to fall, but it has to be addressed before we go any further."
Paul Davis Restoration is handling the reconstruction, and Abernathy said its workers will be onsite early this week to do the bracing. The organization hopes to have most of the mid-1800s Green Hotel shell removed from the hand-hewn cabin by the first of next year.
Meanwhile, seeing the entire back of the structure has encouraged and energized the volunteers who mobilized to restore it after it was discovered in 2010.
"It's amazing," Abernathy said. "We can see now that it's two stories all the way around, and it's put together with wooden pins. It looks like the fireplace is brick and mud."
The Georgia Trail of Tears Association has been working with the committee, connecting them with experts who can help trace the cabin's origins.
Abernathy said the association's archives document federal payoffs to the resident Cherokees when the land was confiscated by the government.
"We know that all around the cabin are Indian improvements. It was a prosperous community," he said. "The government didn't pay for the land, but the archives show what they were paid for their acreages of fruit trees, corn fields and things like that."