The Jonas Davis Cabin in Heritage Park is about to undergo a substantial facelift thanks to the generosity of The Smith Family Foundation.
“Mom and Dad put together this foundation way back in the 90s because they loved education, culture, art, churches and they wanted to make sure that the people in the community would have these things,” Robert Smith said, referring to his parents, Sidney and Edythe Ann Smith, who formed The Smith Family Foundation.
“I’ve been in construction for 35 or 40 years and I thought this would be a good project to be associated with. I saw their GoFundMe page and I knew they needed about $35,000. I called Molly (Anderson) and sat down with her and Bruce (Anderson) and Ruth (Hollenbeck) and found out what their plans were,” Smith said, adding, “I think Mom and Dad would want to fund this project.”
Robert and his brother, Fred, are co-trustees of The Smith Family Foundation.
Located in the 500 block of West Church Street, Heritage Park is home to the Jonas Davis Log Cabin, the W.T. Carter and Bro. Locomotive No. 5 and Heritage House, a restored Victorian home. The park and its attractions are owned, operated and maintained by the Polk County Heritage Society, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
In recent years the cabin has fallen into disarray, primarily due to the deterioration of its roof which has been taken over by resurrection fern.
The Heritage Society has been attempting to raise funds for the rehabilitation of the cabin, even attempting to crowdfund through an account on GoFundMe, an online fundraising platform.
Earlier this summer, Dandy Bergman did some tree-trimming and limb removal, marking the beginning of a multi-step project at the park in which the roof of the cabin will be replaced.
Heritage Society Members Molly Anderson and Ruth Hollenbeck are overseeing the project and George Harrell and Patrick Swilley are the project managers.
This is a welcome opportunity for the Heritage Society as both the cabin and the train are popular attractions at Heritage Park to local school children, history buffs young and old and visitors passing through.