Bear Bend Cabin

Bear Bend Cabin
1836 Sam Houston Avenue
Map | News | ID#: 0324

Timeline

c. 1850 Construction
c.1974 Purchased and moved by Tharps
1987-91 Restored by Tharps
2002 Donated to SHSU [1]
Oct. 27, 2010 Moved to Huntsville
2010-11 Restoration
Mar. 2, 2011 Dedication Ceremony

Namesake

None

Architect

Unknown

Contractor(s)

Unknown

Bear Bend Cabin

Bear Bend as it stood in Fernland in Montgomery County.


Bear Bend Cabin

This Oct. 2010 photograph from the Item shows the cabin - minus the roof, chimneys, and porches - being transported 40 miles to the Memorial Museum grounds in Huntsville. To our knowledge there were no live-ins.


Bear Bend Cabin

An aerial photograph of the museum property where the cabin would reside, west of the Guerrant Cabin.


Bear Bend Cabin

Bear Bend standing on the museum property.


Bear Bend Cabin

An image from the Jackson-Shaver parking lot looking toward the cabin's rear entrance.


Sources

  1. Historical Park Donated to SHSU (Jul.27, 2002)
  2. Historical Building Collection Includes Sam Houston Hideaway (Dec. 2, 2008)
  3. Historical Buildings Ready for Move (Jul.19, 2010)
  4. Sam Houston Moved This Historic Cabin (Nov.2, 2010)

The Bear Bend cabin is a historically-significant structure located on the Sam Houston Memorial Museum complex. In its original location in Montgomery County it served as a hunting lodge visited by Sam Houston during the 1850s.

The cabin’s construction is a unique period piece, described as being a story-and-a-half double pen log cabin with four rooms in two segments connected by a breezeway, thereby making it one of the oldest and most intact cabins of its time and type still extant.

The cabin was originally located in Montgomery County near the Walker County line in a U-shaped bend in Atkins Creek – an area now under Lake Conroe. In 1974 Houston-area preservationists Carroll and Mae Tharp purchased the cabin and moved it six miles south of the original site. For the move the Tharps dismantled the cabin piece-by-piece, numbering each section for accurate restoration [1].

In a 2010 Huntsville Item article, then-Museum director Patrick Nolan explained how the cabin received its name: “We found a quote in a book that said there was a bend in [Atkins] creek near the cabin and they would drive bears into that bend.” [3]

The cabin’s new site, dubbed Fernland, eventually became home to five structures collected by Tharps. Restoration of Bear Bend at this site took place between 1987 and 1991.

In 2002 the original Fernland property – and the five structures – was donated to SHSU [1].

Portions of the 2008 film The Man Who Came Back were shot at the cabin [2].

Due to the remote location of the five buildings, and the eventual determination that providing an infrastructure at the site would be too costly, the decision was made to relocate the buildings [4]. Bear Bend would move to Huntsville while the other four buildings were moved to the city of Montgomery's Fernland Historical Park.

In October 2010 the cabin was again dismantled and moved, this time to the Sam Houston Memorial Museum grounds where it was rebuilt and restored. A re-dedication ceremony was held the following March.


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