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200 North Main St | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

Collection Description

The Patton Cabin was built by John Patton in 1829, making it the oldest extant building in McLean County today. It was built near a Kickapoo Indian settlement by the Mackinaw River, about three miles southeast of Lexington. Kickapoo and Delaware Indians participated in building the cabin along with several “white settlers,” making it the only surviving structure in central Illinois connected with the exchange between white settlers and American Indians. Patton erected a second structure in 1832, and it was later connected to the original. In 1904, the second structure was razed and the original moved 25 yards south, to be used as a pigsty. Still intact, the structure was dismantled in 1965 and the logs stored until 1969, when it was reassembled in Lexington. In the 1980’s a restoration on the cabin brought it back to most of its original appearance.

This collection contains items pertaining mostly to the 1965 dismantling, 1969 reconstruction, and 1980’s restoration and National Register of Historic Places nomination. This includes items from the McLean County Historical Society and its Patton Cabin Committee such as correspondence, donations, and financials. One folder pertains to the various contractors work and information on the structural aspects of the cabin.  Items from Ruth Putman include correspondence and news articles about the cabin. A 1995 report on the state of the cabin is included.


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