Log Cabin Demolished
Log Cabin Demolished
Without pomp and circumstance, the treasured landmark Log Cabin was demolished this morning in Fernandina Beach, Florida. Built in 1939 by Rayonier, Inc., many relatives of the locals helped skin the logs for its construction. The building has served our Amelia Island community for over 70 years.

At the demolition this morning I met up with Tom Gora, Commander of our local American Legion post, Cliff Lewis and Eason Bennett and all were happy to share some fond memories of the old building.

“This is a sad day.” Bennett said when I first arrived on the scene to capture this historic moment in Fernandina Beach. Originally, the building was used for parties, civic meetings of the Garden Club, voting took place inside those walls and the cabin even served as temporary classrooms.

It wasn’t clear when the city of Fernandina Beach took over the building, but by 1978, the log cabin had been severely neglected and termites had chewed through the building leaving the bathrooms, literally, on the ground. No one could inspect the roof for fear of falling through.

Fernandina Log Cabin
Fernandina Log Cabin

Volunteers and members of the American Legion made repairs to the building and eventually a lease agreement with the city was reached and the Legion had a permanent home. For the past few years, the American Legion has been planning a new home with a larger facility complete with rental hall and a full kitchen, and had their Dedication ceremonty on Veteran’s Day last year for the new, Theodore H. Hernandez American Legion Post 54 building. The new facility is located at 626 S. 3rd Street in Fernandina Beach.

For over 70 years the landmark log cabin has served the citizens of Amelia Island and Fernandina and it was indeed a sad day watching the handful of citizens who came out to pay their last respects. Mayor Susan Steger was on hand, but there was no ceremony and no words of gratitude. In less than an hour, seven decades of history was no longer recognizable as she was promptly transformed into a pile of debris.

Some of the cedar wood from the old building will be used as decor in the American Legion’s new home, and some may be available for souvenirs. It feels like something is missing in our community. I suppose it will take a few years before that piece of property appears familiar to Fernandina Beach once again.