Historic Log Cabin Hidden Within Walls of Cape Girardeau Home

A 222-year-old log cabin is hidden inside a Cape Girardeau home.

log cabinA house with a log cabin inside?

Sounds rather unusual, right?

Well, that is what Carl Armstrong and his family discovered in 2004 when he began restoring the house he spent his childhood in.

“I actually lived in this house not realizing that I grew up in a log cabin,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong’s father purchased the property in 1925, which he turned into “Silver Springs Farm.”

“We knew the walls were thick, but it was all covered with plaster,” Armstrong said.

It wasn’t until many years later, the mystery started to unravel.

A local historian, Edison Shrum, came by looking for the so-called Ramsey House.

“This cabin was built in about 1795 by Andrew Ramsey, who was the first English settler in the area,” Armstrong explained.

Houck Family Visit - Circa 1897
Circa 1897

Andrew Ramsey is kin to the Ramsey Clan, the family that founded Dalhousie Castle in Scotland more than 850 years ago.

Andrew moved to Cape Girardeau County after receiving a a huge 1,000-acre land grant.

“Ramsey probably started with a small log cabin and eventually it grew into a colonial type house.”

Over the last 13 years, Carl and his wife have restored the cabin to look and feel like it once did.

Inside the home, you can still see the roof of the 20 x 20 foot log cabin.

It has been standing in the same location for more than 200 years, withstanding the New Madrid Quakes of 1811 and 1812.

Silver Springs FarmCarl and his wife still call it home.

“It feels like we’re living in history.”

Carl has since recorded the story of the historic landmark in a book titled, “Elmwood’s 1,000 Year Dalhousie Castle Legacy.”

You can get a better look at the log cabin during a book signing on March 18 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Osage Centre in Cape Girardeau.

That’s when Armstrong will explain how this home and Cape Girardeau’s “castle” bring together the story of Louis Lorimier, the Ramsays, the Giboneys and the Louis Houck family.


Elmwood Manor: Cape Girardeau’s historic “castle”