Stupey Cabin since 1847

Peter Stupey, first child born in this cabin, circa 1890s

Stupey Log Cabin is not a log cabin! It is a Timber Cabin or Timber House. It is made of hand-hewn, squared timbers, dovetailed and notched at the joints, rather than round logs which are typical of a log cabin. A cabin usually doesn’t have a chimney – just a hole in the roof to let out smoke. When the chimney was added it was called a house. We call our structure a log cabin because of common usage.

The Stupey Log Cabin is in an excellent state of preservation today because it was built with first grown timber. This was obtained from the wood grown from untouched earth with the humus, peat and natural rot of the age-old forests. Its grain was strong and destined to harden with the years rather than to decay. Several timbers in the cabin had to be replaced but they were carefully matched using timbers over 100 years old obtained from as far away as Central Wisconsin.

The windows and doors are of solid white oak and were made by the retired Chief Carpenter of the Lincoln restoration at New Salem, Illinois. They were pinned together with wood pegs and square head nails. Another feature is the massive stone chimney constructed of boulders, called field stones.

The furnishing is simpled, authentic and utilitarian. It shows how the Stupey family lived in 1850, when there was little time for leisure or recreation. Their time was spent in putting food on the table and providing clothing and shelter.

Frances Stupey (Franz Stuppi) was born in 1815, District of Ottweiler, Germany, close to the French border. In 1846, Mr. Stupey, with his wife, Margaretha Rectenwald Stupey and their two-year-old daughter, immigrated to this country. Mr. Stupey bought 100 acres of land, now Exmoor Country Club, for $4.00 an acre. Mrs. Stupey’s father, Nicolas Rectenwald, owned land nearby. They Stupeys raised eight children in this cabin.


Wording on Bronze Plaque at Stupey Cabin

Built in 1847 of hand hewn, virgin White Oak Timbers, this is Highland Park’s oldest standing structure. It was a Centennial gift from Exmoor Country Club to the Highland Park Historical Society and the people of Highland Park.

In December, 1968, the cabin was moved from the grounds of Exmoor, ¾ mile northwest, to this site.

It was first opened on June 8,  1969, as part of the year-long Centennial celebration of the City of Highland Park.

From 1847 to 1875, the cabin served as the Stupey family home, then as a farm building until 1896 when the founders of Exmoor bought the Stupey fam. The cabin was then used as a utility building until 1968.

At the time the cabin was built, the closest settlement was St. Johns, located in what is the now the southeast corner of Fort Sheridan. Population of the area was less than 100 people.

Moving, restoration and furnishing of the cabin in the period of 1860 were done by the Historical Society. Funds were raised by public subscription.

Highland Park Historical Society – Founded 1966