Houston historic landmark saved in time for the holidays


More than $200,000 was raised to fund the major restoration and update of Houston Audubon's Edith L. Moore log cabin -- its first in 20 years. New logs were carefully selected and preparations were made to ensure its historical integrity.

The log cabin was hand-constructed in 1932 by Edith Moore and her husband Jesse on the west bank of Rummel Creek, a tributary of Buffalo Bayou. The city of Houston grew around her, but Moore's peaceful oasis remained intact.

In 1975, Moore turned over 17.5 acres of her land and the cabin to Houston Audubon on the condition it be maintained as a permanent nature sanctuary.

Recognized as a Texas Historic Landmark in 1996, the cabin is the only registered historic log home in Houston that stands where it was originally built.

And there it has stood, through every hurricane and flood to hit the Bayou City in the last 80 years.

More than 100 donors, including The Brown Foundation and The Wortham Foundation, made the restoration possible. Local environmental benefactor Terry Hershey's donation completed the project's fundraising, a gift in honor of her late husband Jake.

"We have so many incredible people to be thankful for this season," said Martha Wright president of the Houston Audubon docent guild. "As long as we are here to help [the cabin], it will continue to stand for the community's benefit, just as Edith had wished it."

The cabin is a hub of activity, including home to bird and nature programs, day camps and after-school education for children and families. It is also a peaceful place for people to escape the city life, if just for a while.

"In a time when our lives have become so busy and hectic, this cabin and surrounding woods provide an incredible sanctuary not just for birds, but also for people," said Jessica Jubin, Houston Audubon development director. "Edith was a woman ahead of her time, and thanks to her and a generous community including Terry Hershey and many others, this place will continue to thrive and be protected for future generations to enjoy."

The community is invited to celebrate the cabin restoration's completion with a grand re-opening festival and ribbon cutting on January 12.

The rest of the property will remain open for the duration of the project through December. Right now, you can sign up for guided night tours of the sanctuary known as Owl Prowls, join a winter birding class, brush up on photography skills through the Houston Area Nature Photography Association and take part in many other programs on the schedule at www.houstonaudubon.org.

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