The original window openings on the Alley Log Cabin were probably wood board closures; windows were added later. The original doors were board and cleat rails. During improvements made in the early 1850’s, panel-style doors were added as was the walnut mantle and fireplace face. The original floors of the two rooms are oak, but were later covered with a broad width pine floor.
The loft stair is of heavy oak treads and risers of the old box type construction. Some of the original roof rafters exist in the loft, others have been reconstructed. The original roof was probably made of relatively large split boards. It has been replaced with hewn wood shingles of the type used in the 1850’s. The porches shown on the restored cabin were reconstructed to match the period.
According to family history, the Alley Log Cabin was sided, with pine lumber floated by raft from the large sawmill at Bastrop in the early 1850’s. At the same time another fireplace and three additional rooms were added.
A photo of Nancy Alley hangs over the bedroom mantelpiece. The doll bed was made of native oak for their first daughter, Laura Ann. The trunk of Laura Ann’s husband, Timothy Wright, is located under the stairway.
The Alley Log Cabin stood on its original site from 1836 until 1976 when it was moved into Columbus, restored and donated to the Magnolia Homes Tour, Inc., which is now the Columbus Historical Preservation Trust, Inc.
Alley Family History
Abram Alley was among Stephen F. Austin’s ”Old Three Hundred” colony. Abram immigrated to Texas in the spring of 1822 from his home in St. Genevieve, Missouri. He traveled by boat to Galveston Island and then traveled by foot to the Atascocita Crossing of the Colorado River, where he joined his brothers on their land grant located on the east side of the river. In 1835 Abram married Nancy Millar.
During the Texas Revolution, Sam Houston gave Abram the responsibility of overseeing the safety of the women and children. Abram moved his wife, Nancy, and the women and children of Austin’s colony to the Trinity River in order to escape the Mexican Army (known as the Runaway Scrape). General Houston gave orders to burn all of the homes and other structures before they left to prevent the Mexican Army from using their resources.
After the defeat of Santa Ana’s army at San Jacinto, Abram and Nancy returned to their land and rebuilt their cabin on the same site. Abram was engaged in farming and raising cattle. He signed the petition for a new municipality to be called “Colorado” in 1837, registered the first cattle brand in Colorado County, served as a juror in the first term of District Court in 1837, and was appointed by Sam Houston as President of the Board of Land Commissioners of Colorado County.
Abram and Nancy had nine children, five of whom survived into childhood. Abram died in 1862 and Nancy lived until 1893 in the Alley home. Both are buried in the Alley family cemetery.