March/April, 2019, Froe Chips, editor Carol White
It was both a comprehensive process and a labor of love that prompted C.B. Arnette to use the logs from the Arnette family home, once located at 2403 Halls Hill Pike, for the Ransom School House construction.
The home was built in the pre-Civil war days, sometime in the 1830s. It was of log construction, dog trot style, had a huge stone fireplace, and it is said that the sidewalks were built from brick made by slave labor.
It is uncertain which Arnette member resided their first, said M.J. Ross, distant cousin of C.B. Arnette, but she said that her great-grandfather, Herbert Franklin Arnette (1889-1973), once lived there. The Rutherford County Archives Historic Property Structures survey conducted in the late 1970s states that the Arnette family lived in the house most of the 20th Century and the property contained a stone ice house and a root cellar.
In many historic buildings exterior or exposed logs were later covered for both practical and anesthetic reasons. It was difficult to tell that this home was made of logs as it had been remodeled over the years and covered with brick, stucco, and lattice work. The dog trot had been filled in as well and another chimney added an constructed of brick.
Sadly, like many Rutherford County structures, this home was demolished for progress.
Log buildings were characteristically constructed with logs and chinking and the logs used in the Arnette home and later moved to the Ransom were made with hewn logs (roughly cut to provide a flat surface). The logs were carefully reassembled on the Ransom School house and stacked in such a way that they did not rest on each other except at the notch corners. Chinking and mortar were used to seal the space between the logs.
Historic log structures can be maintained for years provided that some basic attention is given to care and preservation. Logs require annual inspections. Traditional chinking and daubing may need annual renewal or spot repairs. By establishing a regular maintenance plan, repair costs will be dramatically reduced while the longevity of the Ransom Historic School House will be assured.