Tuesday, January 21, 2014

$2,000 reward offered in arson case involving historic cabin at Peterman

Peterman cabin before the Oct. 16, 2013 fire.
The Peterman Historical Society in Monroe County, Ala. is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the arsonists responsible for burning down an historic building in Peterman on Oct. 16, 2013.

On that night around 11 p.m., unknown individuals set fire to and completely destroyed “our beautifully restored pioneer cabin and attempted to set fire to our Peterman Depot,” historical society spokeswoman, Marie Klepac, said. “These buildings were not insured due to the high cost of insurance for such buildings.”

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department at 251-575-2963.

“The people who committed this terrible crime have no idea of what they have destroyed,” Klepac said. “Many people had donated family heirlooms to be preserved for generations. We would find tools, old baskets, or old lanterns on the front porch, donated out of love for our cabin. Many times these items had no name attached. They were simply given from the hearts of anonymous donors.
Peterman cabin after the Oct. 16, 2013 arson fire.

“Our cabin was a popular site for many photographers and attracted many visitors. It was not unusual to see cars with out-of-state tags parked in the yard and people would be peeping in the windows or collecting flower seeds from the beds. Our little cabin drew visitors from all over who wanted to share a piece of the history stored inside and take photos to remember and share with family.”

Klepac also announced that the historical society is conducting a “Save the Stanton House” campaign to raise $13,000 to move and restore the ancestral home of Jehu and Sue Stanton, who were early settlers of the Peterman area. This house, which the society plans to move to downtown Peterman, is an example of an 1880s dogtrot house with a detached kitchen. The house has never been updated for electricity or plumbing, she said.

“In order for the PHS to move the house, we must raise $13,000,” Klepac said. “We are asking for donations to help reach this goal. Our aim is to raise the funds and be ready to move the house by May 1.”

The Peterman Historical Society is a 501C tax-exempt non-profit organization, and all donations to the society are tax deductible. Certification documents are also available on request.

Donations can be made to the society’s “Peterman Cabin Restoration Account” (Account # 1014463) at Peoples Exchange Bank in Monroeville or checks can be sent to Peterman Historical Society, 167 Main St., Peterman, AL 36471.

For more information, contact Alice Chandler at 251-564-2260. 

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