Gay Mellville's Cabin / The Log Cabin

"Gay Melville's Cabin"
“The Log Cabin”
“The Lindsey Cabin”

This is not a picture of Gay's Cabin of the stories (which burned), but Gay (Leal McAfee) did live here for a time
with her sister, Mrs. Robert L. Dulaney and her nephew, Woodford H. Dulaney.
 Nevertheless, this may give you an idea of the large log cabin architecture of the Valley.
We're still looking for a picture of Gay's cabin in the stories.  Please email us if you can help!

We know from Annie Fellows Johnston’s autobiography, “The Land of the Little Colonel,” that Gay Melville’s fictional cabin was based on a real log cabin in Pewee Valley. However, the cabin burned down while she was living in Arizona. This passage, from Chapter VIII, records the changes she found in Pewee Valley when she returned in 1911 and bought The Beeches.

... The boarding-school had burned down and several dwelling-houses had been erected on what was once the college campus. The cabin where Gay spent a summer and the Haunted House of Hartwell Hollow had also burned to the ground. Oak Lea had been sold and its new owner had cut down all the beautiful oak trees that gave the place its name.

The Lindsey cabin first appears in Chapter I of “The Little Colonel’s Knight Comes Riding,” published in 1907. It is at this cabin that Gabrielle “Gay” Melville spends a summer in Lloydsboro Valley and first lays eyes on Dr. Alex Shelby. Later on in the series, Gay and Alex marry and make the cabin their home. 

From the map developed for the “Little Colonel” movie in the 1930s, we know the real cabin was located off Ashwood (now Ash) Avenue, close to Floydsburg Road and Stumptown. While we have not yet been able to find any pictures of it, Annie Fellows Johnston provides many clues about its appearance in “The Little Colonel’s Knight Comes Riding:”

…The spacious, two-story log cabin standing back among the great forest trees might have been a relic of Daniel Boone's day, so carefully had his pioneer pattern been copied by skilful architects. But the resemblance was only outward. Inside it was luxuriously equipped with every modem convenience… By this time they had reached the rustic footbridge leading over a ravine to the Cabin, and were in full view of the front windows... An outside fire-place on the broad front porch was one of the features of the Cabin…

.In “Mary Ware in Texas,” she describes it as “a fine country home built of logs and furnished with beautiful old heirlooms.”

 Page by Donna Russell