Log cabin in Waterford Mills

Log cabins remind us, of course, of the very early days of settlement. They were literally built by hand from the resources of the earth. Obviously there were no lumber stores or anything else of the sort. Settlers used what they could find. Remarkably, a few of the log cabins survive to this day. Some of them have been added on to or siding has been put on. This one is in Waterford Mills, a small community just south of Goshen in Elkhart County. At the time the photo was taken, it looks like there was siding on it but it had either fallen off or been taken off for the most part. There is also evidence electrical service exists as shown by the meter box. According to the Indiana Landmarks survey of historical properties for Elkhart County, William Layton Baker built the log house in the 1830s just south of a grist mill he operated. Waterford Mills was once a thriving commercial area with mills, businesses and stores. But when a hydraulic canal was put in later, businesses started moving to Goshen and the town, which also had a post office for 50 years, died out. Today there is little evidence of a thriving community.

Waterford Mills Area Remnants 006

Log cabin in Waterford Mills, south of Goshen.


About historynut11

My name is Tim Ashley and I am a newspaper editor/reporter/photographer in Milford, Indiana, and live in nearby Goshen, Indiana. A deeply held and sincere passion of mine is history and learning from the past. I enjoy a wide variety of history topics, but particularly local history, noted American highways (Lincoln Highway and Route 66), railroad history and the Civil War. I believe we can learn much from the past and that past shapes who we are today. I also enjoy visiting museums and historical sites, as well as taking photos of remnants from the past still standing.
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2 Responses to Log cabin in Waterford Mills

  1. Libby Nickel Baker says:

    Hi Tim-
    I found your blog through research I am doing about my husband’s family history/genealogy. I’ve reached out to the Elkhart County Historical Museum for assistance with research about William Layton Baker and Elias Baker, who I believe was William’s father. I am trying to connect William Baker to his birthplace in Ohio and to determine exactly who his mother was. Do you have any additional information about people who may be related to these original settlers from the Waterford Mills Area? As a local historian, do you have any suggestions about who to contact? Both William Layton Baker, Emily Hess Baker (his wife) and Elias Baker are all buried in the Sparklin Cemetery, an historic cemetery in Waterford Mills you featured on your blog earlier. We live in Minnesota, so visiting Indiana is not in our immediate future, but I’d like to keep going with my research. Many thanks for your interesting blog! Best, Libby Nickel Baker

    • historynut11 says:

      Libby, thanks for your nice comments and contacting me! I should caution I’m not an official historian, though I have done considerable research on local history. I have not done any additional research on this family, but I would suggest you contact the Elkhart County Genealogical Society (elkcogensoc.org). There is a contact button on that site. Or you might try Penny Bucks of the genealogical society at pcorene97@comcast.net. Hope this helps!

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