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This blog is used to share information that I find about the families that I am researching. To see these family names click on the tab above. Please feel free to contribute your stories or research and make comments, corrections, and ask questions.

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Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Bryan Log Cabin in Bienville Parish - Revisited

Last year, I posted this post - The Bryan Log Cabin in Bienville Parish. I found a photo of the cabin, a two-room dogtrot, on page 59 of Louisiana Plantation Homes by W. Darrell Overdyke. In addition to seeing the cabin in this book, a sketch and description be found in the research paper Log Houses as Public Occasions: A Historical Theory written in 1977.  I won't put either on my blog as I want to avoid copyright infringement; however, I have seen the book for sale both at Amazon and eBay for reasonable prices. 

I wrote the original post to share and maybe verify a story told to me by a Wimberly/Bryan descendant (my third cousin) when visiting Bienville Parish in 2007. I was told the person who owned the land (a Mrs. "C") reported someone from Louisiana State University asked for the cabin. They removed the cabin after carefully numbering each piece. However, when LSU was called, the location of the cabin was not known. 

Below is what I have learned and what I want to know.

Last year while trying to verify the story, I learned that story was actually that of the George Washington Nix log cabin seen below.

George Washington Nix built the cabin pictured and it was passed on to his daughter, Erie Ontario Nix, and her husband, Augustus Reddick Bryan (grandson of Reddick Bryan).  

Could the Bryan log cabin and the Nix cabin be one in the same? There are no sources for the cabin pictured in Mr. Overdyke's book. I would love to see his research and sources. That might answer my questions. 

In 1999, another Bryan descendant wrote that her parents looked for the cabin in 1978 with explicit directions from the "C" family, but the cabin was not found and assumed torn down. Could this be the "C" family who owned the Nix cabin? 

In Log Houses as Public Occasions: A Historical Theory, the house was described as being built about 1850.  Reddick Bryan purchased the land where the Bryan Cemetery can be found in 1839.  Where did he build his home? Did he stay in the first house he built? 

In Mr. Overdyke's book, it is written the Bryan family left Georgia and lived in Arkansas for two years prior to moving to Louisiana. I don't believe this is correct. What about the Nix family? Did they come to Louisiana from Georgia? Did they spend a few years in Arkansas? When did they settle in Bienville Parish? 

I added land/family information to this map in hopes of learning more - I did not. The map below shows some land owned by Reddick Bryan and George Washington Nix. Click on the map to enlarge it or go to the actual google map at this link.  

I cannot locate the house or positively determine that the house in Mr. Overdyke's book was that of Reddick Bryan, my great-great-grandfather. I am always open to suggestions and always appreciate new information! I can be contacted via email or on my Facebook page (see the link below). 

Although the land was purchased by Reddick Bryan on March 2, 1839, the official patents from the government were given to buyers several years after the purchases. The patient date for this purchase is 1843. The dates found at the Bureau of Land Management Records and on townships maps are the patient dates, not the dates of the actual purchase. This document was found with original purchase records at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

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© 2018


Family photographs and documents from the collection of Diana Bryan Quinn. 

Family photographs from the collection of Jane Stewart Slater. 

Gates, P. (1968). History of public land law development. Washington.Web. 14 Sep. 2017. Hathi Trust Digital Library <;view=1up;seq=1>

Quinn, Diana Bryan. The Bryan Log Cabin in Bienville Parish. Blogger, 4 Sept. 2017.  

Newton, M. B. and Napoli, L. P.-D. (1977), Log Houses as Public Occasions: A Historical Theory. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 67: 360–383.

Overdyke, W. Darrell. Louisiana Plantation Homes, Colonial, and Antebellum.  New York: American Legacy Press, 1981.

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