The last house on the left on Main Street in downtown Logan bearing the number 581 has been a mainstay of local history, politics and civics for nearly a century.
However, the home, over the years, has began to buckle and bend under the weight of time and the tremendous history it represents.
The home was built sometime around 1900 and was purchased by Don Chafin around 1920.
While living at 581 Main Street, Chafin was one of the most powerful men in southern West Virginia.
In his early political career, Chafin served in several offices in the Logan County Courthouse before beginning his second, non-contiguous term as Logan County Sheriff in 1921.
Chafin is perhaps most well-known for his role in the Battle of Blair Mountain in August and September of 1921 where he created a private army numbering in the thousands to keep union organizers out of Logan County coal mines.
The home eventually came under the ownership of the Steele family and was later bequeathed to the Woman’s Club of Logan where they operate a library and host an array of social and religious functions.
On Feb. 14, 1994, the Chafin Home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Recently the Woman’s Club of Logan and Southern Coalition for the ARTS teamed up on an effort to begin to repair and restore the classic home to its original glory.
The effort is set to begin with a move to replace to home’s aging roof which was reportedly last replaced in the 1980s.
“We started this relationship with the Women’s Club of Logan over a year ago. We have been able to reach out to friends of the arts who are volunteering their time towards the home’s restoration,” noted Leah Clay, with the ARTS.
Shirley Baisden, with the Woman’s Club of Logan noted the organization is happy to partner with the ARTS on such a historic project.
“We have been growing in membership and invite anyone to join the Women’s Club of Logan,” added Baisden.
Owen Wells is a reporter for Civitas Media. He can be contacted at 304-752-6950 ext. 1729 or by email at [email protected]