The oldest structure in Pinellas County. A typical Florida "Cracker" log home of the pioneer period, it was built about the year 1852 by Captain James Parramore McMullen near Clearwater.
James and Elizabeth McMullen built this 1½ story log cabin near Alligator Creek, part of present day Clearwater. They raised livestock and farmed, growing a variety of crops including cotton. Their cattle ended up on dinner plates throughout the South and even Cuba. The McMullens pursued opportunities during the turbulent years following the Civil War by selling cattle to Cuba where the economy was stable. By 1869 the family manufactured syrup barrels and held sugar cane grinding parties. Later they converted their cotton fields into citrus groves.
Why Did The McMullens Come?
In 1841, 18-year-old James Parramore McMullen, suffering from ‘consumption’ or tuberculosis, gathered his bedroll, gun, horse and dog and left his southern Georgia home. He regained his health while living alone on the Pinellas Peninsula. Later he returned to his family homestead in Georgia and recounted stories of this place to his 6 brothers. It would be another 7 years before he came back to upper Pinellas, but this time it would be with a wife and a determination to make this area home. They persevered even in the aftermath of the Second Seminole War (1835 – 1842) when skirmishes continued in the region for years. Between 1851 and 1871, one by one, the 6 brothers followed James to Pinellas.
Building a Community:
The McMullens were more than farmers. In the 1870s, miles from their home and farm, they created the Bay View settlement at the place where farmers loaded livestock onto boats in Tampa Bay. Always the entrepreneurs, they soon added a store and hotel. In the years that followed the family, including James, his 6 brothers and their children, helped shape the future of Pinellas as visionary community leaders, business developers and politicians.
A Rugged Pioneer Woman:
Elizabeth Campbell McMullen, a Hernando County native, and was a midwife for many women in the area. She worked on the fields during the Civil War. When marauders threatened them during the war years, Elizabeth and her children spent some time at a fort in the Keystone area, where—according to family history—she patrolled the fort with musket in hand.
During the Civil War, Elizabeth protected the family homestead and raised their children while James served with the Confederate Cow Cavalry. For nearly 20 years, this was the most substantial home in the Upper Tampa Bay.
He and his wife Elizabeth raised 11 children here, and by 1900 records show that over 55 children were born in the cabin during the years it was occupied.
In 1977, it was donated to Heritage Village and has since been restored and furnished to its original condition.