The Snelson/Brinker Cabin sits on Missouri Route 8 about a mile and a half east of Meramec Springs,home of the Meramec Iron Works. In 1837 the Brinkers purchased the cabin from Levi Lane Snelson. The Brinkers and their children lived in the cabin with a young slave girl, Mary. On May, 14, 1837 the Brinker's child Vienna Jane was found drowned. The slave, Mary was blamed for the child's death and tried for murder. She was convicted and sentenced to be hung. The case was appealed to The Missouri Supreme Court and remanded. She was tried again and convicted the second time. She was hung at the age of 14. She was buried in an unmarked grave on the hillside above Steelville, Missouri. Vienna Jane Brinker is buried in the small cemetary located next to the cabin grounds.
The smokehouse at the cabin. Step in front lead down to where the Brinker's slaves were kept.
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Early Snelson/Brinker Cabin Photo
A bit of history: The Reverend Thomas Snelson and family which included son Levi L. Snelson who was also a Baptist minister came from Ohio by covered wagon. They arrived at the Maramec Springs the year the first iron was taken from the large chaffery furnace in 1829. Levi L. Snelson built a large log house one mile east of Maramec Springs in 1834.
A recent photo of the cabin.
The novel The Hawksbill Crag takes a page from history and tells a fictional account of the events that happened at this famous 1834 cabin. A love story set near the end of The Civil War that will stay with you for years. You can still visit this cabin today, it sits on the Trail of Tears.
The recorded facts behind the novel and this cabin.
The slab covered grave of Vienna Jane Brinker lies in the Houston/Brinker cemetary about 100 yards from the Snelson/Brinker cabin. The inscription on the grave reads: "Sacred to the Memory of Vienna Jane Brinker Born May the 26th, 1835/ Died/ May the 14th, 1837/ Aged 1 year 11 months/ and 19 days. Suffer little children/ to come unto me and forbid them not,/ for such is the kingdom of God."
The National Park Service has certified The Snelson-Brinker Cabin as part of The Trail of Tears. It was on the trail and served as a camp site and perhaps a supply stop for several of the Cherokee detachments. Local tradition suggests it may also contain unmarked graves of trail travelers. It is listed as a high potential site in the 1987 Trail of Tears National Historic Trail Comprehensive Management and Use Plan.
The Author and Mayor of St. James, Missouri Dennis I. Wison
On the visit to the cabin with Mayor Wilson it has been noted that the cabin is in very bad repair. The structure under the west original side of the cabin is crumbling and will need replacement. Owner ship of the cabin is now with a St. James group unable to care for it. As the mayor and this author search for a group to take over the cabin maintenace and care I'm starting a fund from the sale of this novel to help. My sales are not that high so any extra help you can give with go to the City of St. James Mayor for now.
Buy the book here for $14.95. I pay the postage.
The photo shows the original west end of the cabin and the breaking up of the foundation. This is bad need of repair as the west end of the cabin is shifting off the rock foundation. Please help.