If my friend Nick Cattell looks a little disconcerted here, it's because 24 hours earlier both he and the fireplace would have been standing inside the living room of the old Jerry Wells cabin on "Lake Vista hill" just east of Chariton along Highway 34.
In case you've wondered, driving by, what became of this local landmark over the weekend --- it just kind of inadvertently fell down. No one was injured, but now only the front and a couple of east-side walls are standing.
The old cabin, built of lodgepole pine, was the long-time home of Jerry Wells, who developed the Lake Vista supper club and motel just to the west. The motel now is a private home; the former supper club is the centerpiece of Nick and Deb Cattells' Country Cabins development and contains a series of rental suites, each containing or attached to a recreational vehicle. You can read more about that in an earlier post here.
Anyhow, Nick bought the Wells cabin and some adjoining property last year, after it had fallen into an advanced state of decay. During Wells' later years, the cabin had been abandoned with all of his possessions inside, the roof had failed and both the building and its contents were badly damaged.
Nick had been working Saturday (including on the roof) to salvage --- with plans to restore --- part of the original cabin when he went home for lunch. Shortly after, his son called to say, "uh --- the cabin just fell in."
By the time these photos were taken Sunday, the resulting debris had been pushed off to the north and the leaning chimney of the fireplace taken down. Nick now is trying to figure out how to turn what remains into a shelter house for the Country Cabins development --- so keep your eye on Lake Vista hill and see what happens.