Wisteria Cabin 1895
Cabin, the middle cabin of the Little Loomhouse complex, celebrated its
100th birthday in 1995. Its name comes from the Wisteria
vines climbing on a trellis over the front entrance. These vines show
off their lovely lavender blooms in the early spring.
The cabin was built of native oak cut at a sawmill located on Kenwood
Hill. The exterior is board and batten siding stained dark brown. It is
built in a dogtrot design creating a corridor down the center with
French doors on each end for ventilation. The front right side room has
a stone fireplace and the left side originally contained two bedrooms,
now combined into one large room. For many years, all three cabins were
used for summer homes. When Tate acquired the property n 1939, she used
Wisteria mainly for storage. As her weaving business and teaching
expanded, she began to utilize it for exhibitions.
After the Kentucky Weavers Junior program was organized in the 1960’s,
she rented the cabin to them for one dollar a year. This gave the
children a clubhouse and a center for their weaving and spinning
activities. The long center hallway created a good exhibition space.
1965, the sloping attic was made into a workroom and opened with a
celebration exhibit called “Cobwebs in the Attic”. This ran from April
through October of that year. Tate wanted to continue to use Wisteria
for community programs, but the late 1970’s water and mud slide damage
from bulldozing above the cabins on Possum Path brought
disaster. Wisteria had to be periodically closed. Repairs were sorely
needed, but money and help from the city to prevent further damage was
not available, so the cabin soon deteriorated.
was not until 1985, six years after Tate’s death, that a complete
restoration of Wisteria was begun. Tony Belak, President of the
Foundation at the time, put together grants from the city county and
Carpenters’ Union for renovation. A furnace, bathroom, kitchen cabinets
and shelves were all included. Upon completion, a rededication ceremony
was held June 25, 1986. Jefferson County Judge Executive Harvey Sloan,
and others who had helped in the restoration, participated.
Wisteria now serves as the Foundation Office, with
an expanded Gift Shop. The original kitchen has been removed and its
space holds extra weaving equipment and supplies. Our extensive
collection of weaving and related periodicals has found a new home on
shelves surrounding the fire place in the office area.