My original watercolor painting of the Null cabin hints that the structure stands atop one of the highest points in the county. The dwelling is a landmark and, through donations, has been preserved with extensive restoration work sponsored by the Springboro Area Historical Society.
The Null Cabin Near Springboro, Ohio
Original Watercolor Painting by Robert T. Rhode
Born in Rockingham County, Virginia, in 1772, Christian Null served in the Revolutionary War while he was still at a tender age. After a journey to the Ohio country in 1792, Christian and his brother Charles cleared the land and built the log house. Various siblings joined Christian and Charles. The Null cabin boasts a cellar and two wings. Its location is protected within the Heatherwoode Golf Course that includes an elegant residential area.
My ancestors were part of a Quaker migration that arrived at nearby Caesar’s Creek only fifteen years after Christian Null began his new life in Ohio; for that reason, the Null cabin is of particular interest to me. It serves as a reminder of the promise that Ohio held forth not only for the Nulls and the Rhodes but also for many other pioneering families.
Christian Null’s log home is larger than it might appear. As it stands alone on the crest of the knoll, there is no other structure close enough to give a sense of proportion. The rooms are ample, especially for a cabin! The wings provide plenty of space—even for those of us accustomed to today’s spacious houses.
While I stand before the cabin, I can easily imagine Christian Null and members of his family coming and going, busy at the tasks each season brings. Planting crops, harvesting vegetables, preparing meat, spinning thread, making cloth, feeding cattle, and other vignettes of country life readily please my mind’s eye. It is not idle nostalgia to picture the Nulls as contented people. From history, we know that Ohio land fulfilled its covenant with settlers by being wonderfully productive.
The golf course and fine homes do not interrupt the commanding view from the cabin in nearly all directions. You feel as if you are standing on top of the world. Seeing the sunrise through one of the upstairs windows must have been a rewarding experience for the Nulls! Witnessing the golden light of morning as it spread across the valleys must have reaffirmed the Nulls’ faith in a benevolent Creator.
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