Benton, Ill. seeks to sell or tear down historic Scout Cabin

A piece of local history may soon be sold or torn down due to decades of disrepair. Some in Benton, Illinois, say the Scout Cabin, built in the 1930s, is in its final stage of life. The city is looking at its options, weighing the future of the historic cabin.

"Time takes its toll," said Benton Mayor Fred Kondritz.

Rotting logs, dead bugs and caving in walls are what remains of Scout Cabin. Kondritz says he grew up just down the street from the cabin and spent a lot of time in it as a kid and as a teenager. He says it’s hard to imagine it being torn down.

"To not see it here anymore is going to be a loss," he said.

Built by hand in 1937 by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC, during the New Deal, Scout Cabin has been used for decades as a popular event space, a teen hang out known as Teen Town, and much more. After nearly 80 years, Scout Cabin is starting to show its age. Parts of the cabin are falling apart, you can even see the sunlight starting to poke through some of the walls.

Restoring it, Kondritz says, will take between $75,000 to $100,000. 

"The money’s the bottom line of saving this facility, and it’s just not here," Kondritz said.

The Benton City Council voted unanimously Monday night to put out an ad looking for a buyer to restore the cabin or tear it down, a difficult decision for many.

"I’ve lost a little sleep over it, but it comes to a point where after 78 years it’s just not functional,"

And, while he knows it’s what’s best for Benton, Kondritz says he’s still sad to say goodbye to the small piece of history he’s grown to love.

While the city searches for someone to restore or tear down the cabin, the mayor says the city will keep the land. If the cabin comes down, the city plans to name the space after the cabin so its history will live on.

Related Articles