Effort in place to restore 1899 cottage

The McCormick Cottage in Stinnett. (photos courtesy of the Hutchinson County Historical Museum)The Former McCormick home is one of oldest structures in Hutchinson County.
Tim Howsare

STINNETT — The Hutchinson County Historical Museum is leading an effort to restore the Isaac McCormick Cottage in Stinnett.
Now located one block off Main Street behind the post office, the McCormick Cottage was built in 1899 and is one of the oldest existing buildings in Hutchinson County.
Originally located at the Britain Ranch, it was the site of Hutchinson County’s first election in 1901 when the county was organized. Former buffalo hunter Billy Dixon was elected the county’s first sheriff in an election that also was held in the McCormick Cottage.
Due to the urgent need for repairs, Hutchinson County Historical Museum (HCHM), the Friends of the Hutchinson County Historical Museum and the Hutchinson County Historical Commission are combining efforts to raise the funds needed to make repairs as quickly as possible.
Estimates for the project place the cost for the exterior restoration and repair at about $20,000.
The fundraising plan includes a Memorial Terrace that will be about 8-feet square, 24 bricks wide and 12 bricks deep.
The plan is to sell paver bricks at different price levels to not only pay for the restoration, but also to cover ongoing maintenance and work inside the building. The Memorial Terrace will be located on the southwest corner of the McCormick House.
The fundraising and restoration could take as long as a year and a half.
“That little cottage is an important part of history for both Stinnett and Hutchinson County,” said Judy Flanders, treasurer of the Friends of Hutchinson County Historical Museum, a nonprofit organization that supports the museum and sponsors some of its events, such as the annual quilt show.
Flanders said there are brochures at the museum, 618 N. Main St., that people can fill out if they want to buy a paver brick.

History of the McCormick Cottage
According to information provided by the HCHM, Isaac and Capitola McCormick came to what is now Hutchinson County in 1899 with seven children and settled on four sections of school land. Over the years, the McCormicks raised t10 children in this four-room house.
They came from Collingsworth County where they had been since 1893. When the family arrived, the area was open range and most of the land was owned by the Turkey Track ranch. This wide-open land was ripe with promise. They built their house with lumber hauled by wagon from Panhandle, about 35 miles south of present-day Stinnett, across the often-flooded, treacherous Canadian River. The house was built two miles northeast of where Stinnett is today and is one of the first frame houses in the county.
In 1928, the house was moved from the Britain Ranch where it had stood since it was built to Broadway in Stinnett and used as rental property until 1965 when Edgar and Blanche Britain, local ranchers and its owners, moved it to its present location north of the Hutchinson County courthouse.
The house was moved there to be used as a museum. Hutchinson County Pioneers Association, Hutchinson County Historical Society, Hutchinson County Heritage, Inc. and the Golden Spread Grandmothers Club of Stinnett restored and maintained the building and opened it to visitors. The last meeting of many of the last of these pioneers was held in 2008, when the City of Stinnett and the Stinnett Economic Development Corp. agreed to maintain and care for the cottage. That agreement signed by the parties concerned, is the last known record of any organized effort to maintain or care for the cottage.