About This Place
Atlantic is a city in and the county seat of Cass County, Iowa, United States, located along the East Nishnabotna River. The population was 7,112 in the 2010 census, a decline from the 7,257 population in the 2000 census.
Atlantic was founded in October 1868 by Franklin H. Whitney, B.F. Allen, John P. Cook, and others. While historians cannot agree how Atlantic got its name, local legend tells that the founding fathers estimated that the town was about halfway between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, so it led them to flip a coin and, clearly, Atlantic won. The nearby Rock Island Railroad was important in deciding the actual location of the town, and to this day, the old depot sits at the north end of Chestnut Street. Today, the old depot serves as the offices of the Chamber of Commerce.
This 14 by 18 foot log cabin was built by John Gingery in 1863 in what was called Five Mile Grove located two miles northeast of Atlantic. John left Stark County where he had been raised and has become a school teacher. He was twenty-six years old and arrived just as Cass County was being organized. He was hired by Cass County to do their clerical work in organizing the county.
John Gingery married Mary Hyatt of Audubon County, Iowa on April 28, 1866. Ten children were born to them and all were born in this log house except the tenth and youngest child. This cabin may also have been used as the first school house in Pymosa Township until 1868 when a separate school building was erected.
The cabin was on the Gripple farm northeast of Atlantic when the Atlantic Rotary Club became interested in preserving and restoring it as the club's Bi-Centennal project in 1976. The Rotarians and Boy Scout troop 60 dismantled the cabin and numbered each log for rebuilding purposes. The Atlantic Soroptomists furnished the cabin much as it was originally furnished. It was the hope of the Atlantic Rotary Club that this cabin would typify the early history in Cass County and in the State of Iowa.