FROM THE ASHES OF THE RUNAWAY SCRAPE
The Alley Log Cabin, a simple, square-notch structure built in 1836, is a well-preserved, intact pre-statehood pioneer home and a surviving example of the style of architecture known as the Texas Colonial Period. Constructed by Abraham Alley, one of Stephen F. Austin’s original “Old 300” settlers, the log cabin was actually a replacement for Alley’s first home, set on fire and burned as settlers fled the oncoming Mexican army during the Runaway Scrape. Alley, whose family members were friends and fellow Missourians with Stephen F. Austin’s family, had arrived in Texas with two of his brothers in 1822, settling along the Colorado River after traveling from Galveston Island. Alley married in 1835 and, together with his wife Nancy Millar (daughter of neighboring pioneers), raised five children.
Alley’s contribution to the Texas legacy may at first appear to end at his association with the Runaway Scrape and subsequent construction of the surviving log cabin. But further investigation reveals that Alley was grandfather to Shelly Lee Alley, influential songwriter, composer, band leader, and recording artist during the birth of western swing.
Today, the Alley Log Cabin serves as a small museum located in the community of Columbus. The cabin is furnished with authentic household goods and artifacts of the period and is available for tours by appointment.