Black and white photo of Paul Green sitting in a rocking chair by a stone fireplace, reading a bookPaul Green (1894-1981) was one of the South’s most revered writers. He’s best known for his plays, including In Abraham’s Bosom, winner of the 1927 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and The Lost Colony, still performed every summer on Roanoke Island.┬áHe was also an avid amateur naturalist and outspoken social activist for racial and economic equality.

In 1936, Green purchased a small log cabin that sat on old NC 86 between Calvander and Hillsborough and had it disassembled, moved, and reassembled on the property of his family home in Chapel Hill. The cabin had been owned by the Robert Davis family, African American craftspeople who made caskets, furniture, and baskets. Notes from a diary Green kept during the months he spent rebuilding the cabin refer to its “old logs full of age and meaning.” His daughters, then aged 7, 9, and 13, helped him nail down the flooring.

The cabin became a quiet writing retreat for Green. After his death in 1984, it seemed likely the cabin would be torn down. A movement arose to save the cabin, and ultimately the North Carolina Botanical Garden was chosen to serve as the site for its preservation. In 1991, a flat-bed truck drove the cabin from Paul Green’s old property on Greenwood Road to the Garden, where it was restored.

Visitors to the Garden will find the Paul Green Cabin tucked back within our Mountain Habitat, surrounded by lush ferns and branching buckeyes. The door is kept shut to preserve the cabin, but don’t hesitate – it’s open to the public! The cabin contains exhibits relating to Paul Green’s life and a number of benches for resting.

We thank the Paul Green Foundation for their help in preserving this historical treasure.