When the first pioneers arrived in Animas City in the mid-1870s, most quickly built a one-room cabin for shelter against the elements. They hoped to one day be able to replace the cabin or add on to it to make a “proper” home. This cabin is a perfect example. It was built in the 1870s of locally available materials using simple hand tools. Ponderosa pine logs were hand hewn with notched corners to create the walls and supports. Although it was more work and expensive, people liked the look of “flat” walls since they looked more like a “real” house. Flat walls actually withstood the elements much better; the bark and outside wood which were prone to decay were removed. Animas City businessmen, Scott, Ely, and Cooper established a sawmill in the early days of the community that probably provided the sawn lumber for the floorboards, windows and perhaps the roof.
We are not sure who originally built this cabin using tools like a felling axe, broad-axe, adze, hand saw, plumb bob, square, and hammer. Most likely it was not Charles B. Joy, although the cabin was named for him. It was originally located on Main Street in Animas City and may have been rented by Mr. Joy for use with his blacksmith shop.