Major Khleber Miller Van Zandt settled in Fort Worth after the Civil War. He was a part of Company D, Texas Seventh Regiment for the Confederate Army. He was also a member of the Texas Legislature, a cattleman, banker, and a merchant. Between 1871 and 1873, Van Zandt acquired approximately 600 acres of land to the west of the newly incorporated City of Fort Worth. Some of Van Zandt's property was purchased by the City of Fort Worth in 1892 to build a water treatment plant and city park. This purchase eventually became what is now known as Trinity Park. In 1936, the city purchased from the Van Zandt family most of the land that is now considered the Cultural District. This purchase included the cabin.
When Major Van Zandt purchased the land, the cabin was already there, so the exact date of its construction is unknown. The cabin is the only structure of its type in the City of Fort Worth that is still in its original location. However, the home itself has been significantly modified over the years. Fort Worth Architect Joseph R. Pelich was hired for the restoration of the cabin in 1936. Many of Pelich's designs were of the Colonial Revival style, and his work is evident on the cottage. Old photographs indicate the home was a dogtrot plan, with its central breezeway enclosed at some point in time. The original home also had unpainted board siding. It has since been replaced with a more modern wood siding and has been painted gray. Shutters were also added to the windows and additions were made in the rear to allow for the use of a museum. This cottage has played an important role in Fort Worth's history.