LISBON — A historic log cabin on Route 68 that’s being dismantled from its stone foundation has revealed some hidden treasures including a diamond ring missing for roughly 30 years.
Workers have spent the past several days carefully taking apart the 456 square foot structure between Canton and Ogdensburg that’s believed to date back to the early 1800s.The plan is to reconstruct the log cabin for a new frontier exhibit being planned at the St. Lawrence Power & Equipment Museum, 1755 Route 345, Madrid. The property already includes an 1850 schoolhouse, a farmhouse, a windmill and horse drawn equipment.
Roger S. Austin, Secretary of the Museum’s Board of Directors, said it’s rare to find a log cabin this old and well-preserved in the north country, which makes it a valuable acquisition for the museum. “There’s a lot of weathering in the front, but most of the logs are in extraordinary condition,” Mr. Austin said. “We’ve done a lot of research, and we think it dates back to the 1830s.”
The log cabin will be the centerpiece for a new frontier exhibit the museum plans to set up at its grounds next summer. The logs all have been labeled so they can be attached again in the proper order. They’ll be stored at the museum grounds. “It will be a living history exhibit,” Mr. Austin said. “It will be furnished to match the time period, and we’ll show people doing things like cooking and chopping wood.”
The museum purchased the building from Gerald and Alberta Hyde, who live across the highway at 4063 Route 68. It sits next to a timber frame barn, about 2.7 miles west of Woodbridge Corners. It was last occupied by Beverly J. Parmeter, who lived there from 1976 to 1989 with her two children, Melissa M. and Eric E. She recalled the day her son was upstairs, took her diamond ring from her jewelry box and dropped it between the wallboard and floorboard. “I used a flashlight, but I couldn’t find it,” she said. Earlier this week, Mr. Austin’s wife, Carol E., found the ring by sifting through a five gallon bucket of construction debris she scooped up while helping her husband at the cabin site. She presented it to Mrs. Parmeter, Lisbon, who was overjoyed to be reunited with the long lost ring. “I can’t tell you how happy that makes me,” Mrs. Parmeter said as she embraced Mrs. Austin. “This is so unreal.” She plans to give the ring to her 7-year-old granddaughter, Jordan J. Parmeter, after having it cleaned and checked over by a jeweler. Mr. Austin said finding the ring was the “icing on the cake” for the log cabin project.
Besides the diamond ring, pieces of old local newspapers were discovered, including a scrap of a March 29, 1861, copy of the Advance News, Ogdensburg.
A crew from D.D. Construction, Massena, handled the dismantling project, which involved stripping boards and removing whitewashing and three coats of paint from the cabin’s exterior. James A. Sabre, a crew member, said it was interesting to see the craftsmanship that went into constructing the cabin two centuries ago. “It has historical value,” he said. “You learn how people did this type of work before modern tools.”
More information about the St. Lawrence Power & Equipment Museum can be found at www.slpowermuseum.com.