log cabin museum

Project Chairman Roger Austin's Report - May 29, 2015

Log Cabin Phase I Almost Done.

Phase 2, Planning, and Phase 3, Reconstruction, To Follow.


The first phase of the log cabin project is about 95% finished. All the logs, steel roofing, and almost all of the lumber has been moved to the Museum. The only chore remaining is to salvage the subflooring of the lean-to which consists of very old, dense lumber, not to mention generally cleaning up the site. Carol and I will go over around 8:30-9:00 tomorrow and hope to finish that by noon. Any help would be very welcome.

D.D. Construction from Massena provided 4 men this final week to provide the skill and muscle to complete most of the work. As mentioned earlier, we found the Log Cabin impossible to move in one piece. Its design created a floor that sat separately from the cabin. Worse, the front of the cabin was seriously compromised by the addition of windows over time and some serious rot and insect infestation. So, Jerry Crossett got Roland LaFave, Jr.ís R and L Auto Crushers & Trucking to provide a 30í flatbed trailer and hauled three loads of materials. Jerry himself and others drove the truck. Delivery was expedited by Gary Sayers and his big JD tractor with forks at the Museum three times. All the materials are stacked in piles just south of the BBQ Pavilion. In spite of removing countless nails, many remain and pose a hazard. The piles are temporarily flagged but need to be roped off. As time permits we will construct a shelter to protect the materials. We have nearly concluded our agreement with the former owner to have the building removed by the end of May so he can reclaim the ground for pasture.

We still need to study the detail of the foundation walls to determine the relative elevations of the cabin walls (front and rear are not the same as the sides) and that of the floor sleepers (joists). They are all different. Weíll also be studying the wall dimensions in more detail. Lots of work for everyone.

We have also collected a bucket of newspaper of various ages that had been used as chinking. Itís brittle and needs the hands of experts to unfold them and their history.

The story of the diamond ring was great fun. Beverly Parmeter was thrilled that it was found. Carolís persistence and earlier training in anthropology and archeology paid off. When our slow three hours of tedious demolition on Memorial Day didnít succeed, her careful screening of the fine debris did. Bev will become a new member.

The next 12 months will be spent on Phase 2, Planning. We need to learn all we can about the history of the cabin so we can plan an appropriate restoration. Decisions need to be made about its final design detail. I canít find any evidence of it having had cladding when first built. The siding on the cabin that we encountered appeared to have been put on well after the logs had weathered. No other nail holes can be found. Chinking with split log and mortar seems to be the only weather proofing. We found no hole in the wall for a fire place. We found doors widened and windows added. There are so many details that it will take time to describe the entire cabin. Fortunately we had an intern, Taylor Grant, to help sketch, record data, label logs, and take photographs. When you see the pile of stuff at the Museum, Iím sure you will wonder how it will ever go back together. I know I do, but weíll succeed.

Phase 3, Reconstruction, will begin next year if funds permit. The first objective will be to design and construct a suitable foundation. Log repair/replacement and erection will follow. A roof will follow, though initially using the steel left over from the Schoolhouse project. It could take a couple years to get it all done, not to mention raising the funds.