Can you imagine your whole family living in this cabin? The simple interior of this one room log cabin included a ladder to a loft area and a small coal stove. William Parker built the cabin in 1878 for relatives who planned to emigrate from England. Later, the cabin was used for storage and to house seasonal help during harvest time. This type of structure represents the skills and resourcefulness of the early pioneers, which enabled successful settlement of vast areas of our country.
Log Cabin Construction 101
European immigrants brought log building skills to the American Colonies. These are simple structures, easily constructed by a few people with materials found on hand and just a small number of tools. Since it was not used as a permanent residence, this cabin was never finished with wood siding. As a result, the simple construction techniques are clearly visible, such as square sawn logs and "half-square notched" corners. Chinking, made from wood, mortar and red clay, was used to seal the spaces between the logs.
Notice how the floor joists are notched into the sill log at ground level. Can you see similar notches on the cabin for ceiling joists? These suggest that there was once a loft in the cabin.
The Big Oak
The big beautiful Bur Oak (Quercus
macrocarpa) in front of you sprouted sometime in the early 1860's. While digging the ditch for the gristmill's original tailrace in the early 1870's, the horse team nicked the bark of the young oak. At the time, the trunk was only 1-1/2" in diameter. Dale Parker remembered the story of his grandfather, William, rushing to paint the wound and save the tree. As you can see, the bark healed up just fine. The average lifespan of a bur oak is 200-400 years.
Thank you William, we love this tree!
Although not its original location, this setting along Fleming Creek would have been an ideal spot for an early settlers' cabin. The cabin was originally moved from the north side of Geddes Road to where the Visitor Pavilion now stands. It was moved once more in 1989 to this location!