A Cabin in the Woods
The log cabin that sits in the Middleville Museum has a long history in the local area. It dates back as far as 1828. In its early days, it was home for a layman preacher named James Smith who settled on the land designated as a clergy lot. He served parishioners in the Middleville area. The cabin originally sat on Lot 16, Concession 7, Lanark Township. It was then moved to Lot 20, Concession 8 on what was land belonging to Mr. Smith's daughter at the time. A written record of that time states that it 'stood 4 miles from the Meeting House near the 7th line corner'. The cabin shows evidence of having survived two minor fires over the years from scorch marks on its logs. Being a preacher's home, many important ceremonies happened under its roof. Marriages and baptisms were recorded in this cabin known as 'The Baptist Manse'.
It arrived at the Museum from Lot 20, Concession 8 after a generous donation from its owner, Marilyn McKay Gerhardt, in 2012. In an effort to preserve this building that was a well known community fixture for generations, the Museum decided to take on the project of moving it inside where it could be enjoyed for many more generations. In the summer of 2012, that dream became a reality. Local volunteers with experience in such endeavours agreed to help and the planning began. A similar method to how cabins were relocated in the past was used with the added convenience of modern tools and machinery. The logs were marked and strategically dismantled. The parts of the cabin were transported to the Museum and the process of putting it all back together began. Many hours put in by dedicated volunteers made the project happen. When the cabin was reassembled, the task of furnishing it to depict life in the mid 1800's was taken on. To enhance the visitor experience, some electrical lighting was carefully placed to provide a good view of its contents. Be sure to drop by and experience the thrill of being swept back in time in the old log cabin that has stood the test of time!
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This journal is written, researched, and maintained by the volunteers of the Middleville Museum.