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The Sandusky Log Cabin

Restoration Chairman

As I review a list of things needed to be done over the last two or three years I find that thirteen of twenty have been completed. A great many people and organizations have accomplished this big job.

Four of the remaining seven pertain to the Log Cabin Project. When the decision was made to move the cabin from its location on South Sandusky Street to the Museum grounds, it made four of the projects go away, but created a lot of new ones.

Over the years -- 175 at least -- additions of rooms, roofs, porches, fireplaces, foundations, floors, window and door configurations and out buildings represent a change in life styles. Use, needs, wealth and location demands played a part in the cabin's history. Cabins were a starting place in each settlement and were subject to early additions and change. Just imagine a husband, wife, four or five children, grandpa or grandma and perhaps another family member crowded into this small structure. True togetherness! By our standards today the cabin is about as primitive as you can get. In its day (1829) as cabins go, it was probably somewhere in the lower half of housing. The Historical Society house built in 1827 was built of brick and would be noted as a showplace in comparison.

The cabin is roughly 16-feet deep by 19-feet long. It is built of hand-hewn walnut logs, half notched with 6-foot 10-inch ceilings and a sleeping loft. A fireplace for cooking and heat, a wood floor, windows, doors and the porch complete the structure. The whole building is sitting upon 4 large rocks!

The house the cabin was in has been removed and materials cleared of nails, sorted as to size and type and transported to the museum. The materials will be used to the fullest extent possible. In the 28- by 48-foot building that will house the cabin, seven display rooms, a storage room and a loft above are planned. The cabin will be incorporated in the structure. The front of the cabin will face the east and be exposed on the outside but protected from the weather by a porch. The remaining walls will be inside of our new structure, open to viewing in its entirety.

As I write this it is a rainy day. The man preparing to move the cabin has called to see how wet it is here. It is too wet to work on the cabin today. We had hoped we could move it by October 29 but that won't happen. By the time you read this I'm sure it will be moved, I can hardly wait! (The cabin was moved November 7, 2004.)

As of this date, volunteer help has been enough and at a time when it was needed. When we start the new building, don't be backward in volunteering. We will find something for you to do! In this same train of thought, monetary donations are needed and will be greatly appreciated. It is a significant outreach for the Historical Society. Your financial help will be used wisely and well. Please consider what has been accomplished in the past and what this latest project can do for Catlin and Catlin Township, your families and the community.


Catlin Historical Society
210 North Paris
Catlin, Illinois 61817
(217) 427-5766