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Log Cabin Weekend

When I think of log cabins I think of prairie trains, and bad Westerns and tall, tall waving blades of grass. And just thinking about that era makes me feel tired, hot and dirty. This past week Calvin read a book about the Western prairie. He'd picked out the book, Twisters on Tuesday, because of his recent obsession with tornadoes, but the story was about the pioneer days, a coincidence that turned out to be fortuitous because this was Log Cabin Weekend at the nearby Waterloo Historical Society farm grounds and museum. The weather was beautiful, so after garage saling (side note—we got a telescope!), of course we drove out to Waterloo.

There was a bit of period mixing going on. While the original log cabin was built in the 1830s, the rest of the house was finished 20 years later, and the Civil war encampment on the grounds was not only physically misplaced, but also another decade on down the timeline. That's okay, knowing that the war motif was part of the weekend, and having luckily picked up a copy of Civil War on Sunday at one of the garage sales we read it on our way to the farm (side note again—I love garage sales).

Strangely enough I didn't take a single picture of the actual log cabin while we were there, but the German family who lived in built this house directly onto it, and later is was removed to further away.

Then a tour of the inside of the house...

Back outside we watched the creation of a wooden mallet with a really old engine. And in the background, a blacksmith hammering out hooks.

The Union soldiers were camped just down the hill...

And when we were done on the farm grounds we drove around the corner a few miles to the one room school house, which was in use as an area school until 1963. Really, 1963! That's just two years before my parents graduated from their large and age dedicated high schools in larger cities elsewhere in Michigan. I find that fascinating.

This had been our first trip to the Waterloo Historic Society grounds, and we'll go back for a few more events this year. The buildings are as well kept as those at Greenfield Village, which is farther away and more expensive, and I enjoyed the quiet of the day, wandering through history without fighting crowds. In fact, there were only a handful of visitors like ourselves there, while the rest of the people wandering around were reenactors taking advantage of a beautiful weekend to hang out with other reenactors. There were times, in fact, when it felt as though we may have been intruding on their foray into the past, like when we went down to talk to the Union soldiers in their camp.

We took the scenic roads both to and from Waterloo and stopped for more Michigan strawberries from a stand on our way home. After dinner we had a fire and roasted s'mores and talked about living in a time when fires were the only way to cook, myself decided that the gas stove with electric start is worth having. And that rounded out a nice Saturday.

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