Musings from the Log Cabin

From Mary Peterson — 2011 is officially over and thinking about the past year stirs up a lot of memories about our Log Cabin  museum.

For instance, Tom Lavender, a gentleman who walked in one day and asked if he could help.  We put him to work cataloging books and enjoyed his stories, his sense of humor and his dedication.  It was lovely to hear from a friend of his that he enjoyed his time at the Log Cabin.  We miss you, Tom.

The Grumble brothers (my husband Alan and Virgil Reames) who can and do fix anything,  constantly complaining about each other and the world in general while they're working and keep the Log Cabin and the grounds in great condition.  

To our volunteers, some who have been helping around the Log Cabin for over thirty years, as well as the “newbies” who do everything from sweeping the floors to dressing the manikins; we couldn't do it without you.  Speaking of volunteers, I am constantly amazed at the ideas they come up with to give life to the Orchard family, the manikins who live at the cabin.  From old and bizarre medical remedies to sending one of the Grumble brothers on a trip on the Titanic, we're able to introduce our visitors to life in Port Orchard as it was a hundred years ago.

We opened our door to hundreds of children and adults in 2011.   One adult in each group usually walks up to one of the artifacts, smiles and says, “I remember when we had one of these…” then goes on to tell us something we didn't know about the artifact, letting us in on secrets we can share with the next group.
The children are always amazed at all the household articles that worked without a remote and cranking up the Victrola and setting the needle down just right on a thick old 78 RPM record is a special treat as the children s' mouths drop open when they hear the scratchy music and find out that to make it louder all you have to do is open the cabinet doors.   They look at me like I'm as old as a dinosaur when I tell them that my family had a Victrola when I was a kid and the parents wince when I add that my dad lugged it out to the burn pile when we got a “real” record player.  I remember him saying, “No one is going to want one of these things anymore.”

So. . .what's next for the Log Cabin?  We're raising money for a new cedar-shingled roof and gathering information to submit for National Historic Designation as the cabin turns one hundred years old very soon.

And the Orchard family?  Will the Grumble brother survive the Titanic?  Will Grandma Orchard survive another year?  Will Sadie stay in the bathtub?   
“Stay tuned” as they said when I was a kid.  The best is yet to come.

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