To commemorate statewide Log Cabin Day, the Waterford Township Historical Society is hosting its 15th annual Log Cabin Days festival 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26 at Fish Hatchery Park, located at 4490 Hatchery Road between Frembes and Dixie Highway.
Michigan is the only state which has an annual statewide log cabin festival. There are currently 100 log cabin communities in the state participating.
“While the log cabin represents how the first Waterford settlers lived in 1819, our Historic Village (located inside Fish Hatchery Park) represents the progress and prosperity of Waterford at the turn of the 20th century,” said Waterford Township Historical Society President Sally Strait.
The family-friendly tradition features a tour of the 1919 Historical Hatchery House that serves as a museum and historical society headquarters, and a turn-of-the century village comprised of a log cabin, the Drayton Plains Depot, a caboose, a hardware store, a playhouse, a print shop, the Jacober’s General Store, a barber shop, a bakery, a doctor and dentist office, a millinery, and most recently Nelson’s Filling Station.
Historical Society member Bob Nelson primarily funded the gas station construction project that began in 2010.
“I took over the project, designed it and funded about 75 percent — the society funded the rest,” Nelson said, adding that he modeled the filling station after several older gas stations in Springfield Township and Saginaw.
To christen the new addition, a ribbon cutting is planned for today, Wednesday, June 22 at 11 a.m.
to take part in event
Apart from the new gas station, the Historic Village displays are more authentic.
“The change is the displays. Now there’s more on the counters and shelves,” Strait said, adding that it typically takes years to fill the buildings with antiques.
“People don’t realize how time consuming it is to collect antique items, but we’re constantly working on it,” she said.
Like last year, Strait expects between 1,500 and 2,000 people to attend the Log Cabin Days festivities.
“Our goal is to provide a nice community festival where people can come free of charge,” she said.
Spectators can expect history encampments by groups such as the Sisters of the Union and Muzzle Loaders. The two groups will do era re-enactments while wearing period costumes both on Saturday and Sunday.
“They eat, dress, cook and do crafts as they did back then for a full illustration of that time period,” Strait said.
The event includes a silent auction, as well as exhibitors including spinners, quilters, rug weavers, and wood workers. There will also be crafters on site selling hand-made items similar to a juried arts and crafts show.
A white elephant sale with donated items — something akin to a huge garage sale — will also be featured.
Other event activities include caricature portraits, a Confederate exhibit, as well as a hands-on historical tent.
The event also provides a kids area with free crafts and pony rides. Small-scale Michigan live steam engine train models are planned again this year and have traditionally been a crowd pleaser. In addition, Stars and Stripes gymnastics will provide a free gymnastics circuit.
Entertainment abounds all day with live music from folk singer Bob Lowe; the New Horizon Band, comprised of 70 members from the community; and the Big Chief Chorus, a local barber shop ensemble.
The historical society will provide hot dogs, chips, pop and water, and fresh strawberry shortcake topped with ice cream or strawberry sundaes for purchase.
All proceeds and donations benefit the Waterford Township Historical Society.
Parking and admission is free of charge. A shuttle will transport attendees from Pierce Middle School to the site. There will be handicapped parking available on the grounds of the Historical Village.
For more information call 248-683-2697.