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The Old Log Cabin

The Old Log Cabin image The Old Log Cabin image
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The pioneers of Washtenaw county had their day on the fair gronnds Tuesday afternoon when the log honse was dedioated and a large nnmber of the readers of tbe Argus, the pioneer paper, were present. Pioneer stories were the topic of most conversations. The relative rnerits of two difterent patterna of ox yokes were disonssed. William Aprill told abont how when Christian Eberbach carne "sparking" his girl ont in Scio in the early days some of the neghboring bad boys stole his wagon and elevated it to a lirub of an old oak tree baok of the ohnrch. J. j. Parshall was asked to teil abont how he forded the Detroit river when he came to Miohigan in time of low water. The pioneer spirit was oatching and even &uch a young pioneer as Jndge Newkirk was urgently trying to discover why cows did not die of bloating as in the olden days. Col. H. S. Dean acted as president of the day and called the meeting of the pionters together at abont 2 n'olock, tüe andience nnmbering 200. He presided with dignity csing an old time gouid dipper as a gavel and having a mammotb glass, pnrohased in Brookfield, Mass., in 17P2, at his riglit hand from wbich to drink, bnt as the glass was einpty it is to be presnmed that the colonel had done his driuking bafore calliug the me8ting to order. He congratulated those present npon the beautiea of tbe day and th8 auspioions occasion on whioh they had met - the dedioation of an old time building. Rev. Mr. Youug offered np an earnest prayer and tbe audienoe rose to sing Amerioa nnder the ladersbip of Prof. J. K. Sage, who was introduced as au old time siuging teacher. Capt. E. P. Allen, of Ypsilanti, was introdnced as a native of Sharon. He congratulated the people npon the erection of a memorial to tbe pioneers that io ita beanties cannot be excelled. He did not know who fiist originated the plan of building a log oabiu memorial, bnt he supposed Mre. J. Willard Babbitt was the flrst to take the matter in hand and oanvass for the ereotion of a log honse. Say what you will abont palaces, there is uothing quite so nice as a log house. He knew for he lived in one for 20 years. But thia house with its well plastered cbinks, would not let in the bed bugs. We made vigorous warfare nu these anirnals - our mothers did. Bnt the pioneers are gone. The nnmber of thoee who might properly be called pioneers, living today you might count on tbe fineers of your hands - the pioDeeis who made ont of a wilderness this great cooDty, today one of tbe richest in the United States, peopled by as virtuons and intelligent a people as eau be fonnd auywhere nnder onr flag. Tbe pioneers who laid the foundations are gone and we, their children, are enjoying their work. They bailded better than they knew - these pioneers who oconpied the log nabins from 1822 op. He beJieved that these pioneers knew what their desoendants were doing today. He had often wondered why the pioneers came to Washtenaw county and to Miobigan. Men and womon are sonietiines inpelled by an nuseen force to go forward, not for their own sakes alone, bot by Divine providenoe, that they migbt be tbe forernnners of a mighty empire. They were not di-iven from the east by persecotion. The oivilization the Pilgrim Fathers foonded, they left. Why did they come? Was it beI cause tbey were overcrowded east? No, the east is a nnmber of times more tbinly settled and there were vast areas of unoultivated land. Was it becauee they wanted to get nearer a market? They were leaving a market. When the people oame here, the great Erie oanal had jost been opened giving an outlet for the prodnots ofthe whole state of New York. ïou will flnd tbe solntion of this qoestion just wheiM yon will find why the children of Egypt under the leadership of Moses marched from Egypt. Yon will fiod it in the power bebind the gnns of Dewey, Sampson and Scbley- in the providence of God, who boilds np empires. He could nnderstand why the thirst for gold should lead men to California, Alaska or the gold fields of África. But that doesn't explain why men leave their homes and go into the trackless wilderness. It is not the mere fancies of men that drive them thng. Did you ever stop to think of the saorifioes rnen and women made in coming into Michigan. Some left homes .of loxury, refinement and christian culture, to come to a wildetness where tbe savage yell had not yet ceased and the wild animáis yet domesticated with men. A high tribute was paid to the yonng women wbo saorificed so ninob to follow their hnsbands into the wilderness and to the heroism and sacrifice of the early pioneers. When the pioneera carne ere the first thing they did was to -found a ohnroh. If the minister was not here they exhorted. Yon may be snre that the Methodists were here aDd the woods rang with praises to Almighty God. Camp meetings were held. When they had founded their chnrcb, they established schools and on these two foundations the whole civilization of Washtenaw coucty was bnilded. The resnlt is that no oommnnity in the United States was more moral than the early oornmunity of Washtenaw. How muoh better tbis was tban it would have beea had the county been settled by men of the Ingersoll stripe of thinking. Capt. Allen tbongbt the men hl that day had caught some glimpses of the future glory of the republic. Today we flnd ourselves citizeus of tbe greatest nation of tbis earth for good. Oor fathers and mothers carne from the east; their fathers from the east. The trend has been ever westward and, preceded by the gnns of the Amèrioan navy the oivilization of today again faces the east. Today the flag of the republio at tbe Phillipinelslands stands for the upward maroh of human progrees. ünr people have always stood the test. It is not so with the people of France, Germany, Rassia or even England, bnt history has yet to be written where the American people ever failed, where that flag was ever bumiliated iu defeat. The flag was always raised to victory. It means that the fieedom enjoyed in the United States, God intends for the entire human race. J. R. Sage sang "The Old Oaken Bucket" in a muving manner aud Judge J. Willard Babibtt was introdaced as the son of a pioneer and read ihe folllowing poem : We come not here today to mourn the dead, We bring no funeral train, to view a tomb: No monumental pile, no mourners here, To fill the senses with sepulchral gloom. We come to ?.edicate a temple fair, A prototype of manj; a by-gone scène, Which kindly, loving hands have builded here To keep in coming years a memory green. A flattering picture of the early homes Of grand old Washtenaw's bold pioneers - The abodes of love, of strong and willing hearts, And where were shared their pleasures, toils and tears. The Pioneer! The early Pioneer! How strong in faith! How stronger still in deeds! What pen shall teil nis struggles and his hopes, His long privations and his many needs! Here in a wilderness - a trackless wood - He reared his home, upturned the virgin sod, Cared for his wife and babes with trusting heart, Lived close to Nature and to Nature's God. The old log house! Still here and there 'tis seen, Long given o'er to dry-rot, must and mold. How all too soon will those rude early homes, Become alas, a "story that is told!" But If no vandal hand, save Time's, shall come The beauty of the picture to efface, The Cabin's old-time friend, the Lilac bush, Will stay to mark its final resting place. What wondrous stories could the old house teil Of loves and hates, ambitions, hopes and fears, Of sounds no more to echo round its walls, Of happiness and smiles, of woe and tears! In sweet imagination now we view A home of by-gone days: As look we cast Through open door or broken windowpane, We listen to the voices of the past: With ears and hearts and sympathy attuned, We hear the squirrel chattering in the wood, The smothered crashing of a falling tree, A bird o'erhead is taking to its brood. And now a babel of sweet sounds is heard: A whippoorwill deep in a thicket hid, The drum of partridge,- whistle of the Quail, And strident treble of the katydid. We hear the ruotle of the frightened snake That flees in sinuous movement o'er the ground. Anón, a dog"s sharp barking in the wood Awakes the echoes - filis the air with sound. Now, from the "slas'hing" come the sounds of life: The lowing ox, the log-chain's vibrant note, The swish of the whip- all in a chorus join With the sharp orders from the driver's throat. The breeze that brings a smell of freshturned earth And pungent odor of the burning leaves, Brings sound of whlstling of famili-ar tune. By distant reaper binding up hls sheaves. (Continued on Eighth Page.) THE OLDJ.OG CABIN (Continued froin First Pase.) We hear the mother's step - dear, patiënt heart! Brave, helpful, hopeful of the days to come, Biest keystone of the sacred family arch! Without a mother what is there of home? We hear the patter of the children's feet, The sturdy ax-man's stroke of ringing steel, The cow-bell's jangling tone comes in to join The sweet crescendo of the spinningwheel. A sense of sweet contentment filis our hearts, We know no cares - the great world is shut out. The - Hark! What thundering sound is that we hear! A car shoots by - our revery's put to rout. The voices of the past but now we heard Humbled to silence by the thundering car, We look about! A modern, mansion near! A grand piano sounding out a bar. A dazzling carriage standing at the door - (We mark the change - How unlike long ago!) - Great herds of cows and milk cans by the score! The farmer sleeping on the pórtico! Yes, there has come a change, a happy change. Then, grinding toil with comforts few .and mean: Now, smart surrour.dings, evidence of thrift, . Look where we may, on every hand are seen. And what has brought ihe changê? A generous soil; Pure self-denial (martyrdom sublime); The never ending toil of many years; The onward, civilizing march of Time. Now feast your souls upon the wellearnea fruits: Broad acres handed down -f rom sire to son; Proud Education's centers in our midst; As fair land's the sun e'er shone upon. "What further need be said! Go read the names Inscribed upon these walls. These pioneers We thank for the contentment that we feel. Past are the trials, banished are the fears. We ask no sunnier land in which to live, And ask to find, when the last breath we draw, No kindlier graves to fill than with our sires In our dear Washtenaw - Pair Washtenaw. J. WILL.AÍID BABBÍTT. Tpsilanti, Mich., Sept. 27, 1898. '.'The Old Man 's Dream" was then suna by Mrs. Mary G. Stárk, introduoed as the motber of the first soldier from Michigan to fall woundëd nnder the Spanish fire. S. P. Ballard, the well known bard of Willis, who caine to this oounty 73 years ago when a child of tbree and a half years, read a paper od the "Pioneer's Home," which oontained an eloquent tribute to the pioneers. Prof. J. R. Sage sang "The Old Arm Chair" in such a manner as to oall forth a hearty encoré, when he rendered "Hail to the Flag" in so feeling a way and in such good voioe as to again oall out hearty applause. L. D. Watkins, of Manohester, who was down for a speech was nnable to be preeent on aooount of the funeral of Hon. J. D. Oorey, one of Wasbtenaw 's pioneers and sent a letter of regret. Mrs. Mary G. Stark in a sweet voioe sang "The Old Granite State." Rev. Andrew Ten Broek told about taking a journey on horseback in 1815 and after putting the date of bis coming here in 1844 spoke feelingly of the death of Prof. Whiting in 1845. Daniel B. Brown and his grandchild were to have pulled the latoh string of the log house but on acoount of his unavoidable absence that honor was oonferred upon John S. Nowland, "the first white youngster born in Washtenaw county. " The reoeption committee for the occasion was composed of Judge and Mrs. J. Willard Babbitt, Col. and Mrs. H. S. Dean, Mrs. Anna B. Baob, John S. Nowland, Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Avery, Mr. and Mrs. B. D. Kelly and Mr. and Mrs. F. E. Mills. The log cabin has previously been desoribed in these columns. It contained this week an exbibition of pioneer artioles of considerable interest. The fireplace to whioh every one ooks first has a oolleotion of irons, and xts, paus and cooking utensils and ;he inseparable crane with its pot-books The shelf has lamps and caudlestioks. of tüe olden style, flatirons, snuffers, toasting irons, a shaving cup and a clnok marked 160 years old. Beside thfi fire jambs are shovels, tongs, pokers, fire-carriers, pitchforbs, log chains and flatiron holders. On the wajl above are powder horas and muskets dating baok to 1812, and later ri fles suoh as hunters used for deer, bullet molds, and a mold for oasting pewter spoons. In other parts of the room ou tables and sbelves are rare old distes, caoh with a bistory, and knives, forks and spoons of the olden time. Displayéd on the walls are ourious relies, moooasins, gum shoes of the first make, and pioneer tools of different kinds. The key of the first passenger depot at Ypsilanti; a butter bowl and ladle dating from 1880. A oap worn by mernDers of the university of 1845, Scotch, of the Glengarry sbape, with ong silk ribbons trailing from the jaok. A spice box of curious shape and oompartments, and a foot-warmer suoh as was used in churob, which in those days were for the most part cold and unheated. Tin lanterns; a watch of novel appearsnce, enameled in blue and very old ; minor knobs of glass, very rare iu these latter days. A aplendid mabogany and satinwood sideboard, belonging to Hon. F. E. Mills, an beirloom in the fatnily of Mrs. Mills dating back to revolutionary days. On this sideboard are a pewter sugar bowl and inilk cnp 138 years oíd, loaned by I. C. Greenman and two old pewter platea loaned by J. L Schaffer reading date of 1784. Near tbe fire place the dinner table is set with old fasbioned blue and pink dishes which Mrs. Florence Babbitt secnred years ago from pioneers whose names are now on the logs of this cabin. Every dish ie a different pattern and beantifnlly preserved. Spaoe will ouly perruit mention of tbe tm-een nsed in tbe family of Johu Maynard for 3? years, and a green platter, very large, designed for roasts, with "ditohes" leading from tbe upper end to a little well in the lower end for the gravy. On the opposite end of the room are coverlets woven by hand, and quilts of anoient] ïaake. Ladies' bonnets - real loves of bonnets, but so old-fashioned, datiug from 1840 and 1850. Bedsteads and articles of bedding, among the rest a pair of pillows, the linen slips of which were woven and drawn by band by the grandmother of President Rutherford B. Hayes. A nightcap made and worn by the grandmother of Ohaunoey M. Depew. A dress of 1845 of silk poplin, whose curious cut attraoted the ladies. Next to it is a crimson petfciooat of fine materia), with a satín frill, stitphed to look like damask with figures of birds and animáis and designs of leaves and vines, all said to have been executed by the bride berself. The garment was heavily lined with linen and its size and v?eight - tbe ladies said- wonld be nnbearable at the present time. A dress of white stnff, said to have served ou the brides of three generations and about to be claimed for the same purpose by a yonng lady fourth in line of descent, is displayed near the marvelous petticoat. Tbere are trnndle beds an'd eradles. One of the latter, a novelty to the speotafeors, oom bined the comforts of a rooking chair witb the usej of the eradle, so that the tired motber, or perbaps the overworked little sister might sit and rook herself and baby at the same time. Quite unromantic looking, bnt oertainly with a romantic history, is a pair of leather saddlebags, property of Judge S. W. Dexter, dating from 1827. They were nsed to oarry the mail for all this district now oomposed of 24 townsbips. The jadge kept the post offioe at bis home in Dexter, but he made what we, in these days, would cali rural deliveries tbroughont the connty. The postage was 25 cents, bnt as the settlers were poor, Judge Dexter orclinarily collected but half that snm - a shilling, and paid the reniainder himself. In these same saddlebags were packed on Dexter's wedding day, the trousseau of bis bride. Ciad in a white silk gown she rode on a pannier behind the bridegroom to their new home. The road lay across the Huron river, which they were obliged to ford. They wedding dress was dampened by tbe flood, but the servioeable leather of the saddle bagskeptdry the bridal tronsseau. From this glanoe at the contents of the iog oabin oue can judge whether or not t is an interesting spot. The county fair whioh oloses today is a very successful one. There were 6,000 people on the grounds yesterday and a happy crowd they formed. The weather could not be excelled. The exhlbits were good except iu the agricultural implement line whioh were not numerously lepresented muoh to the disappointment of many farmers who wished to see improved farm maohinery. Tbero were the usual large exhibits of horses and stook of various sinds, poultry and farm products. Mrs. Mayo, of Battle Creek, delivered an excellent address yesterday forenoon on the "American Home." Gov. Pingree spoke for a few inoments yes;erday afternoon and asked for a obange in senators. He thought if the schools of this state couldn't turn out more than one man fit for senator it was about time to go out of business. Candidate for congiess Smith with bis expansiva sruile and his glad hand was meeting the people he seeks to oall his constituents. Tbe various candidatos 'or conuty offioe were on the grounds putting in their best endeavors. The C3ke walk yesterday afternoon drew large crowds and was well worfch ;he prioe of admission to the gronnds. ?ive couples partioipated and put forth their best paoes to the strains of musio from the Superior Cornet Band. The grand stand was crowded arjd the crowd about tbe elevated platform on wbich the walk was held was so large that all who wisbed were unable to witness tbe walk. Despite this faot other parts of the grounds were orowded while the walk was in progress. Fancy bioycle riding, horse races, slackwire performances, etc, furnished other entertainment. The only aooident noted was that to Charlea Clements, of Lodi, near the jndges' stand yesterday forenoon who was shot in the fleshy part of the neok by a ballet frora a Flobert rifle handled by soineone shooting at the target near the grand stand and shooting wildly. The target was demolished and target practioe abolished. Secretary Mills and other offioers of the fair deserve great credit for th ir arduoua and suooeasful work. The business places will close tbis afternoon and another large orowd may be expeoted on the gronnds.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News