June 25th National Log Cabin Day

If it was good enough for our forefathers it should be good enough for us! At least Virginia Handy and the Bad Axe Historical Society think so having created today on June 25th, 1986. In the old days living in a log cabin was, well, about the only choice you had if you were traveling west. Wood was plentiful and probably the easiest way to build. But as we progressed and learned to use different materials and to cut the wood into sheets, we began to get further and further away from log cabins. But as with most things, what’s old is new again, and log cabins have started to become popular again. With all the cranes and bulldozers today the process is really easy but think of the effort required by the settlers. It all had to be done by hand, cutting down the tree, shaping it and putting it in place. Now there is something to admire.

How to celebrate – Visit some log cabins. Buy a log cabin. Dress like Abraham Lincoln for the day.

December 17th National Maple Syrup Day

Very few of us actually have ever tasted real maple syrup. Now I know, all those pancake syrups list themselves as maple syrup and some, the better of them, actually taste like real maple syrup but few are actually made from maple syrup.

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Native Americans have been using maple syrup since long before the European settlers came across the ocean. They flavored many of their meals with the sap of the maple tree. The process is time consuming and not effective for companies that place quantity over quality.

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The sap is gathered from the trees between Feb. and March so it is a bit curious why Maple Syrup Day is celebrated in December. It’s sort of like celebrating the 4th of July in April but I guess it really doesn’t matter so long as it gets celebrated.

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Still, real or not and whether in the right month or not, Maple Syrup Day is a treasure for anyone actually wanting to eat the real thing! We all know it tastes great on pancakes or waffles but try it on ice cream or cookies or even in a cake, not the fake stuff but the real stuff.

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How to celebrate – Find some “real” Maple Syrup. Try adding the syrup to chicken or in tea or on practically any food you serve. Try getting you own sap from a Maple Tree and learn how to turn it into Maple Syrup.

 

June 25th Log Cabin Day

We can thank the Log Cabin Society, Virginia Handy, and the Bad Axe Historical Society for Log Cabin day. There is a bit of disagreement on whether June 25th or June 26th is Log Cabin Day. Why not celebrate both days!

When the settlers first came to America they built their homes out of wood. It was the easiest and most plentiful thing to do. Williamsburg, Virginia is a prime example. You can visit and see for yourself the construction of of an era long since gone.

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Many of these buildings have survived over 200 years and function just as well today as they did back then, maybe even better. Brick and other construction materials were eventually brought in or manufactured and you will see those buildings there as well, but the average settler could not afford these costly materials.

As people began to move west they built more and more homes out of wood, many in the traditional log cabin style we think of today. They were easier to build, and America back then, was like one major forest from coast to coast.

The original log cabins were nearly always one room where the entire family lived, ate and slept… clearly the desire to spend time outdoors was pretty high.  They had either one window or no windows. Since they did not travel with any glass tucked under their arms, windows were not really a necessity.

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The main focus of the cabin was the fireplace. Meals were cooked over the open fires and they kept the owners warm during the winter months. The cracks that appeared between the logs were filled with mud, making them relatively warm and dry when needed the most.

Since many settlers would stay in one location for a short time before moving on, the log cabin became essential since they were not leaving anything of great value behind except for their time.  Of course these vacant buildings were rapidly filled by new travelers moving west.

Today, most of those old cabins are gone. A few remain, used as museums and historical markers. However the log cabin has not been abandoned.  They are bigger and better than ever before!

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They are no longer owned by the poor, but rather by those few that can afford them. They are also seen on many children’s playgrounds where it is hoped they may learn something about our past.

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Even children want their own log cabins like the one below. Who wouldn’t want one like this.

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How to celebrate: Read about Abraham Lincoln’s early life living in a Log Cabin.  Build your own log cabin out of Lincoln Logs. Visit one of the historical log cabins in your area, nearly every state has a log cabin on exhibit somewhere. Binge marathon – Little House on the Prairie!