October 11th National Fossil Day

They are all around us, or rather below us. The term “Older than dirt” actually becomes dirt one day. We uncover them nearly daily now and wonder at what life must have been like for them, or perhaps what our lives might be like if they were still around. And, of course, many consider those of us that are older as fossils ourselves. The day was created by the US National Park Service in 2010 in order that we may think about what lived before us and to take care as fossils are uncovered. The only real problem with today is that the date varies, and for us already that are considered “fossils”, that makes it hard to find, and remember. Maybe we should celebrate fossils every time we think of them. Guess that’s sort of the point anyway.

How to celebrate – Go looking for fossils. Visit a National Park. Make sure that rock you just stepped on is really a rock!

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!