June 25th Is National Log Cabin Day

June 7th, 2012 by Craig Mullins

“There are elements of intrinsic beauty in the simplification of a house built on the log cabin idea.” – Gustav Stickley, Furniture Designer

When log cabins are mentioned, most of think of America’s frontier days, when daily life was far more rough and rugged than it is today, but a whole lot more simple and quiet at the same time.

A log cabin is a house built from logs. It is a fairly simple type of log house. A distinction should be drawn between the traditional meanings of “log cabin” and “log house.” Historically most “Log cabins” were a simple one- or 1½-story structures, somewhat impermanent, and less finished or less architecturally sophisticated. A “log cabin” was usually constructed with round rather than hewn, or hand-worked, logs, and often it was the first generation home building erected quickly for frontier shelter. [source]

National Log Cabin Day was created by the Log Cabin Society in Michigan in 1986 and has been designated as the day each year that we pay homage to our country men and women who traveled west across the country and built log cabins along the way. Through this day of recognition, the Log Cabin Society, which was founded by Virginia Handy, and the Bad Axe Historical Society, works promote the preservation of log cabins; as well as raise awareness and educate people about life during the era in America when log cabins were most common.

Fun Facts About American Log Cabins:

– A total of 7 U.S. Presidents were born in log cabins, including James Buchanan, Andrew Jackson, and of course, Abraham Lincoln.

– During the 1840 presidential election, William Henry Harrison and the Whigs were the first to use a log cabin to as a symbol that he was a “man of the people.”

– A true log cabin does not have any glass or screening in the windows.

– Log cabins do not have electricity or indoor plumbing.

Aside from learning all you can about the history of log cabins in America by visiting museums or reading books, a fun way to celebrate National Log Cabin Day is by making a meal or food dish popular during rustic frontier times.

The following Frontier Recipes were found on LegendsOfAmerica.com:

Hardtack

2 cups stone ground flour
1 cup water

Combine the flour and water. Knead until smooth. Sprinkle some flour on a smooth surface and roll the dough flat until it is 1/4 inch thick. Cut biscuits out with a can or a glass making each biscuit about 3-4 inches in diameter. Poke holes into each biscuit with a fork. Place on a floured cookie sheet. It should come out hard and dry. Bake at 400 F for 35-45 minutes.

Pease Porridge

1 lb split peas
2 eggs
2 T butter
salt and pepper

Soak and cook split peas, drain liquid, and puree peas. Mash peas into a smooth puree. Add butter, eggs, salt and pepper. Pour into a greased bowl and cover tightly so it won’t dry out. Steam for 1 hour. Place bowl on a trivet in a Dutch oven. Place 2 inches of water in the bottom of the Dutch oven, cover tightly, and bake for 20 minutes at 350F. Left-overs can be sliced and fried in butter. Traditionally served with pork or sausage.

Skirlie

1 onion, thinly sliced
2 strips bacon
1/2 C oatmeal
salt and pepper

Chop bacon into 1-inch chunks and fry. When grease coats the pan, add sliced onion. Cook until transparent. Add oatmeal to absorb the fat, keeping the mixture thick. Stir for 7-10 minutes, till cooked. Serve with mincemeat roasted poultry, or as a main dish when the larder is bare.

Happy National Log Cabin Day!

national log cabin day

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