BLOOMVILLE - Dedication of the newly restored 1850 Miller Log Cabin will highlight the seventh annual Seneca County Park District Oktober Fest noon-5 p.m. Sunday at Garlo Heritage Nature Preserve, Bloomville.
The main fundraiser for the county parks, the German festival is hosted by the non-profit Friends of the Seneca County Park District. Admission is free.
The cabin dedication is set for 12:30 p.m. after two years of work by volunteers.
PHOTO BY VICKI JOHNSON
Volunteers Joe Weaver (standing), Bernie Gosche (left) and Ken Zeop put finishing touches on the front door of Miller Log Cabin before its dedication during Oktober Fest Oct. 2 at Garlo Heritage Nature Preserve.
Donated to the park district in 2002 by Dorothy Miller, the cabin formerly stood at Market and Oil streets. It was dismantled and was stored for several years before reconstruction began about two years ago.
The house originally was built by Josiah Hedges in 1850 as a "spec house" and sold to Martha Kuder in 1851. Through the years, it had seven owners before being acquired by Miller in 1989.
Miller donated the cabin and the lot where it stood. The lot was sold and the money partly paid for reconstruction. Donations completed the budget.
In addition to reconstruction, the crew made changes in the original design.
Instead of a stove and chimney in the middle of the downstairs, the rebuilt version has a stove on one of the walls with a stovepipe for ventilation. The change allows more space for people to sit during programs.
Some windows had been remodeled and changed through the years, and the crew returned them to their original design.
Fire destroyed the original rafters and the replacements are made with new lumber.
Wooden planks on the floor also are new, and were sawed from downed logs in the north woods of Garlo preserve.
Five woods were used for logs in the original cabin, which was unusual for the era - white oak, red oak, beech, walnut and poplar. Two replacements logs are white ash and hickory.
Other wood was salvaged from other projects.
Aluminum shingles that look like cedar shingles were used on the roof. Although not authentic, the shingles were chosen because they were donated, they are maintenance free for many years and they are safer from fire than wood shingles.
In areas where they'll be seen, the crew used authentic nails to maintain the "old" look.
In one visible area, 2-inch doll pins were used in the original manner so it looks good historically.
Window sashes were handmade using native lumber from the former Laird Hall at Heidelberg University.
Window glass is the 1885 wavy kind taken from Zeop's home when he replaced his windows. The hardware also is old but not original to the cabin.
In addition to the cabin opening, Oktober Fest features German food, including bratwurst, leberkase (German bologna), hot and cold potato salad, potato soup, red cabbage, sauerkraut, cucumber salad, pretzels imported from Germany and desserts. Kids' meals are specially priced.
New this year is a display and educational workshop by Black Swamp Raptor Rehab of Pandora, a non-profit organization dedicated to the care of injured raptors such as hawks and owls.
The Deutschmeisters German band is to play 1-4 p.m., and local farm markets will have booths set up to sell local produce.
A variety of family activities are planned throughout the preserve, such as making buckeye necklaces, pioneer toys and earth bracelets. The Gourd Lady also has a project in mind.
Kids can try their hand at using a two-person saw, and stop by the petting zoo to see the animals.
Visitors can take narrated wagon rides around the preserve to learn the history of the park and enjoy the fall day.
Narrated tours will circle the nature preserve to show off the preserves three ponds, wetland areas, woods, grasslands and trails, and to inform visitors about the preserve's history and importance today to wildlife.
In addition, there will be rock-cutting demonstrations by park district volunteers Don and Shirley Kleinfelter, as well as blacksmithing demonstrations at the blacksmith shop next to the new log cabin.
Visitors also visit a farm market offering local fruits, vegetables and flowers, see a display of the park district's rock collection and stroll along a handicapped accessible trail that leads to an overlook and shelter.
Garlo preserve is on SR 19, about two miles south of Bloomville.