Log Cabin Day is Saturday at the Besser Museum in Alpena | News, sports, jobs

Log Cabin Day is Saturday at the Besser Museum in Alpena |  News, sports, jobs


News, Photo by Darby Hinckley Besser Log Cabin Day will be held at the museum from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, with tours of historic buildings, demonstrations and more. Pictured from left are the small Lousada Homestead cabin, built in 1868, and the John McKay Log Home, built in 1898.


ALPENA — It's time for the annual Besser Museum Log Cabin Day from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at 491 Johnson St., Alpena.

This fun event for the whole family will include tours of historic buildings on the museum grounds, including the 1868 Lousada Homestead Cabin and the 1898 John McKay Log Home. Other historic buildings include the 1912 Spratt United Methodist Church, the school Green in 1895, and the Maltz Exchange Bank in 1872.

In addition to the historic buildings, visitors can tour the 1928 Katherine V Fish Tug and the Chinook Research Vessel.

Live performances will be provided by Native Ways traditional arts company, metalworking blacksmiths, and leatherwork by Chippewa Valley Leatherworks.

There will also be a strawberry sundae social, face painting, $1 planetarium shows and more.

Admission is $5 per adult, $3 per adult or child, and free for museum members. For more information, call 989-356-2202 or visit bessermuseum.org.

About the cabins

The small Lousada Homestead Cabin is located between the Maltz Exchange Bank and the John McKay Log Home on the grounds of the Besser Museum. This cabin has been mistaken for a shed belonging to the McKay Cabin, but it is actually its own house.

“Frances Losada filed a Homestead patent on 80 acres of land in February of 1868. The Homestead Act of 1862 allowed the U.S. government to grant land to individuals who paid a registration fee of $10 and up,” Besser Historical Village Museum-guided tour brochure notes . “In order to obtain the right to land ownership, an individual had to live on the land for five years. This form of land ownership became the most common way for people to acquire land in unsettled areas of the United States.

The property was conveyed in 1874 to Horace de Losada, Francis de Losada, and Marian de Losada, and then in 1879 the property was sold to Thomas Collins and William Johnson of Massachusetts. When Collins died in 1896, he was listed as a resident of Alpena and left the property as part of his estate to his heirs. It then passed through 10 other owners before Eugene Hope donated it to the museum in November 1969.

The John McKay Log Home was built in 1898. McKay came to Alpena County from Ontario, Canada at the age of 25, where he worked as a logger, and acquired a large tract of land along the Thunder Bay River, where he built an 828-square-foot house with two floors . It was located on Smith Road in Wilson Township.

McKay was married three times, but his first wife, Barbara Kramer, died in 1884, and only one of their children, Herman Isaiah, survived to adulthood. He and his second wife, Anna Missourill Wyman, had Robert Victor and Mary Ann, both of whom survived to adulthood, but Anna died in 1891. His third wife was Emily Ann Lister, by whom he had four children, Zada ​​Guy, Elsa, Earl and Zane. Emily and John McKay raised their four children and his previous three children in the cabin, which required four additions to the cabin to make space.

“When the cabin was moved to the Besser Museum in 1971, the exterior additions were removed to preserve the original house,” the tour brochure states. “The building was donated by the Gilbert family, and the move was funded by McKay's daughter, Zada ​​Jay Dunn. The fireplace, furniture, dishes and other items on display are not original to the cabin, but represent the time period.



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