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Cabin in the Woods
Log Cabin Project Nearing Completion!

Log Cabin Project Nearing Completion!

Annemarie Hagan, Museums Manager
From Mississauga Booster, October 17th, 2007

In the early 19th century, log cabins were the most common building in what is now Mississauga -- it's what all new settlers were required to build in order to get their land grants.  However, today, there are only a few remaining.  Recently, there was a gathering at the Bradley Museum with some of the corporate and community supporters of the Cabin in the Woods project getting a 'sneak peak' at the results of their hard work to save the Port Credit Log Cabin from demolition and have it rebuilt at the museum.

The cabin, originally built up near Mono Mills in the mid-19th century, was moved to Port Credit in 1967 as the local Rover's Centennial Project.  It was used by the Rovers and the 4th Port Credit Scouts for many years, but eventually it fell into disuse and disrepair, and it was slated for demolition by Scouts Canada in 2003.  However, a group of neighbours approached the City of Mississauga to see if it could be saved, and after exploring a number of options, it was decided to raise the funds in the community to carefully document and take the cabin apart log by log, for rebuilding and a new life at the Bradley Museum.

The Log Cabin Task Force of the Friends of the Museums, with Ron Lenyk, Publisher of the Mississauga News, lead the fundraising campaign.   From major corporate supporters such as St. Lawrence Cement, PetroCanada, a grant from the Pendle Fund of the Community Foundation of Mississauga, to creative fundraising activities such as Photos with Santa in the Cabin, selling wooden sculptures and furniture made and donated by the City's Forestry staff, pancake breakfasts, Starlight and Candlelight Galas at Bradley Museum, to donations by local Scouts and Guide groups, it has been a very grassroots campaign.  Over $160,000 was raised, as well as an almost equal amount of donated goods and services from FRAM Building Group (donated project management services) and Michael Spazianni Architects, and many other community-minded businesses.

Moving a log cabin presents many unique challenges, but the project was in excellent hands with Scott Kelly of Log Farm Building - he is a log cabin and timber frame specialist.  We knew from the beginning that there were a few logs that were rotten, and wouldn't be able to be reused, and we also knew that the building code would require that we add one log to each storey to add more headroom.  Scott was able to maximize the use of the original logs, and as well, to find the few replacement and new logs needed --- carefully matching the species (hemlock) and diameter.   We've also reused as many of the original floorboards as possible, though because the cabin had been built without much of a foundation, the floorboards on the main floor had suffered a lot of water damage.

The efforts of the Log Cabin Task Force have already been recognized, as they received the Mississauga Heritage Foundation Award for the Log Cabin Task Force in February 2007.  The rebuilt cabin captures the ambience and rustic beauty of the original cabin, with a working Rumford fireplace built using stones and bricks from the Gray House in Port Credit.  There is a small back addition with an accessible washroom, entrance area, and kitchenette, and an enclosed, fire-rated stairwell to the second floor.  The cabin meets the requirements of the building code to ensure that it is a safe and sound structure and to allow for year-round use for educational programs, meetings, receptions, special events, and even for sleepovers!  Beaver, Sparks, Scouts, Brownies, and other groups will be able to have a wonderful overnight program at the Bradley Museum site, earning heritage and nature badges in 1830s Bradley House, having a camp fire, and a sleepover in the upstairs log cabin 'loft', then waking up early to watch the sun rise over the nearby Rattray Marsh.

Watch for the announcement of the official opening date of the cabin -- and photos with Santa -- later this fall, and come and see this award-winning cabin!  After years of photos in the rather dark, drafty, and cold cabin Santa and the Mrs. are looking forward to seeing everyone in their warm and cozy new home!