North Log Cabin

The North Log Cabin will be open to the public Saturday morning, July 8th, from 10am to 11am.
The North Log Cabin was open Tuesday to celebrate Independence Day and Lansing's Bicentennial.  The cabin was originally built near Conlon Road shortly after the Revolutionary War.  It is not only an icon of the Town of Lansing's history, but two sons of Thomas North settled to the west, naming their new Michigan home Lansing, after their home town here.  After three moves in its more than 200 history, the cabin now sits near the entrance of Myers Park.  Tuesday was the first time since it was erected and dedicated in the park that it has been officially open to the public, with displays featuring key elements of Lansing history.

The displays, created by Town Historian Louise Bement, Fannie Welch, and Kathy LaLonde, include pictures and information about the Cayuga Rock Salt and International Salt companies, Portland Point (the cement factory), the Short Line Railroad, a map showing old Lansing place names, and a general history of the town.  Additionally, Bement opened a time capsule, a box containing essays from Terry Davis' middle school history class.  Her students wrote essays in 1992 that they placed in a box to be opened 25 years later.

Time Capsule25 years ago middle schoolers wrote about Lansing in their time. Town Historian Louise Bement (pictured) opened the time capsuleTuesday as part of the log cabin celebration of Independence Day and Lansing's Bicentennial.

"They wrote essays about what things were like in 1992," Bement explains.  "This is full of essays from her students.  There are quite a lot of them.  One girl wrote that her parents had just gotten divorced.  She was very sad because her father was moving to Australia.  Some of them wrote about the politics of that time and what was going on in the Town."

Thomas North built the cabin on land he purchased from John Lawrence, a speculator and landowner, who had purchased the 600 acre Military Lot #71 that had been granted to Captain Elias Van Benschoten in payment for his service in the Revolutionary War.  North built his cabin on the northeast corner, close to what is now the corner of Searles and Conlon Roads.  Bement found that North's deed, dated April 5th, 1799, showed he paid $1,800 for the land.  That came to three dollars per acre.

Since that time the cabin has been taken apart, log by log, and reassembled three times.  The first was when a son of Joseph North sold it to Daniel Tichenor, who reassembled it in 1844 on his Conlon Road property it about a mile north from its original location.  Over the years more rooms were added until the cabin (and the rest of the house) was completely covered by clapboard.  Just over a century later, while repairing damage to the old clapboard, the cabin was rediscovered.

Log Cabin ExhibitsThe public was welcomed inside the historic log cabin to view exhibits on Lansing history

Tompkins County Historian Glenn Norris arranged for it to be sold to the Cayuga Museum of History and Art in Auburn, which wanted it for a Millard Fillmore exhibit, since it was from the same era as the cabin Fillmore was born in  (his cabin was already taken).  Cabin enthusiasts raised money to have it erected in the back yard of the museum, where it was used first for exhibits, and later for storage.

In 1990 the museum offered the cabin to its origin Town of Lansing, saying that it would be scrapped if the Town didn't want it.  Then Councilman Bud Shattuck worked with the Lansing Highway Department to disassemble it and mark the logs for future restoration.  The Lansing Community Council raised funds, and again the cabin was restored, this time on a concrete slab the Highway Department erected so the cabin would sit above the flood plane.

North Log Cabin DedicationRobert North Baldus and Jane Ellen North Bryce (in blue T-shirts) came to Myers Park in 2010 for a ceremony commemorating the restoration of their ancestor Thomas North's log cabin

In 2010 an informational kiosk was boy scout Martin Keefe's Eagle Scout project.  It holds a timeline (donated by The Lansing Star) and a 'take one' box that contains printed histories of the cabin.  In August of 2010 the completed cabin was officially dedicated. Two descendants of Thomas North, North's Great Great Great Great Granddaughter Jane Ellen North Bryce, and her son her son Robert North Baldus attended the event with their family members came to Myers Park from Lansing, Michigan to see their ancestral home and be a part of a ribbon cutting for the restored structure.

The final piece of reconstruction was completed last summer when the chinking (a sealant between the logs that seal the weather out and make the light grey lines between the logs) was completed.  Bement says the Ithaca-Lansing Rotary Club wants to raise funds to furnish the cabin with items from around 1800.

If you have driven by the cabin on your way into or out of the park and wondered what the inside looked like, you are in luck, even if you missed it on the 4th of July.  The cabin will be open tomorrow morning (Saturday, July 8th) from 10am to 11am.