Moon Log Cabin
Woldumar Nature Center


"Imagine daily life right around the time Michigan became the nation’s 26th state, in 1837.  Most of Michigan was covered by vast forests.  In the wilderness, there were no paved roads or railroad tracks.  With only a few scattered cities established in the state, pioneers had to move along wagon trails, plank roads and stagecoach routes to travel through the state.  Fur trading was still the state’s largest industry, and travelers had to be on the look-out for wild animals, like bears and wolves. 


Families who came to Michigan looking for a better life could not simply shop around and buy the house of their dreams. They had to cut down trees to build their house, and cut more trees to clear space for crops and outbuildings for livestock.  Since building a house took time, most had to build lean-tos or rough shanties to serve as shelter until a log home could be built.  This often took years, since the job had to be done using hand tools, horses or oxen, and logs had to be cut and dragged to where the house was to be built.  Log homes in Michigan at that time often only had one room and maybe a loft area.  Families usually all slept, ate and played in the same room.  Improvements and additions to the home were made over the years as time, money and supplies became available.  The Moon Log Cabin, located at Woldumar Nature Center is typical of the log houses built in Michigan in the mid-1800's.

Houses were lit with kerosene lamps, food was cooled in iceboxes, and rooms warmed by wood-burning or coal-burning stoves. Families did not have today’s luxuries of electricity, telephones or indoor plumbing. 

Children worked every day alongside their parents on the farm, feeding animals, planting, weeding and harvesting the crops, gathering eggs and milking cows – all by hand. 



Since the land was covered by trees, fields had to be cleared and plowed before crops could be planted.  The land was important, because farm families had to grow most of the food to feed their families.  Supplies and food they could not grow or make were purchased at trading posts or general stores located miles away from the farm over rough terrain." 


The above photos were taken in 1990 and 1991 (35mm images).  The photos of the people were taken on October 20th inside the cabin, so I suspect it was the American Heritage Festival (or its predecessor) which originally occurred later in the fall than it does now.  Everything below was photographed using my digital camera, so they are from 2003 or later.  You can see the changes to both the cabin, which by 2003 has had a front porch added to it, and the grounds surrounding the cabin. 


I am particularly fond of the special effects produced by the waviness in old glass.  The first row below has some of my favorite shots from outside of the cabin, which is followed by a few porch area items, then we will head inside for a look around.  Most inside pictures are from either (open to the public) the Wildflower Weekend or American Heritage Festival. 

I will finish off this page with half a dozen shots which I liked but did not quite make it into the layout as I was working my way through.  You should visit the Moon Log Cabin.  But, give yourself enough time to pause and reflect while you are there.  


Woldumar Page  

American Heritage Festival

  Moon Log Cabin  



Woodland Pond   Lagoon & Riverfront   Pines Plantation   Along The Trails


Wandering Woldumar Poem (P&P Book)


Scrapbook Photos Table of Contents


Quoted text is courtesy of,1607,7-125-1566_1733_22582_22586-67085--,00.html