Pioneer Log Cabin Village in Bad Axe Michigan
The Bad Axe Historical Society is the curator of the largest collection of authentically restored pioneer log buildings in Michigan. Located behind the Bad Axe City Hall, the pioneer log cabins make up a sort of mini-museum collection. The rustic cabins were donated and moved from various locations around Huron County. Each cabin contains antiques, household goods, and artifacts of the period. Society has done an excellent job of preserving and presenting this collection of log structures.
1873 – The Ullrich Family Cabin
The Ulrich House was the first cabin brought to the Village by the Society in 1976. It was the home of Mr. and Mrs. George Ullrich and their 11 children. George and Magdelena immigrated to the United States from Germany in March of 1873 with 5 children, another child had died as an infant, and settled in Sebewaing, Michigan. There they had an additional 6 children and managed a farm. Local lore tells the tale that the 20X30 foot two-story cabin was built in one day by in an effort similar to a barn raising. The museum’s contents contain much of the original furnishings of the Ullrich‘s.
The General Store
If you’re a history buff this example of an old-fashioned general store will not disappoint. Antique consumer goods donated by family members who once owned their own general stores in the area are on display. You can get the feel that stores like this were a social focal point for the entire community and some also acted as the local post office.
1895 – The Becking School
The Becking School was built in 1895 and it noted that his school was one of the last operating log schoolhouses in the state. The schoolroom depiction has been created to represent a composite view of what the 100 or so one-room schoolhouses in Huron county might have looked like. Period furniture, children’s desks, chalkboards, and books are all on display. An online search for Becking School places one possible original location south of Bad Axe in Colfax township, other results show its location in Sheridan Township.
1872 – William Schave Barn Museum
Built the year after the first great Michigan fire of 1871, when the building of barns overtook sawmills as the county changed from logging to agricultural. It’s one of the largest log buildings on the site. The inside display includes the tools and implements common in the late 1800s including bean sorters, milking machines, and horse tack. The barn was originally owned by William Schave from Port Hope and escaped being burned in the Great Fire of 1881 which ravaged much of the Thumb region. The barn is also a point on the Thumb Quilt Trail and displays the quilt block called Log Cabin.
1883 – The Linton Memorial Chapel
Originally the home of Robert Linton. The chapel depicts the rustic pioneer days of community worship in the Upper Thumb. The display includes an original Estey Reed Organ and many other donated artifacts from personal collections and churches of the late 1800s. The chapel is active and available for weddings for a $40 donation.
The Blacksmith Shop
A town’s blacksmith was akin to today’s local hardware store. It was critical in a growing agricultural community with its forge using coal or charcoal. The local blacksmith had the ability to make and repair farm implements, tool, nails, horseshoes, and chains. Many rural shops also repaired wagons and horse tack
The pioneer log village is open each Sunday during the summer from 2 to 4 pm between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Admission is free.
Port Austin Historical Society Leavine Log Cabin Exhibit
Located just east of Port Austin the port Austin Historical Society has a fine example of a log cabin from the late 1800s. The center is a growing collection of historical buildings and homes to the Leavine log cabin and barn. The two structures were once located on a farm and thought to be two barns connected. Upon closer inspection, the two buildings are found to be a 16×20 log cabin and a 16×22 log barn. The cabin is a fine example of living in the Upper Thumb in the late 1800s and has been restored with a porch and gardens.
Elkton Log Cabin Museum
This 18 x 22-foot log cabin was built by Enos Mayhew in 1865 just north of Pinnebog. It consists of two-stories with upper dormer design similar to the Baur and Notter cabins near Pigeon. It was donated by Dr. & Mrs. Henry Schoenhals of Port Austin to the Elkton Historical Society. In 1987 it was dismantled, moved, and restored at the southeast corner of Ackerman memorial park in Elkton. The cabin is maintained by the Elkton Historical Society. Limited hours of visiting. Free admission. Call before you visit.