Log Cabin Replica Completed at Markland
01 February, 2014
Over the past year volunteers from The Icelandic Memorial Society of Nova Scotia have held work parties at Markland completing the construction of the log cabin on Lot 3. In the fall of 2012 the logs on the side and end walls were erected and ridgepoles for the roof put in place. Work was temporarily halted over the winter months because of weather and road conditions. This spring the first task was to cut out the opening for the door to give access to the inside of the cabin. According to our records the doorway would have faced the family barn and so it was cut on the north side of the log cabin facing the location where the barn would have been. Floorboards were then put in place over the log joists and roof boards nailed to the ridgepoles. These 1 x 6 foot boards for the roof and floor were donated by Society member Wade Prest, who milled them from his woodlot.
With the logs neatly trimmed on the ends, a doorway cut out and floor nailed down, the cabin was beginning to look authentic. Meanwhile, just down the road in Caribou Gold Mines, an antique shingle mill owned by Ken Burrows was turning out shingles for the roof. The shingle mill, operated by Leonard Watson was powered by a 1955 tractor also owned by a Society member. The shingles were cut from 16-18 foot long pieces of red spruce logs. Red spruce is the provincial tree of Nova Scotia and would have been abundant in Markland in the late 1800's. To help ensure waterproofing, ice and water shield has been placed on the roof. The roof is now shingled, the doorway framed out and the solid wood door hung. It is fastened with antique hinges and a latch. One window has been placed in the west wall facing the road. This small 6-pane window from the early 1900s fits the size of the log cabin perfectly. Our goal was to have the cabin roof tight by late fall and we have accomplished this. Our last chore is to fill the cracks between the logs. This will be done in early spring.
Construction of the log cabin replica has been a rewarding learning process from start to finish. We have taken pride in each accomplishment along the way and at the end of our work days we step back and say " It looks like it really belongs here". Members Wayne Scott, Ken Burrows, Leonard Watson and Henry Decker, with their skills and expertise have come together to work many times on short notice, but always with good humour and enthusiasm. Their commitment and close attention to the historical detail of each task has been remarkable.
Executive members have documented each step in the building of the log cabin along the way. We have been successful in obtaining a community history grant from the Halifax Regional Municipality for assistance in producing an historical DVD of the log cabin project. We also have plans for the installation of new interpretive signs on the log cabin lot. The Society is grateful to our Councillor Barry Dalrymple for financial assistance with signage. While the cabin has been built by Society volunteers, we have incurred a number of expenses. The Society gratefully accepts donations toward the log cabin construction and its upkeep. We want to thank everyone for their generosity and continuous support of the project from the beginning.
We have been encouraged by the number of positive comments in our guest book at the entrance to the settlement and hope that we have tweaked some interest in this almost forgotten piece of Nova Scotia history. A dedication ceremony is being planned for June 2014. Details of the ceremony will be available at a later date. We hope you will be able to join us for this special tribute and celebration in Markland.
Icelandic Memorial Society of Nova Scotia