LEWISBURG – Phyllis Dyer held up a worn book titled ‘Complete Arithmetic’, its stiff pages and the cover almost detached from its spine, and turned to a page that showed it dated 1817 – almost 30 years newer than the Shack in single piece logs inside which it is kept.
The Union County Historical Society will open the 232-year-old Kantz Log Cabin to the public for the first time in a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for September 11 at 11 a.m.
First built in 1789, the cabin was moved in 2019 to the Dale-Engle-Walker House property at 1471 Strawbridge Road, Lewisburg. The pandemic has delayed its opening.
Marcia Kantz Milne donated the cabin to the Union County Historical Society. Her late husband, David Milne, previously served on the Board of Directors of the Historical Society.
Visitors are invited not only to view and photograph the hut, but also to manipulate its ancient contents – spinning wheels, butter churns, frying pan, wooden cradle, rope bed, hand tools and kitchen utensils.
Children are especially encouraged to take a hands-on approach, with supervision, of course.
âIt’s a great addition to our educational program,â said Matthew Wagner, board member. âSo many times children walk into a museum and they can’t touch anything. Here they can touch and hold anything.
âI think the kids will love the sled and the tub,â Dyer said, pointing to two of the dozens of antique items.
According to Historical Society research, Peter Druckenmiller built the cabin in 1789 along the Tuscarora Indian Trail on the “Waters of Middle Creek”, Northumberland County. The cabin became part of Union County in 1813 when it was established on the once sprawling lands of Northumberland County. He moved without moving again in 1855 when Snyder County was established.
Druckenmiller did not live to see the county changes. He died in 1790, according to the Historical Society. His daughter and son inherited 180 acres each. The land on which the cabin once stood was sold by Elizabeth Heffer to Christian Kantz in 1803 and has remained in the Kantz family ever since. It served as both a house and a trading post.
Kantz’s descendants restored the cabin in 1998 and moved it to Kantz Milne’s estate in Lewisburg, where it remained for 20 years. It was dismantled by Amish workers in 2019 and relocated to the Dale-Engle-Walker property.
“Marcia’s hope is that the cabin will be used to educate the community, especially children, about life on the Pennsylvania border,” Board member Kathy Swope wrote in a press release. announcing the event.
Katherine Faull, Bucknell’s German and Comparative Humanities Professor, will be the keynote speaker at the 9/11 dedication. Other speakers include Lois Huffines and Bruce Teeple, past and current president of the Historical Society, respectively, as well as Andrew Milne, speaking on behalf of Marcia Kantz Milne and her family.
The program will be followed by refreshments and free guided tours of the Dale-Engle-Walker House and Kantz Log Cabin. For more information on the Union County Historical Society, visit www.unioncopahistory.com.