Self-Guided Tour of Lincoln-era Log Cabin Village Created 04/20/2020 -1-
Entrance Sign and Overview of Village - A village was a place where settlers came to sell or trade what they grew or hunted for supplies they needed, catch up on the latest news, get married, and go to Church. This village was built in the late 60's early 70's with "original" structures moved from the region, to save them, so visitors could see what pioneers in this area built, lived in, used, went to school in and worshipped in. The "original" structures were built 160 to 180 years ago when Lincoln, who later became the 16th President, visited this area. The village has: an 1840s Stone Smoke House; an 1850 Herleman Log Cabin; a replica 1800s era Rail Fence, an 1854 Log Corn Crib; an 1800 era Log Church built with logs from the 1800s; an 1828 Stage Coach Stop/School House (to be re-built summer 2020); an 1850 Log Cabin Store (Clat Adams Log Cabin); an 1835 D.D. Hull Log Cabin; and a replica 1800s era Herb Garden with a "waddle" fence. These structures were re-located to Quinsippi Island Park, a public park, so visitors could see and experience what life was like and as the Entrance sign says, "… reflect a bit from whence we came." This area was part of the Military Tract, where the land was given to soldiers who fought during the war of 1812, as payment for their service. Most sold their land to early "real estate agents" like Willard Keyes and John Wood. John Wood founded Quincy, IL was its former Mayor, a Lt. Governor of Illinois & then the 12th Governor of Illinois.
Begin your tour by going to the Stone Smoke House.
1840s Stone Smoke House - Pioneer Foods and Storage - This Stone Smoke House was originally located on a farm in Liberty Township. Back in the 1800s, they didn't have refrigerators, so they used a Smoke Houses to preserve their food. For meats, they would add salt and then smoke it, for at least two weeks using cold smoke. Meats like Ham, Beef, or Sausages would be hung on hooks. A fire would be built in the middle of the room and the door closed. The cold smoke from the fire would flow up around the meat, curing it. The smoke escaped out the tiny holes on each end. It took two weeks for the meat to cure this way. Meat could remain, further away from the fire, for up to 2 yrs.
1850 Herleman Log Cabin (cabin in the middle) was built on a farm South of Quincy. It was moved to the island in 1968. The logs, in the walls, came from old-growth trees with few limbs (knots) that were straight. They were harvested in the winter when the sap was in the ground. These thick logs provided good insulation from the cold. By notching the ends, it minimized the size of the gap between the logs and it held the logs together with no nails. Notches were done different ways, as can be seen, in the different structures. The marks on the logs were made, when they cut off the bark to flatten the sides of the logs for the cabin. To fill the gaps between the logs, called chinking, they used moss, sticks or rocks. Daubing covered the chinking with a mixture of wet mud or clay mixed with wheat stalks, prairie grass, animal hair and even animal waste. Chinking and daubing filled the gaps, providing some degree of insulation and cut down on drafts. Daubing tends to weather, particularly in climates with a freeze thaw cycle, thus requiring routine patching and replacement.