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North Log CabinDescendants of the original builder go into the cabinIt's been more than two years since the North Log Cabin came home to Lansing, where it was originally built more than 200 years ago.  Saturday two of the descendants of Thomas North, a Revolutionary War veteran who originally built the cabin, came to see their ancestral home and be a part of a ribbon cutting for the restored structure.

"I've known about it most of my life," said Jane Ellen North Bryce, North's Great Great Great Great Granddaughter.  "My parents came out here in 1975 and saw it when it was at the Cayuga Museum.  I believe my uncle Arvide came to see it, too.  I have some newspaper articles about it that were published in 1958."

Bryce, along with her husband Terry, her son Robert North Baldus and his wife Velia live in Lansing, Michigan.  She said that when they learned of the cabin dedication they planned their vacation around it.  The Lansing where they live was named for Lansing, New York.  Her ancestor Joseph E. North (Thomas's oldest son) suggested the name to commemorate the town where he was born.

"He was the first to go to Michigan," Bryce says.  "Then he talked his brother Henry into visiting him.  On that visit Henry decided he would move to that area.  Joseph mentioned the name Lansing. Henry actually suggested the name Genessee, but that was already being used somewhere closer to Detroit, so Lansing won out for the name of the township.  The city of Lansing was named after the township."

North Log Cabin(Left to right) Carl Coté, Robert North Baldus, Jane Ellen North Bryce, Al Roy, Ed LaVigne

Bryce and Baldus showed up at Myers Park wearing T-shirts that proclaimed, 'I am a North Descendent' with pictures of their ancestor on the front.  Their own pictures appeared on their spouses' T-shirts.  The family learned of the ceremony on the Internet in the Lansing Star.  Terry says the family often talks about the cabin, and they and others in their family are avid genealogists.

"My grandparents were heavy into genealogy, and of course my father was," Bryce says.  "I picked it up a few years ago"

The ceremony itself was short, with Lansing Community Council President Ed LaVigne giving credit to the many community members who contributed to restore the structure, including  former Town Councilman Bud Shattuck, who spearheaded the drive to save it when the Cayuga Museum decided they no longer wanted it on their grounds.  LaVigne and the Community council raised the money and took charge of the construction phase of the project.  About 20 onlookers including Lansing Deputy Supervisor Connie Wilcox and County Legislator Pat Pryor attended.

North Log CabinJane Ellen North Bryce cuts the ribbon (left). Town Historian Louise Bement with Jane and Robert

Contractor Al Roy and builder Carl Coté were also present.  Roy's Lindal Cedar Homes crew reassembled the cabin last year, matching logs with those in photographs taken when the cabin was in Auburn to try to figure out which logs went where in the cabin.  His crew set the cabin on a concrete slab and built a new roof of cedar shake shingles.  Coté and his Results Renovation and Repair crew took on the chinking between the logs, and the doors and windows.  Coté says the two doors and the outside chinking were completed for the ceremony.  The indoor chinking and the windows will be completed before winter.

After Bryce cut the ribbon, LaVigne opened the door, and the North descendants led the way into the cabin.  A discussion ensued about what it must have been like to build and live in the cabin.  Bryce said that her research showed that the family slept upstairs in the loft, only half of which is planked over so visitors to the cabin can look up to see the upstairs construction.  Lansing Town Historian Louise Bement, Norman Wheeler (who is cataloging and marking the graves of every war veteran buried in Lansing), LaVigne, and others each had a piece of the story to contribute.  Bryce was given pieces of the ribbon to commemorate the ceremony. 

North Log Cabin

North descendants are spread around the country.  Frank North, of Tampa, Florida has been following the saga of the family log cabin since it was rescued from the museum in Auburn.  He was unable to attend the ceremony, Friday, but a letter he wrote describing his family's contributions to American history was instrumental in the local fundraising that paid for the reassembly.

Future plans include the windows and chinking, and future fundraisers to furnish the cabin with period furniture.

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