To celebrate the state of Michigan’s Log Cabin Day on Sunday, June 30, People for Palmer Park (PFPP) will hold its second annual Palmer Park Log Cabin Day from 1 – 4 pm.
Young musicians will be fiddling and square dancers swinging, while Park lovers wearing 1880s fashions stroll past a Native American drummer, a blues guitarist, children with painted faces and handmade hats, and families enjoying a community picnic and day at the park.
To commemorate Michigan Log Cabin Day, People for Palmer Park (PFPP) and the City of Detroit will open Palmer Park’s historic 1800’s Log Cabin — which has been closed for some 30 years — for a rare tour. Built in 1885 by Senator Thomas Palmer and his wife Lizzie as their summer retreat, the cabin was once filled with antiques and visitors who would travel north on Woodward in horse-drawn carts. By 1895, Sen. Palmer had donated much of his farmland and woods to the city of Detroit to be used as a pleasure park for the people.
On Sunday, June 30 from 1-4 pm, PFPP will treat families to free ice cream from Guernsey Farms Dairy, and an afternoon of live music, entertainment, dancing, face painting, arts & crafts for children, and great fun. This community event will re-connect many old-timers and kids of all ages to early Detroit memories and hopes for Detroit’s future.
Palmer Park’s Cabin is located off of Merrill Plaisance, west of Woodward Avenue and north of Six Mile Road in Detroit.
This year’s Log Cabin Day will also include the raffling of a Shinola bicycle (worth $2,000) and two free tickets to the US Open Tennis Championship (winners will be announced at the end of the event); and the new Mad Hatter and Bonnet contest, with an arts and crafts station where children can create and decorate their own hat.
Palmer Park has the only authentic, historic Log Cabin in the City of Detroit. Inside, we will showcase a photo exhibit by S. Kay Young of Native American events and people. In the other room, we will present African American quilts and two local quilters, dressed at Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, will demonstrate and talk about this amazing craft. We want to bring history alive, so Wayne State University theatre students will be dressed at Senator and Mrs. Palmer and will be performing in character, greeting people at the door to the cabin.
Native American drummer/flutist Lee Blackbear will perform, as well as the Chelsea Home Orchestra (high school Celtic fiddlers), Luther Badman Keith Blues Band, and the T.J. Richardson African American Square Dance group. A young juggler and a group of Penny Farthing cyclists will add additional entertainment.
We encourage people to bring their children, parents and grandparents to reconnect with their memories of the park and cabin, share their oral histories, bring a picnic basket and blanket, and enjoy the scenery of the lake and ceder lighthouse. There will be food from Food Lab (soups, sandwiches and desserts), equestrian demonstrations by the Detroit Mounted Police, square dancing, and family fun. Don’t forget to wear you vintage, creative or zany hat, cap or bonnet for the Mad Hatter & Bonnet contest!
Log Cabin Day is presented with the support of National Public Lands Day, Palmer Park Apartments, Senator Virgil Smith, the City of Detroit.
People for Palmer Park is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the revitalization of Detroit’s Palmer Park. PFPP is entrusted by the City of Detroit’s Adopt-a-Park program as its Community Partner. The organization formed in 2010 in response to reports that the city planned to close the park.
An important goal of PFPP is to make Palmer Park once again a destination site for healthy living and recreation, as well as a protected nature reserve. In the short time that PFPP has been in existence, the organization has organized and worked with community volunteers and residents from the surrounding neighborhoods to clean out the 12 miles of forest trails in the park, making them bikeable and walkable again; planted apple orchards in three locations; started a Junior Tennis Academy for children; hosted free yoga classes on Saturday mornings during th
e summer that typically attracts up to 50 participants, free tai chi classes on Tuesdays, and biking and hiking groups; organized family Story Time events by the Log Cabin, fall hay rides through the trails, and much more. In addition to planning special events and recreational activities, PFPP committees organize regular cleanups of the park, as well as flower and tree plantings.