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May 28, 2014

Looking Back: The Craig Log Cabin – One of Bloomfield’s Oldest Residents

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In December 1845, 32-year-old Irish-born William Craig bought 40 acres in Section 20 of Bloomfield Township for $200 from Abraham Sodon. The property was located on a rolling hillside on what would become Lone Pine Road, between Wing Lake and Franklin roads.

The cabin measures 18-by-24-feet and is constructed of round logs with square notching. Jim McCabe, a curator of TheHenryFord, describes it as “the last area example of folk or vernacular architecture.” It’s “one of the simplest and quickest of log construction methods, and represents the first phase of settlement. It is a remarkable survivor, since features such as these don’t usually stand the test of time.”

On New Year’s Day of 1851, William married Sarah Barden, who was born in New York but whose family was originally from Massachusetts.

Craig was a farmer, an early member of the local Wing Lake Presbyterian Church, and took part in township government as an elected Overseer of Roads.

Sarah and William raised 11 children in the small cabin. The children slept in a loft under a steeply pitched roof and attended the nearby one-room Greer School.

William died in 1881 —“worn out” was listed as the cause of death — and passed the property on to his son, William B. Craig.

As log structures disappeared from the Bloomfield landscape, the Craig Cabin remained. It was lived in almost continuously, primarily as a family home.

After the land was purchased for development, the cabin was donated to the community. In 2008, with some of the Craig descendants watching, it was moved to the Bowers School Farm, where it is still undergoing preservation and restoration.

There’s more on the cabin at www.bloomfieldhistoricalsociety.org. It will be open June 7 and 8 as a part of Antiques, Treasures and More.

— Bloomfield Historical Society