About that cabin...
One of the most recognized, but least known landmarks in Woodhaven is nestled beneath the trees at the corner of Hall and West Roads: a tiny log cabin. Sitting quietly along the busiest street in town, the structure represents the community's past; a reproduction of the kind of home early settlers built in this region. Over time, however, it has also represented the future for young couples starting a life together - when it was used as a city chapel. Today, though, it sits vacant and unused, its future unclear. Because of upgrades and changes through the years, the cabin no longer meets guidelines for historical grant monies. As a result, each time city leaders have applied for grants, they've been denied. Still, the cabin stands as an interesting piece of community history. The one room hand-hewn log and shingle building dates back to the 1870s and has been moved several times. Each time it was moved when the city sought to preserve its heritage while accommodating new industrial, commercial and residential growth. At one time, it was situated on West Road near what would eventually become I-75 expressway.
In the 1950s, it was dismantled and presented to village leaders as a gift from the Lions Club. (Woodhaven wasn't incorporated as a city until 1965.) In 1968, resident John Sledge Sr. restored the cabin piece by piece, making his own mortar to chink the logs. He also furnished the home with his own antiques and it was opened to the public as part of Michigan Week festivities in 1969. He later removed his objects and asked the public to donated pieces - but when there was little response, the building was closed.
The cabin grounds have been landscaped and maintained by the Woodhaven Garden Club, which brightens up the spot with flowers each year. And while the log cabin reminds us of a simpler time of long age, the architectural style has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years. (Look for the log house on Vreeland Road, between Allen Road and I-75 to see how far technology has taken the design.) And with a sense of history at heart, city leaders continue to look at ways to keep the log cabin a visible sign of the community's rich past.