A Job And A Joy An Update On the Log Cabin Museum

CollageWhen Marilyn Robertson moved back to Fairfield Bay after being gone for 10 years, she wanted to become active again in the community and do her share to make this the “special place” that people talk about.
Being a Shirley, Arkansas resident for many years, she loved the history of the area and listened as the old-timers remembered their old ways of life.
When Pauline Sears and Jean Eaton, long time volunteer directors of the Museum and Log Cabin, became aware of Marilyn’s interest in local history, it seemed a perfect time for them to retire and give the reins to her. Marilyn jumped in “with both feet” and has been on a non-stop course since the middle of August 2013.
Going back further in our local history, Marilyn continued the research showing the existence of five tribes of Indians who camped at our Indian Rock Cave on their way west. Marilyn tells the stories of the artifacts in the museum as well as the 1880’s log cabin which was relocated to it’s present site from the lake bottomland and is furnished with donations from you and me. As the stories unfold, she injects little-known trivia about our area and interesting facts about the Greers Ferry Dam and formation of the lake.
Marilyn saw a need as well as an opportunity to to give the museum and cabin an update. Maintenance on any property is a never-ending job and it didn’t take long to see that one thing was going to lead to another. Even though this will be a work in progress, many things have already been done that will make you proud when you take your friends and family.
The grounds have been cleaned, the water line moved from the back of the property to the front to water shrubs and the new plants, flow boxes, gutters and a cistern installed to collect rain water and two plant stands and light fixtures enhance the log cabin front porch. The museum porch has been painted and flower boxes built to add some color to the entrance, in addition to potted plants, and a birdhouse. On the inside of the museum, items have been cleaned and inventoried, picture display backgrounds changed and painted. The glass doors on one display case has been redone for ease in changing displays. A hand made area rug has been donated, along with a table and chairs. Marilyn bought a chandelier from her own funds to hang above the table, so that area invites one to sit and browse through the notebooks of historical data that have been categorized for Van Buren County, Old Quitman, Shirley Railroad and Indians and much, much more.
The public restroom has been painted, a new floor installed and the winter frozen broken pipes repaired. Van Swink was planning to paint a life-size bear on the wall, but after he passed away, Doris Sexson agreed to paint a mural using some of the paints donated by Inez Swink. Doris also plans to paint a Quapaw Indian on the closet door in the museum.
As the summer progresses, more plans are in store: Alice Butts has had an “old-timey” dress and apron made to wear while she tells stories surrounded by the historical furnishings in the log cabin. As far as repairs, the logs at one corner of the museum need to be replaced to protect the inside from weather problems, another bathroom needs to be treated for mold, and some of the animals in the display case are old and need to be cleaned (if possible) or replaced. Bonnie Hookman plans to paint a woodland water scene behind the animal display.
The log cabin looks forward to it’s own facelift in the future and rumor has it that the cabin could just possibly be decorated for the Christmas holidays in authentic 1800’s style.
If you haven’t been to the museum or the log cabin or the cave recently, it will be a treat for you and a great way to entertain guests when they visit. Marilyn or a volunteer is there every afternoon from 1-4 p.m. seven days a week, but if you can’t make it during those hours, give Marilyn a call at 581-1638 and she’ll will try to accommodate your schedule. And, by the way, tell her you’d like to volunteer to help do the physical work or volunteer in the museum or a monetary donation is always welcome and much appreciated.

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