Curious to see what's behind those 133-year logs and magical stained-glass windows? People for Palmer Park (PFPP) and the City of Detroit open Palmer Park’s historic 1800s Log Cabin each year for a rare public tour of the only authentic log cabin in Detroit. See some of the 'modern' amenities of the day: Mrs. Palmer's treasured American Jewel stove, an indoor toilette, and Victorian-style pocket doors. The highlight for many will be the recently restored original stained-glass windows and Dutch front door!
Visitors at this fun-filled free family event are welcomed throughout the cabin by historians and actors in costume as well as treated to an old-fashioned ice cream social, live music with young fiddlers, traditional blacksmith demos, hat-making with a hat and bonnet parade/contest, Civil War camp with the 102nd USCT Black History group, African American quilters, locally-made refreshments, and much more. It has become an annual summer event that reconnects people of all ages to early Detroit memories and history, and aspirations for Detroit’s continued revival.
The cabin is rustically covered on the exterior with trees harvested from the surrounding forest, with a Victorian-style interior designed by architects George Mason (who designed Masonic Temple) and Zachariah Rice (the two also designed Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel, the Detroit Yacht Club and many other notable buildings).
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 1897 Palmer had donated the cabin and majority of the land surrounding it which would come to be known as Palmer Park.
Past Log Cabin Day highlights:
Free family fun for all ages
Free Guernsey Ice Cream for first 500
Guided Tours of the Log Cabin
Beer Tent, Nosh Pit Detroit Food Truck and Mystic Kettle Popcorn
Sevonty Restoration Stained Glass and CJ Forge Blacksmiths demos
Detroit Mounted Police
Live Music with Violin Divas & Urban Stringz
Square & Round Dancing with Dudes & Dolls Dancers
African American Quilts from Detroit Unity Temple
Nora Chapa Mendoza's Native American Exhibit
102nd USCT Black Civil War History Group
The Wheelman (penny farthing bicycles)
Mad Hatter & Bonnet making and parade with prizes
PFPP is a nonprofit 501 (C)(3) organization committed to the revitalization of Palmer Park. The group makes possible free classes for yoga and t’ai chi, weekly bike rides, a walking group, tennis programs for children and adults, a community garden and gardening workshops... and more.
Palmer Park is an urban oasis of 296 acres of lawns and historic woodlands, a Splash Park and playscape, tennis courts, hiking and biking trails, Lake Frances, and some of the most valuable and diverse ecosystems in the state. Located between 6 and 7 Mile Roads and west of Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Palmer Park has been a treasured nature park and recreation site for more than 120 years.
Thank you to our 2018 sponsors: City of Detroit Recreation Dept., City of Detroit General Services, Motor City Brew Works, and Guernsey Dairy.