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Millburg community bands together

By Christina Gelder

 Sunday, June 12, 2016, marked the start of what many hope will be an annual event in Millburg. A group of residents banded together and planned a summer event to celebrate the rich history of the area with tours, food, friends and no lack of stories.

NOW AND THEN SUMMER EVENT… Dru Strunk and Te-resa Antio hold up one of the items that was part of the silent auction at the Millburg, Michi-gan Now and Then Summer Event last weekend. The event raised $1100 and brought to-gether a community that wanted to remember their history. (TCR photo by Christina Gelder)


Dru Strunk grew up in Millburg and lives in the heart of the community. Several months back he created a Facebook group called Millburg, Michigan: Now and Then.  His original intent was for people to post photos and memories. He says he just wanted to make sure that the history was saved before it was too late. While the group hasn’t worked out exactly like he had in mind it has really sparked a sense of community and has drawn people together.  Earlier in the spring Teresa Antio says she made an innocent comment about missing the days when there used to be dances held in town and suddenly she was on the “event committee”.  She was instrumental in pulling off the summer event on Sunday, June 12. Hundreds of community members and former community members were able to attend and a good time was had by all.  Also highly involved, was Amy Briske, owner of the Sundance Studio. She donated time, artwork and the studio for the meal.  After watching the old Schoenfeld building being transformed into a beautiful event space over the last few years folks were thrilled to get a chance to tour the wonderful facility. Briske is also active on Facebook and has a page set up for Millburg.  There were so many people who made this event a reality. Tours were offered at Red and White Feed Mill, Countryside Charter School, and Millburg Church. Chief’s Bar also played a key role as the crowd shifted over there for more socializing and a silent auction.  The silent auction, as well as any other donations made will be going towards seed money for another possible event and the Millburg Cemetery.  Strunk says because he is so interested in history he often visits the cemetery and became concerned that its upkeep is not top notch. He would like to see the shed repainted, historical headstones repaired and the trees and brush cleaned up. He sees it as yet another way to preserve the history of the town.  It was definitely a team effort and Strunk is grateful for everyone involved and anyone who donated to the cause. If the chatter on the Facebook group is any indication there will be another event at some point.

30th Log Cabin Day June 26

 Log Cabin Day was started for the state sesquicentennial in 1987 as an act of good will, an invitation to visitors to travel around the state, enjoy the log cabins, and “smell the flowers”  in the words of  the late  state representative,  Lad Stacey (R-Berrien Springs.)   Ironically the log cabins he erected at his Pennellwood Resort are gone, but the statewide Log Cabin Day festival has survived for the 30th year, on June 26.   The listing of log cabins found on the Internet Facebook site has a lot of places not open to the public, but people are welcome to drive by doing their “log cabin hunting” on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  Here are some that are open this year:  Pipestone Twp.  New for 2016!  Log cabin built in 2008 with other log buildings in Cal Bennett’s woods north of Eau Claire, behind his farm buildings and airplane runway, watch for signs. Cabin has furniture the owner built himself including spinning wheel.   Take I-94 exit 29 to Pipestone Rd., then around the corner  go left (south)  to Meadowbrook and go four miles or so  to Park Rd., then south to Watson Rd. intersection; go left  to 5834 Watson Rd., first farm on the right.  Open l to 5 p.m., phone (269) 944-1109.   Three Oaks.  Old log cabin (1870s) on farm owned by retired state representative and senator, Ron Jelinek, who will greet visitors.    Open house will include first public showing of his own artwork (carved wood reliefs and paintings.)   Take I-94 to exit 12 (Sawyer) go west then south on Three Oaks Rd. about seven or eight miles, turn west on Stickles Rd. to: 7703 Stickles Rd.  Open 1 to 5 p.m. for tours, phone (517) 204-8786.   Cassopolis.  The Pioneer Log Cabin Museum, built in 1923 of logs donated by local farmers, houses a fascinating collection of pioneer memorabilia of Cass Co. settlers.  Fiddlers, crafts, refreshments.   The museum is located on M-60 on Stone Lake south of the stoplight.  Take I-94 to Paw Paw exit 60, go south on M-40 to M-60, turn west.  Hours:  noon to 5 p.m., (269) 445-0196.   Geneva Twp. In Van Buren Co., a log cabin park of 30 acres owned by Carolyn and Chuck Moore has four log cabins (including a replica of an 1847 school and a saloon), a chapel, a mill, and a covered bridge over a pond.   Address is: 19624 CR687 at the CR380 intersection, south of South Haven.  From Covert take M-140 north, turn right on CR380, go four miles, cross M-43 intersection, go another mile. Hours:  1 to 5 p.m., (269)427-8540 or (269) 427-8888.  For other log cabins that can be viewed from the highway or as open houses, see: www.facebook.com/groups/LogCabinSocietyof MI.  Or contact the Log Cabin Society of Michigan, 3503 Rock Edwards Dr., Sodus, MI 49126, or call (269) 925-3836.  Email:  handyvirginia2@gmail.com.

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