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SUNDAY: Time Travel @ Detroit's Palmer Park Log Cabin Day Celebration - Sunday, June 29, 1-5 pm

  • What: Detroit Palmer Park Log Cabin Day Celebration, a free-of-charge family-friendly festival with free ice cream social (for first 500 attendees), music, beer tent, hat-making arts & crafts, Mad Hatter & Bonnet Contest/Parade, rare tour of the 1880's Log Cabin with guides in period attire, demos, exhibits, and much more
  • When: Sunday, June 29, 1-5 pm
  • Who: Presented People for Palmer Park, a non-profit organization dedicated to the revitalization of Detroit's Palmer Park. PFPP is the City of Detroit's 'Adopt-a-Park' community partner.
  • Where: Palmer Park (around the Log Cabin), Merrill Plaisance, west of Woodward and just north of McNichols (Six Mile)
  • Why: To showcase our history and encourage restoration of the Log Cabin and park to benefit current and future generations; and to be part of the statewide Log Cabin Day
Photos by © Barbara Barefield of 2013 Log Cabin Day
and photo courtesy of Rootstand (performers at Log Cabin Day)

Time Travel at Palmer Park: 
Log Cabin Day Celebration
Sunday, June 29, 1-5 pm

Take a peek! Once a year, on Michigan Log Cabin Day, People for Palmer Park opens the doors of Palmer Park's 129-year-old Log Cabin — Detroit's only authentic log cabin — for a rare tour. 

Visitors will also be treated to an old-fashioned ice cream social; live music with Rootstand; square dancing; blacksmithing; hat-making and parade/contest; a beer tent with Motor City Brewing Works locally-made beer; Civil War camp with the 102nd USCT Black History group; and an afternoon that will re-connect people of all ages to early Detroit memories and history, and aspirations for Detroit's continued revival.

Inside the cabin will be a surprise: in great need of restoration, 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). 

Imaginations will be activated with historians and actors dressed in period fashions who will guide visitors through the cabin to view the stained glass windows, stone fireplaces, old wooden beams, floors, pocket doors and stairway, antique stove, and a very early indoor 'water closet.' 

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 1895, Sen. Palmer had donated much of his farmland and woods to the city of Detroit to be used as a pleasure park for the people.

  • Free ice cream to the first 500 attendees from Guernsey Dairy Farms (descendants of one of the carpenters who helped to build the cabin in 1885!) and also from Calder Dairy — both locally-made in Michigan; 
  • The 102nd USCT Civil War Black History Group will set up camp; 
  • Square dancing (in full costume!) from students at the JR King Academy and students from Taylor and Royal Oak (JR King Principal Vivian Hughes-Norde; Square Dance Caller/Choreographer, Mr. Walter Zatorski; Square Dance Apparel: Ms. A. Simpson, Mrs. T. Zatorski)
  • Wayne State University theatre students/alumni re-enacting the roles of Senator and Mrs. Palmer;
  • Tours through the main floor of the Log Cabin with historians and period-attired guides 
  • Hat and bonnet-making arts & crafts to precede the Mad Hatter & Bonnet Parade/Contest;
  • African-American quilting exhibit and demos with quilters from Detroit Unity Temple
  • Native American painting exhibit and info from Nora Chapa Mendoza
  • Music by Rootstand (acoustic country blues, bluegrass, Celtic roots, rock, and reggae band )
  • Raffle for a Detroit Bike Co. bicycle
  • Old-fashioned organic popcorn from Mystic Kettle Corn and organic mini-candied apples from Chewy's Gourmet Apples
  • Blacksmithing from CJ Forge, demonstrating the ancient craft of blacksmithing and creating hand-forged works of art
  • and much more! 
This is a free community event presented by People for Palmer Park, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization that is the official "Adopt-a-Park Partner" with the City of Detroit. Co-sponsors include: Palmer Park Apartments, AT&T, Senator Virgil Smith, Shelborne Development, Clark Hill Law Offices, Driker Family, Integrity Shows, Logo Copy Center in Ferndale, and many others who helped to clean the cabin, plant and donate flowers, and more.

PFPP has been working with the city and community to revitalize the park by creating programs, events, and recreational activities for all ages, and to beautify and improve the park. Learn more at