One reader shares about her family cabin in the North woods and why it's so special to them.
Article by Rebecca Ward Nichols
My round log cabin, Sunset Lodge, has always been in my family. It was built by my grandfather, Bruce Ward, founder of the Ward Log Home Company in Maine. Sunset Lodge is an original Ward Cedar Log Home and is on The National Register of Historic Places. My mother, Bruce Ward's daughter, Eleanor Ward Nichols, and I worked to have Sunset Lodge accepted on the Register in 1994. It was recognized because my grandfather was the founder of the modern log home industry and the cabin is an example of recreational homes of the times it was built.
My mother brought my 2 sisters and me to the cabin on Madawaska Lake every summer, even after the family moved to Rhode Island. We have many good memories of playing in the lake and watching the beautiful sunsets across the lake. As years went by, my sisters and I brought our children and grandchildren to Madawaska Lake to enjoy the peacefulness and to be restored. 5 generations have now enjoyed summers at Sunset Lodge.
In 1995, we had restoration work done on the camp in order to save it as it was in need of repairs. We are now faced with a serious need to keep the camp in good repair in order to pass it on to future generations.
My mother called Sunset Lodge her "happy place" and she would look down from her sleeping area in the loft in the mornings, usually with her hair in curlers and a bonnet over the curlers and ask, "Is everybody happy?". She kept so many stories about her father and his accomplishments foremost in our memories of times at the camp that we all know how he had a patent on the tongue and groove method of wood joinery and how he started his career in the log home industry as a lumberman in the woods of northern Maine. The State of Maine proclaimed February 12th, 1989, as Bruce Ward Day.
As I write this, I am sitting in Sunset Lodge after a beautiful Fall day. The Fall foliage has gone past peak but it was glorious across the lake and along the local roads and hills. Potato harvest has just ended and the fields are plowed for another winter. I have taken another 1,000 sunset pictures from the dock and even got to spend most of today on the dock, even though it is mid October and it will be chilly tomorrow. Ducks swim by and the loons are loud in their calls on summer nights. It is my little piece of paradise here in the North woods.