Lambton Museum: Canatara Cabin Restoration
The latest addition to the Lambton Heritage Museum’s collection of historic buildings may just have the most mileage. The Canatara Cabin began life as a log cabin near Goderich around 1830 and spent its first 100 years as a humble building in Huron County. Some time in the 1930s, it was taken apart and floated down Lake Huron to a spot on Lakeshore Road in Sarnia and was the summer home of Maud Hanna, followed by her daughter and son-in-law Margaret and Harry Spaulding for four decades. In 1970,Sarnia City Councillor Lorne Hay purchased the cabin. Unfortunately, severe erosion along the banks threatened the structure, and, in the early 1970s, Hay donated it to the city. The Seaway Kiwanis Club provided some funding to have it moved to Canatara Park, where it was used for community events for years.
Eventually the cabin was identified as a representation of a missing era at the Lambton Heritage Museum and was disassembled and moved to the museum site just outside of Grand Bend, on yet another journey, in December of 2020. The roof and floor were moved in single pieces, but all of the logs were taken apart, numbered and transported to the museum, where they are in storage waiting to be rebuilt.
Now the county is working with a fundraising committee to raise about $100,000 to reassemble and restore the building. The committee is spearheaded by local residents and descendants of families that called this little, well-traveled log cabin home. As of this writing, the group has raised more than a third of its goal.
Once the cabin has been restored, it will be the oldest building at the museum and will be used to tell the story of the earliest European settlers in the area.
Follow the progress of the restoration or help the little cabin get back together again with an online donation at the group’s website at www.lambtonmuseums.ca/canatara-cabin
10035 Museum Rd, Grand Bend