Historic Canatara Park cabin on the move again

Canatara Park Cabin November, 2020 (BlackburnNews.com Photo by Melanie Irwin)

The log cabin at Canatara Park is about to move for the third time in its nearly 200-year history.

The City of Sarnia and Lambton County have finalized details to relocate the cabin from Canatara to the Lambton Heritage Museum near Grand Bend.

It’s anticipated the move will happen the week of November 30.

The plan is to separate and brace the roof and second storey to be moved as a separate section. The main floor will be transported separately, and then the two sections will be reconnected at the museum site.

Cultural Services General Manager Andrew Meyer said restoring the cabin at the museum could take years.

“We do have several properties on the site, five historic buildings to be precise, that are in need of significant restoration work themselves,” said Meyer. “So, just in terms of setting expectations, we recognize that restoring this cabin may be an effort that takes several years and it will be at the pace of the success of the fundraising efforts by the advocacy group.”

The “Save the Canatara Cabin” group is spearheading efforts to raise about $100,000. To make a contribution and learn more about the fundraising initiative click here.

“Lambton Heritage Museum is thrilled to add a new historic building to our site,” said Laurie Webb, Manager, Museums, Gallery & Archives. “The Canatara Cabin will be the oldest building at the museum.”

The cabin was originally built in Huron County, where it served as a private residence. It was purchased by the Hanna/Spaulding family in the 1930s and moved to their property on Lakeshore Road in Sarnia. For this move, the cabin was dismantled and floated down Lake Huron, then rebuilt. It was used as a family cottage for many years until the Hay family acquired the building and eventually donated it to the City of Sarnia in the early 1970s. It was moved to Canatara Park in May 1971, where it has served as a community gathering place for the last 49 years.

A replica cabin, with new logs, is to be built in Canatara Park.

-With files from Melanie Irwin