Cabin fundraiser

DeSoto County Museum curator Robert Long sits on a bench in front of the Crumpler-Ferguson log cabin adjacent to the Hernando museum building on East Commerce Street. A bluegrass benefit event on Sunday, Sept. 8 will help raise funds to aid in the restoration of the cabin, which dates back to the 1850s.

In a few days, the sounds of bluegrass will be wafting in the air, along with the sweet smell of BBQ, hot dogs, and the tasty delights of ice cream.

It will all be emanating from the DeSoto County Museum in Hernando, where the focus will be the Crumpler-Ferguson Log Cabin next door.

The cabin has seen a lot of DeSoto County history since it was first built in the 1850s, according to Museum Curator Robert Long, adding it is also historic in its design.

“It is one of the oldest existing examples of the dog-trot style of home,” Long said. “It was called that because the dogs would trot down the middle of its open breezeway. The old folks used to sleep out there at night and the kids did, too. This cabin could sleep up to 20 people.”

Musical entertainment for the evening on Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. will come from the Baltimore, Maryland-based Kolodner Quartet, led by the father-son tandem of Ken and Brad Kolodner. According to a website for the Kolodners, “they weave together a captivating soundscape on hammered dulcimer, banjo and fiddles pushing the boundaries of the Old-Time tradition into uncharted territory.”

Local musical acts, like folk guitarist Brian Blake and Tony Manard, will also be on hand.

Bluegrass is the music of choice for the night because of the many weekly jamborees that had been held on the porch of the log cabin, events that had to be put on hold with the cabin’s disrepair.

Long hopes about $10,000 can be raised at the “Catch the Cabin Fever” evening to help pay for continued upkeep of the historic attraction.

“It is not the oldest building in DeSoto County, but it is one of the oldest,” Long said. “We have several that date maybe just a few years older, but it is certainly one of the oldest.”

The Krewe of Hernando, DeSoto Arts Council, the Maddox Foundation, and Martin Design are helping to sponsor the event. Sonny’s BBQ of Hernando is providing their tasty food.

“Over the past 20 years, Sonny Daniels has placed in the top eight chefs in the world at the Memphis in May festival,” Long pointed out. “Sonny Daniels is going to be selling his barbecue, but donating half of the proceeds to the cabin repair.”

Daniels is also a wood carver, Long added, and a limited number of wooden pens that Daniels has made from leftover wood of the cabin will be up for sale.

The cabin has alternately served as a field hospital, Confederate soldier hideout, restaurant and a long-time residence of some of the county’s earliest pioneers.

Cash only admission of $12, or $15 for a front-row seat, will be on sale that night on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking will be available at the nearby Hernando Baptist Church.

The Crumpler-Ferguson Log Cabin was brought to its current location about two decades ago from its original location after being carefully dismantled and reassembled.

Long said hopes the see the repaired cabin become a focus of historical displays and living history demonstrations. lye-soap making, cheese making, butter churning, quilting and other crafts, to be resurrected and taught to future generations.

The DeSoto County Museum is located at 111 E. Commerce Street in Hernando.

Bob Bakken is Managing Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune.