How To Move a Log Cabin

| June/July 2000

64958 M-43 Highway, Bangor, Michigan 49013

Early risers on a Sunday morning last spring may have had to wipe the sleep from their eyes a second time as they glanced out their windows into the fog and spotted a log cabin moving down the middle of their road! On closer inspection, they would have also seen Michigan Flywheelers Museum Treasurer Ed Hills on his 1954 600 Ford pulling the cabin and members of the Flywheelers following closely behind.

While members of engine and tractor clubs often get involved in rather strange projects, moving this cabin from Ed's home on 62nd Street to the Flywheelers property on 68th Street near South Haven has been one of the more interesting. The Michigan Flywheelers Museum is a 501c3 non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to the restoration and preservation of antique tractors and engines. They host one of the largest antique engine and tractor shows in the state every September after Labor Day.

The fun began with members planning out how to move the cabin.

Plan One began that fall with plans to apply for a Sunday morning moving permit, wait for the roads to get frozen, a cold winter weekend day and a nice layer of snow. Then chain the cabin to a tractor and drag it over to the property which was about five miles away. Problem was it never got cold or snowy enough to do this.

Plan Two developed that spring as several of the guys were over at vice president Larry Weniger's garage building trailers to use during the show. Pretty soon the conversation turned into a planning session as different ideas were tossed around on how to move the log cabin. An I-beam that Larry was planning on installing under his house soon became the focus of the second plan. The beam, plus axles and wheels, were then hauled over to Ed's house. The beam was slid under the cabin which had been sitting on top of jacks all winter ready to be moved. Axles and wheels were hastily bolted on and presto- the cabin was ready to go! 'Course by now, the guys were pretty proud of themselves and their bright ideas. The next challenge was to see if the tractor could actually pull it. Calls were hastily made to other members for help, and the move was scheduled for the next day which happened to be Sunday. Could this actually work? The final test would come with the next daybreak!