Monday, March 31, 2008

More upgrades!!!

Things just keep looking up at LCV! We have a new candleshed...which means that our fearless candle dippers can be even MORE fearless when rains and falling leaves approach. Sure...our ancestors probably didn't have a shelter devoted ENTIRELY to dipping candles...but then again, our ancestors probably didn't dip candles year round (which we do...unless the weather's too hot for the wax to stick!)

Pretty, isn't it? A big "thank you" to the City of Fort Worth's Transportation and Public Works Department for providing us such an incredibly beautiful and functional piece of architectural art.

You asked. We listened. We now have six new benches upon which you can rest your weary feet while here at the Village. Although they look very wood-like...they are actually made of a durable plastic material which should last a very long time (and splinters in uncomfortable places!)

We know that many of you have requested real working restrooms instead of portalets also. Good news! We've got new benches! Oh real restrooms anytime soon...but we are definitely still listening! :)

And the final improvement we can take absolutely NO credit for. Within the past week, the Village has been enveloped in her beautiful spring dress. The leaves and greenery have once again emerged making LCV an even MORE memorable escape from the present. From snow in early March to paradise in early April... What a difference a month makes!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Miracle Birth at Log Cabin Village!

Every once in a while something happens that just makes you say hmmmmmm...

Spring Break here is always magical...but this year marks an exceptionally exciting chapter in Log Cabin Village's life! We have witnessed a miracle birth. The sweet fluffy yellow chick was born today at Log Cabin Village...but her arrival remains a mystery since our adult chickens and rooster are, in fact, stuffed animals (and quite incapable of spontaneously reproducing).

She was discovered in the chicken coop with the others when LCV interpreter Dave was bringing the hens in for the night. Divine intervention? A chick separated from her true owner? Or perhaps an anonymous gift from a secret admirer?

Only the shadow knows...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring Break has sprung!

Well after a less than spectacular start to Spring Break week (torrential downpour, anyone?)...Log Cabin Village is again abuzz with activity. The delightful influx of visitors started last week, as some area school districts had their break earlier than Fort Worth ISD. But this week the visitation is in full swing, and the weather is cooperating nicely today!

We love this time of year, not only for its green leaves and flower buds, but also for the budding minds and family togetherness it brings here at the Village. Families celebrate a part of their Spring Break with us, as families have done each year in the more than 40 years we've been open. And each year, as the grounds fill with excited children and eager adults, we feel privileged to be included in their plans.

Thanks, Fort Worth! Thanks, Metroplex! Thanks, Texas! And thanks to the visitors from all 50 states and more than 70 countries who continue to visit us during Spring Break and other times! You all are the reason we're here.

Interested in a fun activity? Here's a scavenger hunt provided by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Shopping with a purpose!

Log Cabin Village is proud to announce that we are now a partner on the Shop for Museums web site!! What is Shop for Museums (SFM), you ask? Here is more information, courtesy the SFM staff:

Partnering with hundreds of museums, parks, zoos, aquariums and science centers across the country, serves as a means to raise much needed money to support operating costs at these facilities. Anyone who shops online can have a portion of their purchase donated to a museum of their choice with no extra cost to the consumer. was developed by a former science museum director in Oregon, who recognized firsthand that adequate support for museum operations is the foundation upon which the future of any museum is built. In a time of ever increasing state and national budget cuts, museums are faced with raising larger amounts of money on their own.

Although major gifts are most often donated for capital projects or endowments, the fiscal health of museums depends on contributions for general operating support. This type of support is often overlooked and we seldom see major social events organized to raise money for museum operations. Yet it is this operating support that keeps museum doors open and their staffs paid. was developed to help raise undesignated funds that museums can put towards their operating costs or where ever their need is greatest.

Consumers can shop with hundreds of national retail merchants and at no extra cost, have a percentage of each online purchase donated to an organization of the shopper’s choice. Examples of merchants include, EBay, Lands’ End, The Sharper Image, USA Today, Office Depot, Chef’s Catalog, Sears, Hickory Farms and FTD Florists. Even major travel companies participate including Delta Airlines, Orbitz, Easy Click Travel and Enterprise Rent-a-Car.

Businesses can choose to contribute on-going support to a museum at no extra cost by ordering monthly office supplies, computers, cellular phones, furniture, corporate gifts and flowers, plus coordinating corporate travel through

Participation is simple and secure. To designate a portion of an online purchase to Log Cabin Village, shoppers simply go to and log in. Then choose to support Log Cabin Village. Shoppers click on the link of the store they would like to visit and go about their shopping. The percentage of each purchase gets tracked automatically as long as shopping begins each time at

Museums serve a vital role within our communities and country. Museums serve as stewards of culture and heritage, as educators of adults and children, as teachers of multiculturalism, as preservers of natural places, and as gathering places within our communities.

Please support Log Cabin Village when you shop online by using

Current Participating Retailers (as of October 2007)
1-800 Contacts
A&E History Channel
ABS Bible and Book Store
Academic Superstore
Accor Hotels
Ace Hardware
Acorn Online
Alaska Airlines
All Aboard Toys
All About Dance
American Express
American Greetings
AmeriHost Inn
Animal Den
Annie's Attic
Ann's Bridal Bargains
Apple iTunes
Apple Store
Appliance Parts
Are You Game
Art Gazebo
Artful Home
Artist's Channel
Astronomy Magazine
AT&T (Cingular Wireless)
Auto Anything
Auto Parts Train
Auto Parts Warehouse
Babies R Us
Bare Necessities
Barnes & Noble
Bass Pro Shops
Bead & Button Magazine
BeadStyle Magazine
Bedford Fair Lifestyles
Best Buy
Best Western
Best Western
Birder's World Magazine
Bits and Pieces
Blooms Today
Blue Dolphin Magazine Superstore
Blue Mountain Cards
Boston Proper
Brigade Quartermasters
Brylane Home
Brylane Wishes
Budget Rent a Car
CafePress Affiliate Program
Calumet Photographic Equipment & Supplies
Calyx & Corolla Luxury Flowers
Cambria Suites
Cambridge Soundworks
Camping World
Candlewood Suites
Canvas on Demand
Carnival Cruise Lines
Casual Living
Casual Male XL
Champs Sports
Cheap Tickets
Cheryl & Co.
Chocolate Source
Choice Hotels
Circuit City
Citrix® GoToMyPC
Clarion Hotels
Classic Closeouts
Classic Toy Trains Magazine
Classic Trains Magazine
Coldwater Creek
Collectibles Today
Collectors' Choice Music
Colorful Images
Colorful Images
Comfort Channel
Comfort Inn
Comfort Suites
Company Kids
Constant Contact
Constructive Playthings
Cooks' Channel
Costume Craze
Country Inns & Suites
Create For Less
Critics' Choice Video
Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts
Crucial Technology
Current Address Labels
Cutter & Buck
Dale & Thomas Popcorn
David's Cookies
Days Inn
Dell Home & Home Office
Dell Outlet
Delta Airlines
Design Public
Design Toscano
Design Within Reach
Diamonds International
Dick Blick Art Materials
Dick's Sporting Goods
Discount Office Supplies
Disney Shopping
Doctors Foster & Smith
Dollar Rent A Car
Drapers & Damons
Dutch Gardens
Easy Click Travel
Easy Comforts
Eddie Bauer
Eddie Bauer Outlet
EMS Eastern Mountain Sports
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Executive Essentials
Fannie May
Fashion Bug
Femail Creations
FineScale Modeler Magazine
Finish Line
Fishing Channel
Four Points by Sheraton
Fox Rent-a-Car
Franklin Covey
Franklin Mint
Freelance Work Exchange
Garden Railways Magazine
Gardener's Supply Co.
Gardens Alive
Hallmark Flowers
Hammacher Schlemmer
Harry and David
HBO Store
Hechinger Hardware
Hello Direct
Henry Fields
HFC/Beneficial Finance
Hickory Farms
Highlights Catalog & Magazine
Hilo Hattie
Holiday Classics
Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn Express
Holiday Inn SunSpree Resorts
Hollywood Megastore
Home Decorators Catalog Outlet
Home Decorators Collection
Home Depot
Hotel Indigo
Howard Johnson
HP Home & Office Store
HP Small & Medium Business
HP Snapfish
HSN- Home Shopping Network
InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
International Male
International Star Registry
Internet Florist
Irv's Luggage Warehouse
Jackson & Perkins
James Avery
Jean M
Jessica London
Jewelry Television
Jos. A Bank
Just Flowers
Just My Size
Kalmbach Publishing
Kitchen Collection
Knights Inn
Kodak EasyShare Gallery
La Redoute
Lands' End
Lane Bryant
Lane Bryant Catalog
Last Minute Travel
Lending Tree
Lighting Direct
Lillian Vernon
Linens N' Things
LinenSource, Inc.
Little Tikes
Liz Claiborne
Lonely Planet Travel Guides
Luggage Online
Magic Cabin
Magic Cabin
Mainstay Suites
Mantis Garden
Marriott Hotels
Michigan Bulb
Microsoft - Windows Marketplace
Miles Kimball Company
Model Railroader Magazine
Montana Legend
Monterey Bay Clothing
Montgomery Ward
Mothers Work
Motorcycle Superstore
Mrs. Fields Gifts
Museum Store Company
Musician's Friend
My Twinn
My Wedding Favors
My Wines Direct
National Business Furniture
National Geographic Store
National Pet Pharmacy
NetZero Internet
New Century Television
New Line Cinema Studio Store
Newspaper Subscriptions
Nickelodeon Shop
Nirvana Chocolates
Norm Thompson
Northern Tool and Equipment
Now & Forever
Office Depot
Office Furniture
Old Navy
Omaha Steaks
Only Natural Pet Store
Organic Bouquet
Oriental Trading Company
Outdoor SuperStore
Overstock Art
Paragon Sports
Park Seed
Parts America
Paul Fredrick Menstyle
Payless Shoes
PC Connection
Personal Creations
Personalization Mall
PETCO Animal Supplies
Pfaelzer Brothers
Pictures on Gold
Pitney Bowes
Plow & Hearth
Problem Solvers
Quality Inn
Radisson Hotels & Resorts
Rail Europe
Ramada Inn
Rand McNally Online Store Readers Digest
Red Envelope
Relax The Back
Resume Rabbit
Road Loans
Road Runner Sports
Rodeway Inn
ROOTS Direct
Sandals & Beaches Resorts
Scale Auto Magazine
Sears Home Center
Sears Room for Kids
Sears Showplace
Sharper Image
Shop NBC
Sierra Club
Sierra Trading Post
Signature Days
Simply Audiobooks
Six Flags
Sleep Inn
Smart Bargains
Soft Surroundings
SONY Image Station
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Sports Weekly
Spring Hill
Star Wars
Staybridge Suites
Stonewall Kitchen
Suburban Extended Stay Hotels
Sunglass Hut/Watch Station
Super 8 Motel
Sur La Table
Switch Hits, Inc.
Tailgating Basics
TaxBrain Online Tax Service
Tech Depot
The Baby Outlet
The Body Shop
The Bombay Company
The Company Store/Company Kids
The Front Door
The Paragon
The Pfaltzgraff Co.
The Popcorn Factory
The Sports Authority
The Swiss Colony
The Tire Rack
The Wall Street Journal
The Wine Messenger
The Writer Magazine
Things Remembered
Thompson Cigar
Thrifty Rent-A-Car
Tiger Direct
Tool King
Tower Records
Toys R Us
Trains Magazine
Traveler's Channel
Tree Givers
Trump University
U. S. Toy Company
Uncommon Goods
US Auto Parts
US Olympic Shop
USA Today
Value Line
Verilux Healthy Lighting
Verizon Wireless
Vermont Country Store
Vermont Teddy Bear Co.
Vitamin World
Walter Drake
Wards Kids
Warner Bros. Online Shop
Wayside Gardens
West Marine
Wicks' End Candles
Willow Ridge
Wine Enthusiast
Wingate Inn
Woodwind & Brasswind
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
Wyndham Vaction Resorts
Wynn Las Vegas
Your Kids Direct, Inc.
Yves Rocher
Zappos Shoes
ZooBooks Magazine

**See for the most recent list of participating stores.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sights that make your heart smile...

You know...most people can't help but smile when they see certain things...those silly e-mail forwards with photos of cats perched in precarious positions, babies giggling, and kids being--well--kids.

Working at Log Cabin Village, we are surrounded with sights that make your heart smile on a regular basis. Today we had Timber Tales preschool storytime, and seeing 30 or so 3-5 year olds in vests, bonnets, and aprons is a priceless thing indeed...especially when they are frantically performing "Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" with me. I love the little ones...and I love how much they enjoy being out here at the Village and hearing the stories.

Here are some Village sights that will make your heart smile also:

Bugles the cat, hard at work in the wagon...

An intrepid homeschool group (today's storytime participants) experiencing the blacksmith shop

Two former Village volunteers, Khanay and Reagann

A helping hand...

Sweet Iris...enough said.

Taffy the cat in a teeny tiny basket

Checking out the smokehouse...

Fred being a kid again playing with the buzzsaw...

Washing clothes during "Wagons West..."

Are you smiling yet?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"Wood"n't you know it?

As a follow-up to our blacksmith interview, today I spoke with Steven Suarez--the Village "jack of all trades"--about woodworking on the frontier. Here's what Steven had to say:

R: What are some of the wooden things that were probably made by hand in frontier Texas?

S: When people traveled to Texas by covered wagon, they had very little room for their possessions--particularly bulky furniture. They would commonly have to make their furniture once they got here to Texas (or whatever other place they were traveling). Families needed beds, chairs, and tables, so furniture-making was quite important. Other useful things were also made by hand, like tool and farm implement handles. If you broke your ax handle while you were out working, you would need to know how to replace it!

R: Why would a woodworker use a shaving horse?

S: The shaving horse was a quick and easy way to clamp wood that you were interested in making round stock (round wood) from. Round stock would be used for tool and gardening handles. You could also use the shaving horse for tapering shakes (shingles) for roofs. The shaving horse's method of clamping (by using your foot rather than having to screw a clamp down) allowed the woodworker to turn and move the wood freely and quickly as it was being shaped. This saved time AND energy.

R: What's your favorite frontier tool to use? Why?

S: I think it would have to be the spokeshave. The spokeshave offers a way to free hand a lot of different shapes in the wood. I've used it to make a hammer and ax handles, legs for a three-legged stool, and other "rounded" projects. It's good for rounding over wood with precision.

R: Which of your woodworking projects are you most proud of?

S: The reconstruction of the Reynold's smokehouse. I hand-hewed two of the replacement logs myself. I enjoyed the challenge of putting it all back together with the proper log placement--it was like working a jigsaw puzzle. You had to look to the wood for clues as to how it all fit together. I draw great satisfaction and enjoyment out of working with wood and creating things with my hands. I feel that God blessed me with the talent, and I'm very grateful to be able to use it here.

Thanks so much, Steven! Come see Steven in action this Saturday!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Blacksmith Q & A...

Today I’m visiting with Village blacksmith and store clerk Michael Garrett. Michael is going to share a little information about blacksmithing in anticipation of our upcoming event on Saturday.

R: Michael, why would a frontier Texas community have wanted a blacksmith around?

M: The isolation of the frontier, with its scarcity of available tools and hardware, made a blacksmith invaluable. The Texas frontier was removed from the industrialized centers in the eastern part of the United States, so people there were more reliant upon handmade and hand-forged goods. It wasn’t until later in the 19th century, when the railroad made its way through the frontier, that the role of the blacksmith changed. As goods became mass produced and more widely available, it became cheaper to replace an object than repair it. Blacksmiths remained important, however. They just adapted their roles to serve the existing need.

R: What kinds of things did the blacksmith make?

M: It would be difficult to narrow down to a short list! They made wagon parts, farm tools, and even did some farrier and gunsmithing work. If it was made of metal and it was needed, then more than likely a blacksmith made it.

R: What misconceptions do people have about 19th century blacksmiths?

M: Well, people tend to think that they only made horseshoes. Kids typically think that they made swords. I think these perceptions come from the movies. In reality, blacksmiths made all of the items I mentioned before and more. Also people usually think that nail-making was the blacksmith’s most important job. By the time of the Texas frontier, most people could buy manufactured nails fairly easily. You could get these “cut nails” by the barrel. In addition, making a nail is a fairly straightforward task that could be learned by a novice in basically one day. Most people wouldn’t rely on a blacksmith’s expertise for such a simple job.

R: So the old story about burning down the house to save the nails isn’t true?

M: It’s more than likely true, but probably not of our time period. It would more than likely apply to the Colonial American time period (18th century), before manufactured nails were available. At that time, most nails were hand-wrought and therefore QUITE valuable.

R: What made you first interested in blacksmithing?

M: I’ve always been interested in technology and mechanical things. I decided it would be a fun hobby. I’ve been blacksmithing for 15 or 16 years now, although I’ve only been here at the Village for a little more than 5 years.

R: Well we’re glad you’re here! Thanks for chatting with me today, Michael!

Be sure to come see Michael in action this Saturday!

For more information on blacksmithing, please visit the North Texas Blacksmiths Association or The Artist Blacksmith’s Association of North America.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Kudos? Comments? Concerns?

We now have our evaluations online! Check them out in the blog's left-hand column entitled "Tell us what you think."

If you've visited us recently, please let us know "the score." If you came on a group tour, please click "Group Tour Evaluation." If you were a walk-in general visitor, please click "General Visitor Survey."

We want to hear from YOU!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Scenes from the Village on a Wintry morning...

I've always theorized that Log Cabin Village is so scenic, you can point your camera any direction, "click," and come out with a beautiful photograph. The images are made even more breathtaking when snow dots the landscape.
For your viewing pleasure--

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Ides of March...

There's no reason to "beware the Ides of March" this year! We've got a fun event planned for March 15th that we've affectionately dubbed "man day" at Log Cabin Village. Women are very much encouraged to participate, however, so come join our celebration of the 19th century "manly arts." Here's the scoop:

Saturday, March 15, 2008: Strike While the Iron’s Hot! Log Cabin Village, 2100 Log Cabin Village Lane, Fort Worth. 817.392.5881. 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. $3.00 for ages 4-17 and seniors, $3.50 for ages 18 and up, 3 and under free. ($2 additional charge to stamp leather). Experience life before hardware and lumber stores! See the blacksmith hand-forge unique creations, take a turn working wood at the shaving horse, help plow the field, and make your own stamped leather craft to take home. This day is for do-it-yourselfers! No reservations required.

If a casual story with 15-30 of your closest friends (if your friends are in the toddler/preschool set) seems more your style, then join us on March 14th for a tale in the Marine Schoolhouse:

Friday, March 14, 2008: Timber Tales Preschool Storytime Log Cabin Village, 2100 Log Cabin Village Lane, Fort Worth. 817.392.5881. 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. $3.00 for participating children, $2.00 for adults. Featured story: The Quilt Story by Tony Johnston. Bring your 3-5 year old to the Village for an exciting step back into the world of 1800s Texas! Little "Villagers" can don bonnets, aprons, and vests as they gather 'round to hear stories of days gone by. $3 fee includes a preschool story, fun activities, and a craft. Please call 817-392-6769 to make your reservation (required).

We hope to see you at one (or both) of these fun events! Be watching the blog for some cool blacksmithing talk with one of our talented blacksmiths, Michael Garrett.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Wait...something's different...

This morning--in raw, blustery, dampish conditions--a part of Log Cabin Village history came tumbling down. The iconic archway that had graced the Village's entry for decades was demolished due to age and continuing deterioration. This marks another exciting upgrade for Log Cabin Village...and proves that we are continually striving to make things better each day! Thanks to the fantastic Parks and Community Services Trades professionals who handled this task under less than ideal weather conditions!

Here are some photos from the demo:

The entry prior to demolition

Removing the bollards stacked around the tall poles

Removing the center of the arch

One of the giant side poles after being sawn off

A view of our new entry...we think it's quite nice!