by Michelle Schmidt of Inland 360At the Harvest Festival at White Spring Ranch this Saturday, you’ll notice a small wood building in the center of the grounds. With its knotted, hewn logs and basalt chimney, it has the look of having been around a while, if you consider 137 years a while.
There were plenty of log cabins built in Idaho in 1876, but what makes the one at White Spring Ranch unique is that it is the only one still standing in northern Idaho that has its original roof. It goes without saying that a structure like that doesn’t stand the passing of time all on its own.
“The family here has been hobby historians,” said Diane Conroy, museum curator. “So they preserved everything.”
And because they did, the ranch now functions as a non-profit museum and houses a diverse collection of artifacts ranging from magazines to household goods. They offer tours through the historic farmhouse, curio cabin — which served as a roadside museum for years — and this log cabin.
If you’ve ever been curious how a cabin like that was made, then you’ll have the opportunity to find out at the Harvest Festival. With a collection of antique tools, Dave Benson, a hobby historian from Moscow, will demonstrate how logs were hewn and what tools made what marks that are still visible on the cabin.
Now, if fashion is more your thing, a collection of old-fashioned dress-up clothes — along with the expected props — allow visitors to travel back in time and get a free photo.
Besides these interactive history lessons, Shiloh Sharrard and Bodi Dominguez will perform, just as they have each year the event has taken place. Free portrait drawings by Conroy, a visit from the WSU Raptor Club and of course food — Genesee Sausage, chili, baked potatoes and cider — will be featured at the event. You can also take a tour during the festival or any Sunday afternoon, when the museum is open 1-4 p.m.
if you go
WHAT: Third Annual Harvest Festival
WHEN: 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28
WHERE: White Spring Ranch, 1004 Lorang Road, Genesee
COST: Suggested donation of $5, or $4 with can of food for Genesee Food Bank