1886 Log House
This is a one and a quarter-storey cedar log house that was originally situated in the former St. Vincent Township of Grey County. It is now altered, with the addition of a new foundation and verandah, but the beams and most of the logs are from the original structure. It has its original enclosed, steep stairwell, which has a storage cupboard built into it to serve the parlour. The stairwell has been altered with a handrail to assist visitors going up the stairs to view the open bedroom area upstairs. In the old days, there likely had been curtain partitions upstairs, as this is the only sleeping area for the family. The kitchen has a back door and a 19th-century cast iron range, but no hand pump, so the family would have had to bring water into the house using buckets from a well or other water source. The kitchen floor has a lift hatch in one area, with a small storage area beneath to keep food cool.
The first owner of this building was William Groom Raven (b. 1813-d. 1907). The original year of construction is believed to be 1843, at Lot 25, Concession 7, St. Vincent Twp., Grey County. According to an 1853 bargain and sale document, William Groom Raven purchased the land at Lot 25, Concession 7 from Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Bond (Quakers), but he likely was in St. Vincent in the 1840s. The land was originally issued to Mr. Price Mallory from the Crown in 1843. Mr. Mallory was a land investor who had the "Mallory Tract" in St. Vincent, which had a number of land disputes and difficulties. Information about the early settlers of the area can be found in the book, St. Vincent: A Beautiful Land (2004). William Raven, and his first wife, the former Elizabeth Wilcox, had ten children. It is believed that of Martha Raven and her husband were married in this building. Although she and her husband Albion Jay had a service at a local schoolhouse earlier, they repeated their vows at the log home. William Raven later moved away from the property in 1885.
Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Doran occupied the house after 1902, and raised two daughters there, Rose and Mabel. Ben Doran, and his wife Annie (nee Patterson), both loved music. Ben was a fiddler, and Annie a step dancer. In the 1930s, known as "Buena Vista", with a front verandah and side addition on it, the house was operated as a small tourist home in addition to being the Doran's residence. In 1940, the property was purchased by Walter Perks, a son-in-law of the Dorans, who had married the former Rose Doran.
In 1942, during the Second World War, the Dominion Government expropriated a large area of land in St. Vincent and Sydenham Townships for a war-time Armoured Fighting Vehicles range (A.F.V. Range, later the Meaford Tank Range). Fortunately, this old log house was outside the boundary of the new range and was spared destruction. The last occupancy of the cabin was in 1957. Mr. and Mrs. Gandier of Meaford purchased the property from Walter and Rose Perks.
After the County of Grey-Owen Sound Museum was opened in 1967, there was a need to provide a visual display context for many of the pioneer-era artefacts that were in the collection. The museum also had fundraising and volunteer support from the local Women's Institute groups, so there were some women willing to dress up and interpret the period building. The new museum board purchased the log house in 1967. It was later moved along Highway 26 and brought to Owen Sound to be renovated, given a new front verandah and stone foundation. It was officially opened to museum visitors on June 7, 1969. From 1969-2004, this building was furnished and interpreted as a domestic re-creation of a circa 1900 rural farm house. It also was a demonstration and educational area for local schoolchildren, who learned, in hands-on fashion, 19th-century tasks such as making apple sauce, rug hooking, and churning butter. On special event days, the parlour and porch also provided space for fiddlers, continuing the musicality of the house's history.
The log house was moved to Moreston Heritage Village on March 21, 2006 and put onto a new foundation. From 2007, to the present, the building has been furnished as a re-creation of a c.1885 rural farm house. The building is interpreted by costumed volunteers to help interpret its contents, and it is also used for school tours as well as demonstrations and occasional musical or programming performances.
First built at the County of Grey-Owen Sound Museum in 2000 to provide shelter for two calves loaned for a summertime livestock display at the museum, the building was moved to Moreston Heritage Village in 2004 and retrofitted to create a hen house, in order to display a small flock of heritage breed chickens. The coop houses some of the older traditional chicken breeds such as Golden-laced Wyandotte, Plymouth Rock, Susses and Leghorn giving visitors a glimpse into the breeds once popular though out Grey County. The importance of the backyard chicken coop was twofold: it provided the family a food staple, but also was means of earning income.
Log House's Outhouse
Built by Museum staff in 1992 this structure replicates a privy (outhouse) for the Log House building. It is not intended for use, but to add visual authenticity to the site.