Sign and Kiosk Installed

lc_120Myers Park bustled with scores of volunteers working hard to build a new playground in Myers Park.  The project is led by the Lansing Community Council, which took the lead in raising nearly $120,000 so far and getting volunteers together to construct the community project.  Across the park, another Community Council project was having a piece installed as well.  The North Log Cabin, which was originally built in Lansing in 1791 and was reassembled in the park had another piece installed, every bit as important as the cabin itself: a kiosk holding a sign telling visitors about the cabin and its unique Lansing history.

The kiosk project was designed and led by Martin Keefe as part of the requirements for becoming an Eagle Scout.  Eagles must earn 21 merit badges, serve actively for a period of six months in a leadership role in his troop, and plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project.  Keefe chose the kiosk project as a needed element of the cabin project that would not only serve as a historical marker, but tie it in with other features already in Myers Park.

"I looked at other kiosks around the park and took measurements and made diagrams," Keefe says.  "From there I adapted them into blueprints.  I started planning this and got the plan approved in December."

Martin Keefe begins unloading the kiosk at the park

Construction began in April.  Troop 48 Leader Steve Jones donates $100 to each eagle scout so they can get started on their project.  Keefe got Baker Miller Lumber to donate about $60 of wood including the 4x4s and 2x4s.  The rest was purchased the plywood from Lowes.  Keefe contributed some of his own money and his father made a donation of the concrete for the footings.

CabinTimelineSign6-2009_800 The coated aluminum sign was donated by the Lansing Star.  It shows a time line depicting the cabin's history from 1791 to the present.  The cabin was taken apart and reassembled three times.  The first was in 1844 when Daniel Tichenor moved it about a mile north of its original site.  It was taken apart and reassembled behind the Cayuga Museum in Auburn in 1958.  In 2007 it was disassembled yet again to be returned to Lansing, and assembled for the fourth time last fall in Myers Park.

Beginning in April groups of about six scouts and two adults met at the Keefe garage to put the kiosk together.  Altogether about a dozen scouts worked on the project.  Keefe made an effort to match the look of other kiosks around the park, then tied it in with the look of the log cabin by matching the shake shingles used on the cabin's roof and choosing a stain color that he says will match the color of the 1791 logs after about a year of fading in the sun.

"Working on it was fun but it was also demanding," he says.  "It's not like a project where youth volunteer and adults in charge instruct the youth on what to do.  I was the instructor.  My Dad and Mr. Coles and Mr. Colt have given me advice, but I've been the one making the decisions.  That's a big change from the rest of my life where I am always the one taking orders -- 'Martin dig a hole here...'  Now it's 'Dad dig a hole here.'  It's interesting."

Keefe worked with Town Of Lansing officials including Park Superintendent Steve Colt and Highway Superintendent Jack French.  Before Saturday he marked the spot where the posts would go.  Colt approved it and the French's crew dug the post holes.  Saturday Keefe's father Bob and Mike Coles showed up early to help set Sonotubes in the holes to act as moulds for the concrete footings that will keep the kiosk securely supported in front of the cabin, near the park entry road.

"Originally I wanted to put it by the cabin," Keefe says.  "Then I realized that putting it closer to the road would be a lot better because not everyone is going to take the time to walk up to the cabin.  If it's closer to the road they may pull over and see it.  You can still experience the history of the cabin and I think more people will be drawn to it closer to the road."


Keefe says his favorite part was the planning.

"Drawing the blueprints was cool," he says.  "You always see blueprints in movies and real life, and I got to draw all the specs for this myself."

Most of the project must be completed before an applicant's 18th birthday to qualify for Eagle Rank.  That gives Keefe another month and a half to do paper work and get it approved by the Troop Committee and District Committee.  The final step is to take his Eagle Board review.

Last summer the Lansing Community Council raised $17,000 to reassemble the cabin that had been originally built near the intersection of Searles and Conlon Roads in Lansing in 1791 by Revolutionary War veteran Thomas North.  The council is currently raising another $10,000 to pay for part of the roof, chinking, and doors and window shutters, which Community Council President Ed laVigne says he hope will be finished before August 14th, the date of this year's Lansing Harbor Festival.