Log Cabin Syrup Fund
Restores Four Historic Cabins at Great Smoky
Mountains National Park
1850s Cook Cabin Rebuilt
After 25 Years in Storage
SMOKY MOUNTAINS June, 1999
The sound of axes will ring through the
Little Cataloochee Valley in Great Smoky
Mountains National Park. It's a sound that
hasn't been heard in the area for more than
140 years the sound of building a
log cabin in the wilderness.
historic Daniel Cook cabin, which was dismantled
and stored in a barn for safekeeping 25
years ago, is being reconstructed piece-by-piece
this year. It is one of four historic log
cabins being restored in the Park with the
help of a $250,000 cash gift to the National
Park Foundation from Aurora Foods, Inc.,
makers of Log Cabin syrup.
Ephraim Bales cabin on the Roaring Fork
motor nature trail near Gatlinburg, Tenn.;
and the Willis Baxter cabin off the Madron
Bald trail near Cosby, Tenn., need repairs
on wood-shingled roofs and stone chimneys.
Roof replacement is also slated for the
Ferguson cabin near Maggie Valley, NC on
the Cataloochee Divide trail. All four cabins
were built in the mid 1800s.
Aurora Foods gift, by far the largest cash
gift ever received by the Smokies, was made
through the National Park Foundation (NPF)
to the Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains
National Park. It is part of Aurora Foods'
four-year, $1 million commitment to restore
historically significant log cabins in National
Parks across the country.
addition to funding log cabin restoration,
the Aurora Foods gift will support development
of educational materials and interpretive
programs within the Park. Plans call for
special signage and displays describing
log cabin construction and lifestyle, a
booklet on the Park's log cabins, and a
demonstration project in Cades Cove which
will allow visitors a firsthand view of
the log cutting, hewing and fitting process.
has taken more than a passion for authenticity
to restore the cabins for America. "In spite
of evident need, the Park could not fund
reconstruction of the cabins in the face
of flat federal budgets and increasing demands
on available resources," Park Superintendent
Karen Wade said. "The Log Cabin gift makes
it possible for the Park to address projects
that fall outside of normal operations and
selected materials, tools and techniques
are being used to ensure that the finished
cabins remain true to their original 1850s
construction. To guide Cook cabin reconstruction,
the Park's professional restoration team
is using line drawings and historic photographs.
Occasionally, old timers stop by to offer
advice and share family stories of life
in the valley.
one-room Cook cabin with its two-sided porch
is one of the Park's oldest and finest.
It was dismantled by the Park in the 1970s
after it was partly destroyed by vandals.
As part of the drive to retain authenticity,
the Cook cabin is sited on its original
homestead stone foundation in the remote
Little Cataloochee Valley. The finished
cabin will be dedicated to the Park during
the annual Little Cataloochee Community
Reunion in June.
cabin restoration is a meaningful project
for the Log Cabin brand," said Ed Yuhas,
general manager for Aurora Foods' Breakfast
Division, based in Columbus, Ohio. "It is
entirely appropriate given the brand's history."
The popular maple-flavored syrup was introduced
in 1887 by Patrick J. Towle, who named it
in honor of President Abraham Lincoln's
launched the program last year by restoring
the Gatekeeper's cabin at the north rim
entrance to Grand Canyon National Park.
"Since then, public interest and support
of the Log Cabin restoration project has
been extremely gratifying," Yuhas said.
"Together with the National Park Foundation
and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park,
we are returning more of America's log cabins
to their original condition and bringing
enhanced information and education to visitors."
is a tremendous, immediate need for log
cabin restoration work in our National Parks,"
said Jim Maddy, NPF president. "Thanks to
the creativity and generosity of Aurora
Foods, the National Park Service will be
able to begin addressing current needs in
our National Parks. The 1999 donation will
not only help restore four cabins, it will
also help meet future log cabin restoration
needs in the Great Smoky Mountains through
the creation of a Log Cabin Endowment for
Foods, Inc. (NYSE: AOR) specializes in buying
leading grocery brands in the U.S. and building
their market share. In addition to Log Cabin
syrup, Aurora owns Mrs. Butterworth's
syrup and pancake mixes, and Duncan Hines
baking mixes. In April 1998, Aurora merged
with Van de Kamp's, Inc. of St. Louis,
and added to its portfolio of brands with
Mrs. Paul's line of frozen seafood,
Aunt Jemima frozen breakfast products,
as well as Celeste brands.
National Park Foundation is the official
nonprofit partner of the National Park Service.
Created by Congress in 1967, the Foundation
raises support from corporations, foundations,
and individuals to preserve and enhance
America's National Parks. Over the past
five years, NPF has raised more than $42
million in direct support for the National
Hopfenspirger, National Park Foundation,
Ed Yuhas, Aurora Foods/Log Cabin,
Kim Scher, Lord, Sullivan & Yoder,