Each year the Besser Museum hosts two family fun days, Log Cabin Day on the last Saturday of June and Fall Harvest Day on the first Saturday of October. Our annual Log Cabin Day has always had a focus on the times in Alpena’s past. With demonstrations, strawberry sundaes, live music, and games, we celebrate the history, and future, of our area. Each year, to keep the community coming back for more, we choose a specific theme and base the activities around that theme. This year we’ve chosen a “Focus on Forestry,” focusing not only on Michigan’s history of forestry, but the future, as well. We’ll have games, activities, hands-on stations, and live historic reenactments!
Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan
491 Johnson Street, Alpena, Michigan
12pm - 4pm
$1 general admission ~ $1 planetarium shows
Sponsored by the DTE Energy Foundation.
Focus on Forestry
To bring our theme to life, we’ll have Michigan Conservation Officer Bill Webster here speaking with students about the importance of protecting both land and wildlife. This is the first place we want our visitors to stop when they arrive to Log Cabin Day, there will be some great hands-on activities at this station!
Nature Trail Scavenger Hunt
The world is home to over 3 trillion trees! Believe it or not, 11.6 billion of these reside in Michigan. Head out on a scavenger hunt through the Besser Museum’s nature trail. Learn how conservationists and foresters understand trees and determine their species. By the end of this activity, you will be able to identify over 10 of Michigan’s most prominent tree/shrub species.
Life in a Lumber Camp
Life in a lumber camp was hard! The day started at 5am and didn’t end until sundown; which was a full 12-hour day, at least. After supper, there were a few hours before bed….but what to do? They played games, sang songs, told stories and tall tales, and more. Explore an immersive experience into the life of a lumberjack by playing some of their favorite games in the Besser Museum’s Historic Village.
Civil War, Revolutionary War, & Fur Trading Reenactments
Watch history come alive and unfold right in front of you! The Third Battery, First Michigan Light Artillery, a reenactment group portraying Civil War full scale cannon crew and period camps is pleased to be invited to set up and demonstrate a slice of the civil war. They are a family oriented nonprofit group, intent on showing our countrymen some of our history.
Fur Trading with Mike & Lewis Miller
Revolutionary War with Joe & Joyce Demski
Digital Dome Sky Theater
Welcoming Thaddeus LaCoursiere, Digital Dome Program Coordinator
Lions and tigers and bears! In the sky! Learn the forest tales of the night sky in this live, interactive planetarium show. Explore the constellations, planets, and other objects that you can see in your Alpena skies. This 30-minute program will be offered throughout the day, starting at 12:30pm.
NEMAG Really Big Art Sale
The Northeast Michigan Artists’ Guild will be holding a REALLY BIG ART SALE starting Saturday, June 24th at the Log Cabin Day even and will run until the end of the NEMAG exhibit on July 24th. 30% of all art sales will benefit the Besser Museum.
45th Parallel Dulcimers
The dulcimer, sometimes called the “lumberjack’s piano,” is a perfect addition to this year’s Log Cabin Day celebration! From 1pm to 3pm enjoy the "45th Parallel Dulcimers.” The music is traditional acoustic fiddle and dance tunes, celtic and folk songs, most originating from the 1700's and 1800's British, Irish and early American traditions. Current members are Eric Dunckel (bass), Kathleen Dunckel (autoharp), Terry Habermehl (autoharp), Dawn Hayes (hammer dulcimer), and Avery Aten (hammer and mountain dulcimer, percussion).
Founders Society Strawberry Social, Get your picture taken next to Jesse Besser’s Antique Ford Model A, Historic village open to all visitors, take a walk into the Green School: a one room school house, the Maltz Bank, the McCay Cabin, and the Spratt Church (Music by Amy Truth), Butter Making, Fossil Hunting, Give-a-ways, prizes, and more!
For more information, feel free to contact the museum at 989-356-2202 or message us here.