Skinner’s Log Cabin:
A beautiful replica of the Skinner’s cabin now sits to the south of the playground, near Lincoln St. and Cheshire Ave., some 1,000′ from the site of the original cabin. The replica was built in 1972 by local historians, and originally sited in the trees to the north of the Butte. Cut logs don’t do well in the shadows, due to our climate, and it was moved to its current location in 1996. The signage was added to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Applegate Trail. *
Mr. Skinner first moved into the original cabin in October, 1846. One of the only outposts of civilization, the cabin also was temporary shelter for other desperate sojourners passing through. Cabins of this time period were usually one room and smaller than 400 square feet *
. Hard to fathom by today’s standards, life was unbelievably difficult for the Skinners back then. All food had to be grown, picked, or killed, lest they starve. An adequate supply of dry, seasoned, fire wood was necessary or they would have frozen. All water had to be hauled up hill from the river.
There was no inside plumbing and no flush toilet. Roads were dirt, or as often the case in Eugene, mud. Doctors and dentist were far away, and their knowledge was limited. And, at times, the natives didn’t tolerate the newcomers. It’s amazing they survived at all, and while we can barely imagine the lifestyle of the pioneers, it’s safe to say they couldn’t imagine our modern lives at all–his 13 month trip wouldn’t have even taken 13 hours today; 167 years later ( 2013).