What did George Tillson’s log house look like? We don’t really know – that’s up to you to decide in Annandale National Historic Site’s social media contest. Use your imagination to create drawings, digital art, Lego, video game (Minecraft) – or whatever materials you like to show George’s log house. Post a photo of your design on the Annandale NHS or email it to email@example.com. The deadline has been extended to April 6.
The museum will choose its favourite five entries, which will go on Facebook for an online poll to determine the ‘creativity winners’ for 10-18 and adult divisions. There will also be category for ages 1-9 with winners randomly selected.
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“195 years ago, on March 19, 1825, George Tillson officially established what would become Tillsonburg,” said Kathleen Watkin, Museum Program Coordinator. “And he did this by… building a log cabin ‘two logs high’ (approximately 20 feet). In order to claim land you had to build a home ‘two logs high’. So as soon as he did that he had claimed that land as his own – and that land would eventually become Tillsonburg.
“It was built with logs,” she noted. “There are no photographs (or sketches) of it that we know of. So people can make it whatever they think it would look like – it can totally be whatever they want it to be. We’re totally leaving it up to them. Use toilet paper if you want – anything that’s in the house.”
“To me, it looks like a 20-by-20-by-20 log cabin, just like a big square,” said Watkin. “We do know actually that it had two rooms, the kitchen was separated, but in my mind it’s just a big square. I don’t think he would have done anything fancy. He did go on to build a lot more homes, this was just his home so he could claim land and start building mills.”
George’s wife, Nancy, was not present when the cabin was built, but moved in later with several Tillson children.
There is an Ontario historical plaque noting the area of Tillson’s log cabin on Old Vienna Road near the antique store.