Jersey County Historical Society
601 N. State Street
Jerseyville, Illinois 62052
618-498-3514

webmaster: Beth McGlasson
webmaster@jerseyusa.net
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The McAdams log cabin was built by Leonard Henry McAdams in southwestern Jersey County,
near Pere Marquette State Park.

While the few photos of the cabin that remain may be old and faded, the memories Christina
“Tina” McAdams Lyming has of growing up in the old McAdams log cabin are still bright and
clear in her mind.  Tina was born in the log cabin in 1935 and spent the first 13 years of her life
there.

“Originally, there was just one room with a loft up above, but later my dad built a frame room
and loft area onto it,” Tina says.  “My parents occupied one loft bedroom and the kids the
other.  The boys had a bed and us girls had a bed.”
The McAdams Log Cabin
Tours
To schedule a tour of any or all of our buildings for groups of 10 or more, phone Carol Senger
at 618-498-2811 or 618-639-4749. Smaller groups and individuals can join us at our annual
Apple Festival and tour all our buildings for a nominal fee.
The 1930s was the period right after the
Great Depression. Jobs were scarce, men
were out of work, and families got by the
best they could.

“I was young, but I can remember it being a
very hard time for us,” Tina says.  “I
remember Momma taking old coats and
sewing them together to make covers for us
kids because we couldn’t afford to buy
blankets.  They were so heavy that you felt
like you had been working all night holding
the covers up.  But they kept us warm.”

Living in a log cabin was especially hard in
the rough winters of the 1930s.
“The cabin wasn’t insulated, and I remember
waking up in the morning with snow on my bed,”
Tina recalls.

With no electricity, reading was done the old-
fashioned way – by either candlelight or kerosene
lamp.  “We didn’t have a lot of money to buy the
kerosene, so we always went to bed soon after
dark.  Before we did, Momma would always read to
us.  She would draw us close to the lamp and read
to us from an old book and an old western
magazine because Dad liked western stories.”

Despite the hardships, Tina remembers her years in
the cabin happy.  “As I look back, it was  hard, but
we were always laughing and teasing, and my
mother was always singing. You just did what you
had to do to survive and loved each other.”
Two additional log cabins will be constructed near this log cabin to commemorate the county's
first settlement, Hickory Grove. Construction on the next cabin is expected to begin in 2013.