LIMA — Chalk it up to things that would never happen today.In summer of 1916, a group called the Allen County Centennial and Home-Coming Association led by Dr. George Hall started to organize a centennial celebration for August 1917. And they decided to erect a log cabin — like the settlers used, paying homage to the settlement of the county — smack in the middle of the Public Square.“According to the tentative plan, the cabin will be constructed from logs donated by the different townships in the county and will be a reproduction of the old home of Amos Harpster. Pioneers of the county will be requested to assist in constructing the cabin. As many of them consider this a signal honor, it is expected that there will be much competititon between those desiring to take part in building the cabin,” a Nov. 23, 1916, newspaper story reported. Harpster lived in Shawnee Township, and his cabin was his family home.Each of the townships and towns in the county had a representative on this association, and it turned into a kind of contest to see who would donate the most goods or labor.“Word comes from Spencerville that all arrangements have been made to cut 10 big logs for the Centennial Cabin on Jan. 16. When the logs are hauled to that place, a street parade will be given, and this will be followed in the evening by a banquet. The logs will be brought to Lima on Jan. 20, the date of the big cabin ‘raising,' and the feature on that occasion will be an ox roast. Beaverdam has sent word that she will double the number of logs sent by Spencerville,” a Dec. 30, 1916, story reported.Hall, a dentist, oversaw the building project. The cabin was to be built using methods available to settlers, so there were pegs employed instead of nails, for instance. The windows were oil paper, not glass. The working chimney was stone. A sawmill in Harrod was found to be the only place in the county that could authentically mill the clapboards for the roof, and that job — not to mention felling the trees in outlying areas and getting the logs to downtown Lima — caused the building date to be postponed a few times. Word was sent out that 42 hardwood logs were needed, of which 24 needed to be 16 feet long and 10 inches or so in diameter. Even in 1917, this was an undertaking. But Allen County came through. The cabin was 16 by 20 feet, made of lumber donated from Spencerville, Beaverdam, Harrod, Lafayette, Elida, Amanda Township, Bath Township, Shawnee Township, German Township, Marion Township and Lima proper. Some individual families donated small goods to be placed in the cabin — like wooden benches or door hinges.The association sold bronze buttons, made of old government cannons, as a fundraiser. The group also decided to have a parade and festival with a costume ball to close the day. And then plans snarled up a bit. City officials apparently disallowed the festival portion of the event to be held in the square, so the fun and games were moved to the Lima Driving Park. The ball was at Memorial Hall, as planned. Instead of an ox roast, downtown restaurants pitched in for a meal for the workers.Men assembled materials Feb. 12, 1917, and a week later, construction began. About 100 men gathered to help with the construction, and the papers estimated 10,000 watched.“The workers ranged in age from youths, strong and vigorous, to old men with long white beards, their backs bent with age, but their strength invigorated with patriotism and enthusiasm,” a Feb. 22, 1917, story reported. Construction continued until an official grand opening March 1 — and it still wasn't finished.The official celebration was Aug. 6 to 13, 1917, held mainly at the Lima Driving Park. And then, after the event, what would become of the cabin?“Let it always remain in one of Lima's great expanses of green underneath shade trees, where it will be preserved and viewed by thousands of persons each year. There, it can remain, until perhaps another hundred years have passed. The cabin should not be dismantled by any means. The pioneers the sturdy men of sixties, seventies and even eighties who worked with might and main last Washington's birthday to erect the log building should not be forgotten,” an editorial writer commented Aug. 19, 1917.So off it went to Lincoln Park, a park newly dedicated to the city just a few years before. The Frank Sellers House Moving Co. loaded it and trundled it over at a snail's pace. It came to rest across South Shawnee Street from Lima Fire Department's station No. 5. A cement floor was to be poured for it that fall.Little by little, its novelty faded. A parks playground program note from June 29, 1930, reported children should report to the cabin, where assignments were nailed to the door. It's not clear when and why it was razed or what became of the timber. Did its concrete floor become a base for the shelterhouse, which stands roughly in that same location? That's lost to history.Do you remember the cabin? Email Adrienne McGee at email@example.com and tell me about it.