Until 2010, the end of June normally marked the Founder’s Day Celebration in Bethel. The celebration has been absent the last two years, and the lack of funding is preventing the Burke Park Log Cabin Committee from accomplishing their ultimate goal.
“It was supposed to be a fund-raiser to help raise funds for the cabins,” Ron Shouse, committee chairman, said about the Founder’s Day Celebration. “We didn’t feel it would be prudent to use funds to do a festival if we weren’t going to break even.”
So Shouse said the committee called off the festival in 2010 and again this year, and they continue to hold on to the money they have already saved to hopefully put toward future renovations for the cabins at Burke Park.
“We all realize it takes a while,” Shouse said. “The cabins are still very important to us. We have full intentions of getting renovations done.”
Shouse said both the Acord cabin and the blacksmith cabin need significant renovations including new foundation and multiple logs replaced.
The cabins were gifted to the village as a bicentennial celebration project in 1976, and in the years after that, the cabins were used for festivals, family activities and many educational field trips for local students. Shouse said many people tell him they remember spending time in the cabins when they were children in school.
“Those people still remembered that,” Shouse said. “And there is nothing better when you’re trying to teach than to make it stick and be hands on.”
Shouse said he would like to see the cabins used for educational purposes again, and if the committee can raise $10,000, which they already are working toward, they can begin looking for grants that will match that amount and help fund renovations.
“We’d like to have more people involved in this,” Shouse said. “Giving more ideas and ways to do funding.”
Shouse said it has been frustrating trying to accomplish the task with limited funding during rough economic times, but he is not giving up.
After the brief break the committee has taken, he said he plans to recruit some new members this fall this fall in addition to members of the Clermont County, Grassy Run and Bethel historical societies who already participate on the committee.
“I think now there is a great (village) council, we’re excited about the people who are there and working with them when we sit back down in the fall,” Shouse said. “I think it is going to be a good thing.”