Sun sets on Scout Cabin Going … If these logs could talk Going … Gone!

By on March 14, 2012

Photo by Dennis Bicksler
The Warwick sun set on the Scout Cabin in Lititz Springs Park for the final time Sunday night. It will soon be replaced with a pavilion.

Warwick High School students got one last look at the iconic Scout Cabin in Lititz Springs Park during their Monday morning walk to school.

Shortly after the first bell rang, just across Maple Street, workers with Shirk Construction began ripping into the rotted log structure that has watched over the springs since 1927. It was quickly discovered that the wood was infested with bugs, confirming once again that the building could not be saved. Within an hour, all that remained was the stone fireplace that will be incorporated into a new picnic pavilion.

"Gone, but not forgotten," commented Park Board President Ron Reedy.

Cabin committee members Stephen Palkovic, Don Krushinski and Carl Martin were also on hand for the demolition. Martin hopes to salvage enough wood from the rubble to construct a small model of the cabin, which would then be on display in the Lititz Welcome Center.

"So far, the wood that I see is so deteriorated … we’re just going to have to see. If there’s any wood available, I’ll be glad to create a miniature cabin," he said as the scene unfolded.

A week earlier, memories were shared during a final Boy Scout ceremony at the cabin:

"My father enjoyed working with the Scouts, and his twin brothers became the first Eagle Scouts in Lancaster County. That was in 1918," recalled Necia Hackman Weinhold. Her father was Floyd Hackman, the Scoutmaster who oversaw the construction of the cabin in 1927. "He was very proud. It is with a sad heart that I will observe the end of something that was a long standing accomplishment of my father.

"By the way," she continued, "my father is to blame for all the squirrels that run all over town. He and his Scouts brought them to the park. Unfortunately, they multiplied. Everybody got them."

"Anyone here from the old Troop 44, from right after the Second World War?" asked Joe Hess. "I was a member in ’45, ’46, ’47 and that period. We did all kinds of stuff. We had a very good Scoutmaster, his name was Jim Kready. I often wonder what happened to him. He led us to all sorts of things. We made our own neckerchiefs out of material that he got. We made our own tents out of canvas and we waterproofed them. We did all kinds of things. It was a wonderful time of my life."

"It was usually pretty cold," said former Scout Jim Good in talking about overnight stays at the cabin. "We tried to keep a fire going in the fireplace. The original one was straight through, like ancient times. You could stick your head in the fireplace and see the sky."

Good helped rebuild the original fireplace in the summer of 1959 or ’60.

"We had a lot of fun," added fellow Scout from yesteryear Ken Kline. "We would have a Halloween party here and we could bring a date. My wife Bernice and I had our first date. It would have been in ’56 or ’57

"’57," Bernice confirmed.

"When we had the Halloween party," Ken continued, "we’d have the cider left over here on the floor and we’d keep sipping it. When we got to the end of it, it was like vinegar. It was bad. It was sludge in the bottom. We were nuts."

Legendary Scoutmaster Tom Lehmier also spoke, briefly, during the final gathering.

"The only reason (I want to speak) is that Troop 42 is not here," he said. "I moved to Lititz in 1964 … Bob Herzer was our Scoutmaster and he had to teach during the summer, and so I took over as Scoutmaster. I took Troop 42 to summer camp in 1965, 1966, 1967 and we just had a ball. Once a month, every six weeks, we meet in this cabin."

As of March 12, 2012 "this cabin" is relegated to memories such as these.

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