Log Cabin Memorial - Veterans 314th Infantry Regiment A.E.F.


Birdhouses

The Veterans of the 314th Infantry, perhaps with special regard for life after fighting in France during World War 1,
built birdhouses which hung both on the Log Cabin Memorial as well as on posts nearbly.
 
According to James Thomas, son of John L. Thomas, Company E, a master craftsman from Montour County PA,
his father made many if not all of the birdhouses which were placed at the cabin in the 1940's and 1950's.
 
He stated that the idea for the birdhouses originated with Colonel Nicholson, who asked John L. Thomas to construct them.
The idea was that John L. Thomas was to make 12 birdhouses -- one to represent each geographical district of the Veterans 314th Infantry Regiment,
but he died on October 22, 1958 before completing all of them.
The last two birdhouses were completed only one day earlier, on Tuesay October 21, 1958.
 
We know that, as of 1948, there were 13 districts (Allentown, Harrisburg, Lewistown, New England (Rhode Island), New York-New Jersey,
Philadelphia, Reading, Scranton, Shamokin-Mt.Carmel, Sunbury, Washington-Baltimore Western PA, Williamsport)
 
Two red birdhouses with peaked roofs can clearly seen in this enlargement of a Wyco postcard.
According to Mr. Thomas, there were also two more birdhouses (for a total of four) on the two back corners of the Log Cabin.
 
314th Infantry Log Cabin Memorial Birdhouses - enlargement of a Wyco postcard
 
You can get a sense of how important the birds were to many of the Veterans,
in this letter Colonel Nicholson wrote to the family after John L. Thomas passed away: 314th Infantry Log Cabin Memorial Birdhouses - Letter from Colonel Nicholson to Mr and Mrs Thomas October 28 1958
 
314th Infantry Log Cabin Memorial Birdhouses - Letter from Colonel Nicholson to Mrs Thomas October 28 1958
 
Other birdhouses existed at different times, these pieces were salvaged in November 2008 by John Shetler,
from a 10-foot pole near the walkway to the cabin, and clearly show the effects of decades of exposure to the elements... 314th Infantry Log Cabin Memorial Birdhouses - Salvaged Pieces
 
John Shetler drew this sketch to give an idea how the pieces would fit together.
You can see the presence of the dowl-holes in front of the openings in the salvaged pieces above, and the sketch below.
314th Infantry Log Cabin Memorial Birdhouses - Sketch of how Salvaged Pieces would fit together
 
"> 314th Infantry Log Cabin Memorial Birdhouses - John Shetler Reverse-Engineered John L Thomas Birdhouse #1
 
"> 314th Infantry Log Cabin Memorial Birdhouses - John Shetler Reverse-Engineered John L Thomas Birdhouse #2
 
And here is the birdhouse that John Shetler reconstructed, based on templates of the salvaged pieces:
314th Infantry Log Cabin Memorial Birdhouses - John Shetler Replica Birdhouse
 
Although not related in any historical way to the birdhouses above,
if you are looking for a way to get your children or grandchildren (age 8+) interested in the Log Cabin Memorial,
consider building a hobby Log Cabin birdhouse such as the one below:
314th Infantry Log Cabin Memorial Birdhouses - Hobby Log Cabin birdhouse
These are made by "Amenco" as their stock# 60010 and distributed by many hobby stores, for $6 - $9, including online here:

and a very nice example of one that John Shetler made with 79th Division markings is:
314th Infantry Log Cabin Memorial Birdhouses - John Shetler build and painted replica birdhouse with 79th Division markings
 
At 20:10:10 June 23 2017 displayed this 314th.org web page at 173.12.39.201 last modified: July 26 2009