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.
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:
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...
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.
And here is the birdhouse that John Shetler reconstructed, based on templates of the salvaged pieces:
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:
These are made by "Amenco" as their stock# 60010 and distributed by many hobby stores, for $6 - $9, including online here: