By Brenda Tollett
ADA — Norene Harden recently donated a family heirloom to PAST (Preserving Area Stories in Time). She gave the organization the wood-burning cook stove used by her father, Andrew J. Harden.
The stove was placed in the Campbell Log Cabin at Wintersmith Park, which is similar to the home in which Harden lived for many years.
Harden and his wife, Elizabeth, raised 10 children in the two-room log cabin he built approximately one mile east of Fittstown between 1880 and 1882. Harden farmed the fertile land on which the cabin stood and kept his family well fed by also raising cows and hogs.
In the 1930s, oil was discovered in the area around the log cabin. An oil town, Harden City, sprang up and was named for Andrew Harden. Harden leased his land to the oil companies, except for the 10 acres where his log cabin stood.
Although a wealthy man, Harden valued the beauty of the land on which his cabin sat. He refused to leave the peace and quiet of his beloved cabin surrounded by only the basics of life.
The old 1914 cook stove was still in use by Harden when he died in 1941.
Campbell Log Cabin was donated by Barbara E. Price and Phyllis C. Barnes, both of Ada. The sisters' parents, Cecil and Nell Campbell, purchased the cabin in the early 1970s near Heavener. It was dismantled and moved to Fittstown, where it stayed until 2001 when it was moved to Wintersmith Park.
Other items that have been donated to the cabin include a dining table by Bob Christelli, an antique opossum bellied cabinet and rocking chair from Elaine Lawson, an heirloom trunk from Ann Klepper, a quilt of Ada's history made by Wathina Winter's fourth grade class, a rope bottomed bed and chair made by Eddy and Merle Ballard, a chamber pot to place under the bed by Mrs. Joe Roberts, a wooden keg stool for sewing and Daisy butter churn by Billie Floyd, cotton sack from Doyle Johnson and curtains and ticking sewn by Alberta Blackburn.
By Brenda Tollett
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