On June 10, 1947 Edna and Edwin Bender decided to build a restaurant with several vacation cabins on a lot they owned on Madison Avenue in Howards Grove. The restaurant and vacation cabins were built for Mission House College (today's Lakeland College) students. It would be a safe and friendly place to gather.
On October 17, 1947 a charcoal grill fashioned out of brick was built and the electrical work was complete. Shortly thereafter, the Bender's were serving sandwiches — Hamburgers and Brats for 15 cents, Steaks for 25 cents, Milkshakes for 20 cents, Malts and Banana Splits for 25 cents, Coffee and Milk for 5 cents, and pie for 20 cents. If you wanted a scoop of ice cream it would be an extra 25 cents. Plate specials came shortly after ranging in price from 75 cents to 1.00.
Business was good and on Labor Day 1947, the cabins were opened. The restaurant was open 24 hours a day and people were always coming and going. After nine years the business was sold to the DeBralls who owned it for six months and then sold to Mary Hemsing and her son, Bobby. George Schoneman Sr. and Eleanor Schoneman purchased the restaurant from the DeBralls in 1957, when George Sr. was 59 and Eleanor was 47. Upon nearing the age of retirement, the Schoneman's sold the restaurant to their son, George Jr. and his wife Ruth. George and Ruth met at Log Cabin when she started serving as a high school senior and George was working for this parents. They purchased the restaurant in 1967 and owned it until March of 2014.
The Schonemans were responsible for removing the cabins in 1969 because they were becoming outdated. The restaurant was remodeled in 1974 to increase the seating to fifty people. In 1985, the current Log Cabin was built.
While many changes took place over the years, the same mission that was given to George and Ruth from the elder Schonemans remains. Give them a clean place, nice portions, and a price that doesn't hit them over the head.
In March of 2014 the Sloma family took ownership from Schonemans. We look forward to continuing the tradition of Log Cabin Inn in Howards Grove and look forward to writing our own chapter in the Log Cabin history book.