2016 January 01: More on the Log Home Philosophy

log yard.jpg

Log home owners are a different breed. Mavericks, square heads, stubborn, romantic, dreamers.

A look back in history at the log home: according to Wikipedia, the first log homes were built in 3500 B.C., although Scandinavia is the traditional home of log buildings.  As Scandinavians and other Europeans migrated to North America, they brought the traditions with them. The peak of complexity was reached with the Adirondack style. Each region of the country had its own tweaks, depending on what kind of wood was available, and the skill of the builder.  Abraham Lincoln is probably the most famous log home owner, and the trend since then has been either pride in the fact that you were born in a log cabin, or derision about the fact that you were born in a log cabin. Since I was not born in a log cabin, I guess neither applies.

But the appeal of a log home doesn’t attract everyone. Here in the South, there are a few hewn oak cabins in museums…..My wife didn’t even think anyone still lived in them. Out West, where I’m from, if you own a vacation home, it’s probably a cabin, because there aren’t very many resort towns with anything else in them. Even if it is made out of brick and is on the side of a golf course, you call it a cabin.

But back to the main point- that log home owners are a different breed: according to the Chicago Tribune:

Owners “tend to be individualists, people who want something a little different.”  The houses are certainly not for everyone, but their owners love the rustic atmosphere, with the overtones of self-reliance and natural living.

That’s it for me: self-reliance and natural living. I have a theory that everything civilization needed for survival and comfort was invented by the mid-1930’s. Everything after that is just, well-, “fluff”. But what about computers? Meh- they are nice, and speed things up- but I don’t think they are “necessary”. We sent a couple of guys to the moon using slide rules, for the most part…..

But I think the biggest turning point for me was a book on my great-aunt’s shelf in Escalante, Utah, that I was bored enough to read one day while a teenager on summer vacation.  I don’t remember the title, but the point of the book was that you could grow or raise everything you needed on 1 acre of land. I was completely fascinated. I’ve always felt like I was born 150 years too late. My great-ancestors pulled handcarts across the plains with Brigham Young, and some of them settled the harsher climates of Utah- St. George, Escalante, and Leeds, Nevada. John D. Lee, the owner of Lee’s Ferry (which is still one of the only places you can cross the Colorado River in Utah), is among my ancestors.

Building a log cabin is about as close as you can get to settling the West these days. And as I just saw on Facebook:


I’m scared….and a little excited.  Happy New Year!

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