If you are one of the people that still associate log cabins with Abraham Lincoln and the first-generation settlers, you would not be the only one. After all, the wooden cabin has been a symbol of the American working class and humble beginnings since its inception.
In fact, history records at least seven of the early US presidents who were born in this type of house. Later on, many of their successors would use this symbol to display that they were “men of the people” in their political campaigns.
But these structures hail from way before the establishment of the New World. The ancient Romans noted that log cabins were a frequent occurrence in Europe. Best suited for cold climates, they were more often found on the Scandinavian Peninsula and Eastern Europe. For a more detailed approach, go to this link: http://oldeuropeanculture.blogspot.com/2015/11/log-cabin.html
The roots of the log homes
The first iterations of these buildings were very simple. Their architects stacked rows of wooden logs on top of each other and fill in the gaps between them with things like mud and wood chips for better insulation. Moreover, they were devised to be portable, especially in the unforgiving and unpredictable Scandinavian weather, so simplicity was of the essence.
Naturally, the ideal trees for this task were the evergreen ones. Luckily, Scandinavia’s climate allowed for the flourishing of these trees that the people there used to construct their cabins with. Building one of these houses was mainly a group effort but not a very prolonged one. It is believed that a bigger family could assemble a log home within a few days.
Unrestricted by specific weather conditions or seasons, this task could be completed at any time and any place, making log cabins a versatile and durable type of home. Unsurprisingly, many old towns in Scandinavia are comprised of homes with decorations in the wood paneling and the cuttings. Click here for more information about them.
After the arrival of Swedish and Finnish immigrants to the New World, this technique of building spread among the other settlers. Very soon, the Dutch, Germans, and the Ukrainians also adopted log cabins as their home of choice. The British colonists were a bit slower on the uptake, but they quickly caught up.
However, within the United States, the log cabins varied greatly depending on their location. Choosing the right types of trees, the ideal soil to support the cabin’s weight, and the kind of roof were all essential things to take into consideration. They all contributed to the variety of what we know today as the American log cabin.
Furthermore, as the materials and technology progressed, people started to use wooden cabins as their starter homes while building larger and sturdier houses. They would later repurpose them into chicken coops or barns. Think of it as the old-fashioned version of a trailer home!
In today’s day and age, building a log home is not as simple as stacking several rows of tree trunks, and it takes more than several days and family help to finish them. Fortunately, this also means that they are sturdier, more reliable, and more long-lasting!
With the rise of the rustic architectural style came the revival of the log cabin. There are several types of it, one of which is inspired by the National Park Service and cleverly nicknamed “Parkitecture.”This style, however, is not exclusively limited to wooden homes.
Nowadays, contemporary log cabins are rarely made out of just wood. In fact, there are three distinct types of constructing them. Customers can go for a “full log” experience, in the spirit of old cabins.
They can also decide on a fusion approach, with half of the walls being comprised of logs and half of the usual building materials. Lastly, the “post and beam” style uses traditional materials to build the majority of the house but emulates the look of a log cabin by using tree trunks for the post and the beams.
One such company offering this wide range of choices is Mountain Ridge handcrafted log homes for all of your needs. Investing in these types of homes can be very beneficial in the long run. They are energy efficient and, due to their design, can help you save on costs such as heating during winter and cooling during summer.
Unlike most modern homes, log cabins are built solid and can withstand almost any kind of weather. You do not need to worry about a winter storm or a hurricane destroying your house when it is made of some of the most robust materials that exist!
This also means that you can build them anywhere in the country. These structures have retained their versatility from the 17th century, making it all the easier for you to decide where you want to settle. Whether it is the mountains or a valley, it is up to you!
Additionally, with today’s always-online lifestyle, we can get burned out pretty quickly. If you want your own cozy place that is off the grid and completely disconnected, a log home is an ideal choice for you! Read about what living off the grid is like on this link: https://www.theguardian.com/global/2017/nov/05/wild-at-heart-how-one-woman-and-her-husband-live-out-in-the-woods.
If your first fear about owning a log home is termites, fear no more! Despite the heavy wood foundation of the house, spotting these pests has never been easier! That is because, with all the wood out in the open, they have nowhere to hide, which is not the case in traditionally drywall-covered houses.
A brief summary
Going back to your roots can sometimes be a good thing. Unfortunately, we have started to take what we have for granted, so maybe it is time to get reminded of how good our ancestors had it. After all, there was no air pollution and islands of plastic in the oceans back then, so they were clearly doing something right! Maybe the path to a better future is through retracing our steps to the past.