Things You May Not Know About Log Cabins

Shelter is among our three basic needs as humans, and we have spent a long time simplifying and perfecting our mastery of this necessity. 

The original purpose of log cabin dwellings was to protect from the elements.  Over the years, as more people realized how efficient, exquisite, and cost-effective log cabins are, they have grown in popularity and become more luxurious for various purposes.

Do you think you know everything there is to know about log homes? These unique and wonderful log cabin facts may surprise you. Discover where they came from, who dwelled in them, and the world’s largest log home!

Since the 17th Century, Settlers in America Have Been Constructing Log Cabins

Since the first pioneers began building them in the 1600s, the log cabin has been an emblem of the true American spirit and hard work. The Nothnagle Cabin in New Jersey is the oldest known example, and it is thought to have been constructed between 1638 to 1643 by Scandinavian settlers.

In 1976, the property was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In the early 1900s, a newer extension was built, but the original structure still stands, with all except for one of the logs being original.

Before the technique was introduced to the United States, log homes were built worldwide. Two of the oldest are a timber log cabin in Finland that is thought to be around 4000 years old, and another discovered on the banks of the Russian Lake Ladoga that is thought to have been built around 800BC.

There Are No Log Cabins in Plymouth

We’ve all seen Thanksgiving cards and school books depicting happy Pilgrims building log cabins, pictures that cast the structure as an English settlers’ invention, America’s first true home. But that’s all nonsense.

The truth is that English colonists did not live in log cabins. They had no idea how to build a log cabin. They were used to fine brick and frame dwellings back home, so that’s what they established when they arrived. Not right away, at least.

They first slummed it in underground pits, waiting in the mud for planks to be cut and bricks to be kiln-fired. It was not a good look; thankfully, they would modify these obnoxious bits in the centuries to come.

The World’s Largest Log Home

Granot Loma is the largest log cabin globally, with a price tag of $40 million!

The 26,000 sq ft log home mansion, which sits on nearly eight miles of land, took four years to construct and was developed by 22 architects. The estate’s name, Granot Loma, is a combo of letters from the original owner, Kaufman, his wife Marie, and the names of their three children, Graveraet, Louis, and Otto.

The home sits on Lake Superior’s shoreline and has 13 bathrooms, 23 bedrooms, and is exquisitely decorated. The 60-foot-long great room features a chandelier fashioned from a white pine tree that Kaufman used to play under as a child and is now embellished with carvings of over 50 people and animals. It also has a 30-foot-long fireplace with stones hand-picked by Marie Kaufman, directing divers on which ones to choose, and a mantel made from a recovered sunken ship in Lake Superior.

Among the other structures on the property are four apartments, a farm, a tennis court designed by tennis champion Bill Tilde, a pool, an orchard, and a pool house.

Seven United States Presidents Were Born in a Log Cabin

The log cabin was the preferred lodging for pioneers arriving in the United States, owing to what seemed to be a perpetual cache of trees. As a result, it makes sense that some of the most influential men in early U.S. history were born in frontier homes.

Andrew Jackson was the first U.S.A. president to be born in a log cabin in 1767, succeeded by the 12th president, Zachary Taylor, born in Virginia in 1784. Millard Fillmore, the 13th president, was also conceived in a wooden log cabin in New York.

James Buchanan followed these and the most famous log cabin baby of all time: Abraham Lincoln, the 16th U.S. president. Born in 1809 in Kentucky, Abraham Lincoln was a model of the original building that you can still find at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park.

Ulysses Grant, president during the Civil War, had also been born in a log home, and James Garfield, assassinated merely 200 days into his term, rounds out the roster of frontier log home-born presidents.

The World’s Cheapest Log Cabin

Their cabin isn’t anything fancy or grand; instead, it was designed after a Norwegian storehouse known as a stabbur, with small windows to reduce heat loss, wide eaves to repel snow and rain, and a loft area that almost doubles the floor space. Due to the cabin’s small size, the couple fell their trees, stripped them with simple hand tools, and carried the logs out of the woods with an old set of ropes and iron wheels!

It is needless to waste a lot of money to build a log cabin. The couple takes pride in knowing that they built their cabin with only a month’s savings, and it has provided them with a great sense of accomplishment to build their cabin by hand using only simple hand tools.

The couple enjoys living a “back-to-nature” lifestyle and encourages others to build their log cabin without spending a fortune.

Log Cabins Have Health Advantages

Time spent in a wooden home can benefit both the body and the mind, and log cabins are hugely valuable to people with allergies. 

The high humidity in many conventional homes increases airborne allergens. It promotes bacterial growth, leading to serious health problems such as itchy skin, blocked noses, watery eyes, and even asthma. However, because log cabins are made of breathable wood, the humidity level inside is kept at a healthy level.

Garden structures and wooden homes are also aesthetically pleasing and promote a sense of calm, reducing anxiety and stress levels and even lowering blood pressure. Also, you can check out why going camping and visiting natural landscapes is good for you.

So, from the cheapest to the most expensive, it turns out that there is far more log cabin info than what meets the eye.

Log cabins appear to have become an emblem, an escape route back to nature, an efficient lifestyle, and a rustic environment in which to pass the time. You can now add even more great reasons to your litany of owning a log cabin!