Log homes have come a long way, baby. Today’s examples blend old-world tradition and craftsmanship with modern amenities that still make these structures some of the most unique homes in America. It’s fun to look back at where they came from though, so we thought we’d introduce you to some of the oldest log homes, and most unique, still in existence today.
- Morgan Log House: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 1708 building in Colonial Pennsylvania has been painstakingly restored and turned into a museum where people can learn about life in the 18th Century. Built on land originally owned and farmed by Daniel Boone’s grandparents, Edward and Elizabeth Morgan, the Morgan Log House exhibits fine antique furniture, metals, household implements and colonial period decorative arts from the early Welsh and Germanic Traditions of Pennsylvania. http://www.morganloghouse.org/
- Bellevue Log Cabin: This log cabin is regarded as the oldest building in Nebraska. According to local legend, it was constructed between 1830 and 1835 and built close to the Missouri River as a part of the Jacob Astor Fur Trading Post. The cabin was built using cottonwood logs measuring nearly a foot thick with Indian lodge pole style rafters. Over time, the cabin was enlarged and is twice its original size. On October 16, 1970 the cabin was added to the National Register of Historic Places. http://sarpycountymuseum.org/2016/09/the-bellevue-log-cabin/
- A. Nothnagle Log House: Not only is this one of the very oldest log homes in America, built sometime between 1638 and 1643, but it’s also for sale for the bargain price of $2.9 million! Located in New Jersey, this log structure is considered one of the oldest surviving log homes in the United States and is filled with Washington-era artifacts. The original cabin measures 16 by 22 feet, which indicates that the builders were relatively well off; an average sized dwelling of the period was 12 by 12 feet. It is built of oak logs, and two logs were removable to provide ventilation in the summer. The logs were double dovetailed to provide a close fit, and gravel was pounded between the chinks in the logs. No nails were used in the original construction; hardwood pegs were used as fasteners. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._A._Nothnagle_Log_House
- This one isn’t as old, but it’s definitely unique. The Smith Mansion near Cody, Wyoming definitely catches the eye for visitors coming and going near the East entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Often compared to the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, Calif., built by the rifle company heiress Sarah L. Winchester, the Smith Mansion was built by a man with more of a vision than a plan. He worked day and night, by hand, building the rambling log structure with its undulating staircases, many balconies, pagoda-like rooflines, and fun-house warren of half-finished rooms for nearly 30 years before falling to his death. Read the New York Times history of the home here: https://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/02/garden/the-smith-mansion-in-wyoming-is-the-stuff-of-legend.html
- One-Log House is literally that – a log home made out of Just One Log! Hollowed out in 1946 from a single log, the Famous One-Log House was created from a redwood tree that was over 2100 years old. Weighing 42 tons, it took two men eight months of hard labor to hollow out a room 7 feet high and 32 feet long. This Northern California redwood attraction is located off Highway 101 in Humboldt County and can be toured today. http://www.oneloghouse.com/