Log cabins were first used by the European immigrants in the 1600s. The cabins were used as shelter and living quarters. Since then, log cabins have been given a complete update that has evolved into what is fast becoming the first choice of many home seekers, especially those in rural areas.
Short History of Log Cabins
Log cabins were first built in Germany, Switzerland, Europe and the Scandinavian countries. Swedish settlers cut trees and built log cabins when they arrived in Delaware, in 1638. Other colonists, already in the area, followed their example and this also became the preferred type of home of natives in the area.
The first log cabins were a rustic frontier style. Those cabins used logs that were squared and notched to overlap, at the four corners of the structure.
Back then, when log cabins were built, they required stuffing between the logs to keep the bugs, wind and rain out. The builders used leaves, moss and dried manure between the logs for insulation and as a filler. The stuffing was then covered inside the cabin and out, with mud as a sealer.
Log cabins homes used by the pioneers had minimal furniture or extras. The builders had only the trees to use for building material and the ax, adz, and auger were their only tools.
After the end of the American Revolution, people who migrated to the area saw the thick forests in Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Northwest Territory. Trees were cut down and used to build cabins. The log cabin quickly became the preferred home of the people in the mountains.
Log cabins are synonymous with rustic style and they are usually decorated with primitive or country style decor. The log cabins we see today are sometimes secluded and they are often part of a luxurious mountain retreat. A warm fire in the fireplace, all of the amenities a person need and a fresh layer of fallen snow on the ground – is the first thought that comes to mind.
The log cabins of long ago were not so inviting, they were sparsely decorated, with only a bed, table and maybe a couple of chairs. Some of the handy men (and women) used their skills to build cabinets and other necessary structures.
Things have changed drastically, there are now log cabins that are manufactured, with pre-cut logs, pre-insulated logs or shaped logs. Handcrafted log cabins can be built to show the natural elements of each log which produces a beautiful siding.
Here are three different types of log cabin constructed by the builder:
This style is with round logs when they are attached by notched corners with stuffing between each log. Mud is layered over all of the stuffing. The chinking will keep the logs securely in place and each log remain visible on the inside and outside of the cabin.
Log cabins are called hand-hewn when the logs are flattened on the ends and attached by notches in the corners. The natural beauty of each log will remain visible after construction.
* Fully Scribed
When a log cabins is built using fitted logs that are attached to each other by notches in the corners, this style is referred to as fully scribed.
Because of limitations and few tools, log cabins in the 1700s were built as small, one-room buildings with one door and hopefully one small window. Back then, there were no strong, sturdy nails or machine mixed cement to secure the logs in place, they were secured with the hand-cut notched ends with hand-made tools, or by inserting hand-cut wooden pegs.
The roof was made by intersecting the rows of wood pieces. The floor was made of the earth beneath the building. Some home owners prepared a mixture of clay and packed that down as their floor. If the cabin was built with a window, the opening was covered with a heavily oiled cloth, animal skin, leaves or paper. In the Winter, the room was heated by an open fire-pit that was also the cooking area.
Interesting facts about log cabins:
Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Jackson were born in log cabins.
Log cabins were first built in Europe, in the early 1660s.
The very first cabin built in America was constructed in Delaware.
Log cabins were first built in America in the mid 1700s.
During the political campaign in 1840, small log cabins were used as floats in the parade. This gesture was to show the people that William Henry Harrison supported the frontier people.
Modern log cabins are nothing like cabins built a century ago. There are manufactured log cabin kits with logs that are filled with insulation to keep the cabin warm and cozy. Get your log cabin home started, today.