A Brief History of Log Homes

 

    Log Homes have been built in North America for over 500 years. It was the log house that sheltered the Pilgrims from the weather when they first came to America. Early loggers and trappers built log homes for basic shelter. In the early days of log home building, only local materials were used, such as oak, maple, ash, cedar, and some pine. The log cabin actually marked the beginning of American architecture.

    The early log home builders had to deal with many problems - rot, shrinkage, and warpage. Inevitably, gaps would occur in log walls and builders would make repairs with horsehair and moss. Later, clay and mortar would be used for repairs. In the first log cabins, the window openings were covered with oiled paper, as there was no glass in North America until some years later.

    In the early 1700's, the development of the "military dove tail corner" revolutionized log home construction. Log home corners now had an improved "interlocking" ability that also helped prevent decay. Of course, there were still problems with air infiltration that would plague log homes for another two hundred years!

    Many of America's great statesmen were born in log cabins including Abraham Lincoln.Log cabins went out of use as a dwelling very rapidly when saw mills came into existence. Today, with the technological advances in log home construction, one is capable of building a log home that can last hundreds of years. Of course, maintenance is critical, but the log homes of today can provide a lifetime of enjoyment and for generations thereafter!