Carol & Barry Lowe built their Honest Abe Log Home 37 years ago, and they are still as pleased with their decision as they were when they moved in as a young married couple in 1982.
“Barry and I became engaged in December of 1981 and began the process of building our home very soon afterwards,” Carol recalled. “Barry’s parents had purchased their family’s 220 acre farm in the late 1970s, so they deeded some land to us. Our logs were delivered in June of 1982, and the house was completed shortly before our wedding on Oct. 2, 1982. Up until that time, Barry lived at his parent’s home on the farm so he was able to watch the construction day by day and be quite involved in the process.”
Barry’s parents purchased the farm where the house is located near Christiana, Tennessee, in the late ’70s after his grandparents passed away. They soon built a brick home first, and in 1981 Barry’s brother and his wife remodeled their grandparents’ farmhouse on the property.
“When we built our log home, it truly became a family farm!” Carol said. “We have enjoyed all being together and raising all our children here on the farm. Now, our youngest son, Austin, and his wife, Erin, are building an Honest Abe log home here, and we can’t wait to have their family living on the farm, too.”
Former Honest Abe dealer Jim Smith, who managed the Murfreesboro Honest Abe Model and Sales Center during the 1980s, worked with the Lowes to create the home the couple had in mind.
“In the early 1980s the country look was very popular,” Carol said. “We both loved the country look of a log home, and Barry had seen one or two while working as a lineman at Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corp. We settled on the final design just by talking about what we wanted, and we simply preferred the look of flat logs over the rounded ones. We used the Jamestown standard plan but customized it slightly. We swapped a side door to the back, made just a 60′ by 8′ front porch instead of a wrap around, moved the main bathroom adding a window and moved the master bedroom from the back to the front of the house.”
The completed home was originally 1,680 square feet, but is has been expanded with the addition of a small family room to 1,780 square feet with nine rooms, including a main den, a kitchen/dining area, three bedrooms, two baths and a laundry room. The square logs are dovetailed, and the roof is of conventional construction with singles.
The couple’s been satisfied with the choices they made when they were still very young.
“We might would do a few things differently but really just cosmetic things,” Carol said. “For instance, when we added a second family room a few years back, we purchased the tongue and groove wood from Honest Abe’s mill in Moss, Tennessee. We used it on the ceiling as well as the walls in that room and now wish we had put it on all our ceilings originally.”
And there are no complaints from the Lowes about how the house has survived nearly four decades.
“It has held up wonderfully,” Carol said. “We’ve had no major issues. Our concrete man, Jimmy Anderson, did a phenomenal job with our chinking in 1982. We have no cracks after all this time. There was no such thing as Perma-Chink back then! We’ve also had no problems with the electric wiring, which is “buried” behind the chinking!”
The couple is also happy that they chose Honest Abe Log Homes
“After 37 years in our Honest Abe log home, we wouldn’t change a thing,” Carol said. “We still love the homey country feel. We are thankful to Jim Smith and others who worked with us back in 1981 and 1982 as we began the planning and then the building. They never disappointed and always did what they said they would do giving us a truly honest experience.”
A testament to the Lowes’ satisfaction is the fact that their son, Austin, who grew up in the Honest Abe Log Home, is currently building one with his wife, Erin. Their construction site will be available to tour along with Carol and Barry’s home on June 15 during the Honest Abe Log Homes 2019 Summer Log Home Tour.
Carol and Barry shared photos from their collection taken during the construction of their home. They also had the original receipt for their plans and the original blueprints. Click on the images to enlarge for viewing.
Story by Claudia Johnson, Honest Abe Log Homes, Director of Marketing