Nearly 50 years ago, the father of George Busch purchased a small lot on Nolin Lake in Kentucky. On it, he built a quaint three room cottage, as was typical in the community. At that time, small weekender cabins were constructed to provide basic necessities and shelter to families who would spend summer weekends enjoying the lake. George and his wife Alice would spend years on the lake and property, bringing their children, Cathy and David, to the cabin often. It created priceless memories for everyone involved, and the family sank their roots into their vacation getaway.
As their family aged, and life’s inevitable changes occurred, George and Alice found themselves in Illinois where they would complete their professional careers. Life in Hoopeston, Il., had been good, but it had pulled them away from their hometown of Louisville, Ky., and the nearby vacation property they loved. As thoughts of moving back home stirred in the couple’s minds, both agreed that the peaceful setting of their vacation property would be best suited for their next stage of life together.
“The cabin was given to George and me as an anniversary present, and I can even remember our son being young and playing on the foundation as we were building it,” commented Alice. “It has a lot of sentimental value to us.”
While the couple was ready for retirement and cabin life, the cabin wasn’t quite ready for them. Their son and daughter had helped to maintain it throughout the years, but it was still a basic cottage and didn’t contain many of the every-day necessities and accommodations one expects in a retirement home.
Alice laughed, still speaking of the old cabin, “When it was first built, everyone around here still had outhouses and there was no running water. There were a lot of baths taken in the lake. Once water was available to the area, we turned a closet off of the kitchen into a small bathroom.” Needless to say, it still needed a lot of work for the couple to occupy full time.
Planning began. George and Alice started talking with contractors about additions and updating their existing cabin, but a good plan didn’t seem to be presenting itself. All that changed one day as they drove by the sales office of Rocky-K Log Homes in Leitchfield, Ky. After taking a tour, George told them, “I want one just like this, only flipped around, and put it on my lot.”
Soon, the couple would attend a Log Raising Event hosted by Rocky-K and Honest Abe, which helped to present the couple with the various building systems utilized in the construction of a log home.
With a basic style and floor plan now in mind, George and Alice realized their narrow lake-front lot wouldn’t accommodate the home they had in mind. Luckily, they were able to acquire adjacent lots and make the home fit.
“That’s when George started adding to the floor plan,” Alice said, while George chuckled. “We added on a garage, which soon turned into a three car garage,” Alice continued. After a little more revising to the plans, the couple signed a contract with Rocky-K to “turn-key” the project. While under construction, George and Alice returned to Illinois to prepare to move.
During the construction, George and Alice visited on weekends to inspect the work and watch as their dream came together. The couple ordered their appliances and fixtures in Illinois, and had them shipped in to the job-site. The project was on a tight deadline due to their need to make the move from Illinois back to Kentucky, and Rocky-K worked tirelessly to have the couple’s home ready on arrival.
“We moved in before the paint was dry,” said George. “It was that close, but they did a great job getting it done. They had to overcome a lot of obstacles to do so.”
The couple now enjoy their vacation property full time. Their two bedroom home has plenty of space, and can easily accommodate their family during visits. Alice particularly enjoys the view from the couple’s bedroom. “I can lay in bed and read, and look right out onto the lake.” The couple also enjoys sitting on their back deck and enjoying meals. George is thrilled with their electric bill, “Our electric is a lot more economical and this house holds heat really well.”
Downstairs, their ICF (Insulated Concrete Form) constructed basement provides more space for family, and also serves as a hobby area for the couple. As a retired engineer, George is always building something in his shop. Alice also has her space, creating numerous crafts she often gives away to family and friends.
“This is pretty much perfect,” says Alice, “We’ve always loved this area, and this home fits it perfectly.” Their home is a nice mixture of rustic appeal with modern amenities, and has proven to attract attention. George noted, “I think we’ve shown our house to people more often than Rocky-K. It’s not uncommon for people walking or driving by to stop and talk to us about the home. They’re just drawn to it.” That’s a feeling the couple understands and relates to well. It was the same feeling they had that ultimately drove them to build a new home on their vacation property. It’s a feeling they’re likely to pass on to their children, just as George’s father passed it on to them, and another cabin can be enjoyed for generations.
Editors Note: A special thanks to Ellis & Sandy Kiper of Rocky-K Log Homes for contributing to this story.