For nearly thirty years now, Steve and Merry Byrne have made Dale Hollow Lake, which spans the Tennessee and Kentucky state line, their destination of escape. While raising their two boys, the couple would drive to the area from their home near Louisville, Kentucky, lodging at various marinas, cabins and visiting different locations around the lake. As their love for the area grew, so did their desire to share it with others.
Years later, the couple started making plans to build a second home in the area. Family and friends were a big part of the couple’s plan. When looking for property, they needed a lot that would accommodate more than one home, as they were joining with close friends and family who would share in the purchase. Now, their five acres holds a total of two homes and three large barns for boats and other storage, owned in-part by three different families.
“We knew we wanted something different from our brick home in Louisville,” said Merry, “Something rustic, so we started researching log homes.” Their research was a five year journey, in which they looked at other companies and talked to homeowners in the area. They got in contact with Honest Abe Log Homes through a local recommendation. The couple attended one of Honest Abe’s log raising events and took a tour of the manufacturing process. “We were really drawn to Honest Abe through the log raising, proximity, and the dry-in construction service that was available,” commented Merry. She also went on to compliment their sales associate, Inez Price, who was pivotal in aiding the couple in getting their wants and needs incorporated into the home. “I literally drew the first plan on a napkin,” stated Merry. From there, she transferred the plan onto graph paper, then Inez helped the couple refine the home plan into it’s final state.
“It really is the perfect size for our use,” said Steve. The couple loves to entertain and spend time with friends. They admit their home is built as an escape, but also as a legacy to their children for them to enjoy. The biggest celebration at the cabin each year is around Independence Day. This year, they will host around fourteen families who will take a trip to Dale Hollow Lake from their homes in Oldham County, Kentucky. “We’ve nicknamed the group the Oldham County Yacht Club,” Merry laughed. Food, fun on the water, and relaxation at the cabin are all on the agenda. They even project movies on the side of a barn to enjoy the late evenings outside.
The week of July 4th also marks the anniversary of the move into their log home. In January of 2009 the couple broke ground and began construction. That July, during their vacation down to the lake, they moved into their new Honest Abe Log Home. This year marked their third year in the home and they both concede there isn’t really anything they would do differently. “The kitchen can be a little tight at times, but for our use, it works very well,” noted Merry. “I can prepare snacks and meals without people getting in the way, and serving onto the bar is very easy.” The kitchen, featuring a “galley” type layout, makes very efficient use of space, leaving more room for the living room area for people to gather.
The home features three bedrooms with one and one-half bathrooms. One of the favorite features of their home is the large windows in the living room looking down on their property and into the woods. The room is centered with a large cultured stone fireplace, which that both agree adds natural beauty to their cabin. A full front porch is connected to decking that wraps around the side and rear of the home, proving an abundance of outdoor living space.
When visiting the Byrne’s cabin and property, one thing is quite clear; their community, family and friends are not to be left behind, in fact, they are an essential part of building memories at their vacation home they can cherish for a lifetime.
Article & Photography by: Joshua Beasley, Honest Abe Log Homes. Special thanks to Inez Price for contributing.