Family Fun in a Traditional Log CabinOur Log Cabin Story by Bill Drummy
My wife, Jamie, has always wanted to build a little log cabin in the woods behind our house. We live on a 90-acre farm in Vigo County, Indiana. About 60 acres are tillable and pasture, and the balance is rolling hardwood forest. We raise corn, soy beans, alfalfa hay and Registered Texas Longhorn cattle. Jamie also has three saddle horses, an Arabian gelding, an American Quarter Horse gelding and a paint mare. Additionally she has four miniature donkeys. We also have a flock of heritage laying hens, two sassy Toulouse Geese and several heirloom turkeys. I collect and maintain a wide range of vintage cars spanning the years from my 1928 Chevrolet Touring Convertible to my 1964 GTO convertible.
Jamie is a kindergarten teacher, and I am a Medical Malpractice defense lawyer. We have been together for 30 years. We have three adult children – two girls and a boy. Five years ago we had no grand children, today we have six – three boys and three girls. We needed room for the kids and Grands to stay when they came to visit, thus the cabin.
Jamie wanted traditional logs and wide chink. It added to the cost. I was not so sure at first, but it was a great decision, we love the look. We don’t see many new cabins with that design. It’s new, but it looks vintage.
The cabin has 500 square feet on the first floor and about half that in the second floor loft. We use it to entertain, sleep in occasionally ourselves and most importantly to have a special place for the Grands to stay when they come visit, which is a frequent event, since they all live within 50-75 miles, but all in the city.
The cabin is set on a peninsula of woods extending out above the junction where two streams join to form a larger creek. We love the back porch view of the woods, the water and abundant wildlife. Coyotes, red fox, white tail deer, even an occasional river otter (one was seen while the crew was building the cabin).
We wanted the cabin to have Indiana history. Much of our furniture is “Old Hickory of Martinsville, Indiana.” The company is no longer in business, but it manufactured furniture from Indiana Hickory for decades. We also have a Hoosier Cabinet in the dining and coffee area. Hoosier Cabinets were manufactured in Indiana for decades past, and ours is original with the flour bin and the glass coffee and spice canisters.
We have added local vintage farm tools such a hay rake, a few local furs harvested on our property and signage from Terre Haute businesses that are long gone, such as the Hy Hintermeister fishing scene tin advertising signs for Champagne Velvet Beer, brewed in Terre Haute until 1955, at that time, seventh largest in the U.S.
We have traveled all over the U.S. in our Airstream trailer, so we’ve used many National Park signs and National Park Pendleton blankets on the beds throughout the cabin.
My favorite photo from the many I have taken is of Grandma Jamie in her antique iron bed with her Grand girls and Grand boys. It does not get much better than that on a Christmas Eve Day. The kids love snuggling in the feather beds with their Grandma while the fire softly glows below. Jamie equipped all three beds with “Grandma’s Feather Beds,” just like her Grandma had and as featured in the classic John Denver song.
We did our research on log home companies. Honest Abe stood out with excellent reviews. I am a private pilot, currently working on my commercial rating. We flew down to Moss for a cabin raising, and Honest Abe Log Homes Sales Representative Ethan Birdwell and his wife, Taylor, met us at the little airport a short distance from Moss. Jamie and I loved them. So genuine, friendly and helpful. We consider them our friends.
We were so impressed with the quality of the Honest Abe employees who participated in the cabin raising and plant tour. I loved the technical aspect of the milling process. It all played a part in our decision, but I must say that Ethan was the single most important factor in our decision. He is always prompt in answering my many, many questions.
Ethan’s design ideas were so important to the finished product. For example, it was his idea to add true log gable ends (so authentic). It was he who suggested adding five logs above the door and window level to make the loft bigger and more useful, and we are able to fit three beds up there. And, when we ran into bumps in the dry-in process, he was always there to lead us to the right crew and the perfect result. He also found our stain and chink crew after I had struck out. He is a major asset to Honest Abe, but I suspect that they already know that.
I must also give a shout out to Josh Watson, who was always there when we needed him. Donald Kennedy, who built our cabin, is a hard-working young man, who did a wonderful job.
We highly recommend Honest Abe and would build again with the company in a minute if our cabin burned down. We sing Honest Abe’s praises to our many friends that are considering cabins. It is a great company that does all it promises, and I am a pretty darn particular customer.