Creating Dream Homes for 35 Years

In the picturesque Upper East Tennessee Appalachian Mountains, Deanna and Reeves Snyder have been fulfilling homeowners’ dreams for over 35 years. As Independent Dealers for Honest Abe Log Homes, a partnership spanning back to 1989, they’ve guided nearly three dozen clients in realizing their visions of log and timber frame residences. Their dedication to excellence extends further, as evidenced by the creation of a log home subdivision where each dwelling was designed and manufactured by Honest Abe.

Deanna graciously shared the journey of their dealership, Woods Hill Log Homes, tracing its inception and evolution over the decades. Through her insights and a curated collection of photos, she illuminates the diverse design choices that have brought their customers’ dreams to life.

Home Created from Livingston Plan in Buffalo Ridge Subdivision

Our Story

by Deanna Snyder

Once he was big enough to shovel sawdust, Reeves worked at his father’s sawmill. By the age of sixteen, he was hauling lumber on a 1954 Chevrolet, six-wheel truck and received his CDLs to drive the tractor and trailer. He learned how to select cut the best timber, run the edger, the bulldozer and skidders, how to maximize the amount of lumber in a tree and how to market the lumber.

Typically leaving home around 4 a.m.., Reeves would haul lumber to a furniture company and be at the sawmill by 7:00 a.m. to swage his saw before the workers arrived. Once he began sawing, he would only stop for lunch, often sardines and crackers, or for mechanical purposes. At the end of the day, the lumber truck was loaded for the next day’s delivery. Once home, Reeves would do paperwork and make his phone calls to sell more lumber.

Periodically, a person would come up to Reeves at a gas station and want to purchase the logs/lumber on the truck in order to build a log home. He would then explain to the person what happens when a home is built with the green logs.

Becoming Honest Abe Dealers

One of Reeves’s sawmill customers was Honest Abe Log Homes. Rick Denton was the log buyer and draftsperson for the company and Reeves and Rick soon developed a friendship. Reeves was impressed by the staff’s friendliness and by the integrity with which Honest Abe did business. Because of this, Reeves decided to become a dealer to help that occasional person who wanted to build a log home.

When Reeves and I married, he was sawmilling full-time, and I was a school teacher. I knew nothing about construction, and Reeves worked the log home business along with the sawmilling. I would help as much as I could, but was pretty clueless.

Due to complications from back surgery, Reeves stopped milling, and we built a log home model on pure faith. After a couple of years, we build the business enough to become Dealer of the Year in 2006. We built Buffalo Ridge, a log home subdivision where our customers have become friends. They love to show our customers their homes.

During the last few years, Reeves has had multiple surgeries, and we’ve had ups and downs that life tends to throw, but we’re still with Honest Abe. Being dealers has been very rewarding. The friendships we have made with the company’s staff and with our customers goes well beyond just selling log homes. We are certainly blessed!

Woods Hill Creates a Home for Retiring Couple to Include Mom

Woods Hill Log Homes’ customers, Peter and Denise DiLorenzo, changed their lives dramatically when they moved from Rhode Island to the Appalachian Mountains of Upper East Tennessee in 2007. Denise’s mother, Rita, who was 88 at the time of this article and pictured above, did not want to stay behind. Of course, Denise did not want to be so far from her mother either.

Read the story…

From Norway to Miami to Tennessee 

Bjorn and Nanci Svensen built their log home in the Buffalo Ridge subdivision. From their house site, one can see the mountains of three states: Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. 

Bjorn is a retired electrical engineer for Norwegian Cruise Lines, and  Nancie works for Norwegian Cruise Lines out of her home setting up cruises for groups. They moved to Mountain City, Tennessee, from Miami, Florida, because Mountain City reminds Bjorn him of his native Norway.

The design for their cabin reflects his Norwegian heritage and is stained with Perma-Chink’s Butternut stain to enhance the Scandinavian feel.

Home built from Aztec plan in Woods Hill’s Buffalo Ridge Subdivision

Custom Timber Frame on Hawk’s Nest Ski Slope