The Log Home Neighborhood

An online log home community for log home enthusiasts.

As part of my job as editor of Log Home Living, I've been lucky enough to travel across North America and step inside scores of log homes of all sizes. Truth is, each one was memorable and had an impact on me.

Why don't I feel that way about most conventional homes I visit?

About a year ago, I wrote about the passing of my old golden retriever and how dogs make a home, even new pooches who insist that the castle is theirs.

But there has to be something more, right? Why do homes crafted from wood---whether they're full log or not, or even hybrid with posts and beams----stir something in us?

What is it? Why are log homes different? Why do they tell family stories and histories better than others?

What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear what it is about log homes that (gulp) make them seem like they have souls of their own...

Bring it on.

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Comment by Rita Hickey on March 3, 2009 at 6:22pm
If a tree falls in the woods, does anything hear it? Some thing some where does, even if it is only the wind. And that experience answers the question. Your log home journey is just that, a journey, and you have some road to cover. Revisit the question when you have arrived at your destination, you may be surprised.

Comment by Shad on March 3, 2009 at 8:37am
It's been awhile since I've popped my head into the Neighborhood here - good to see it's thriving! And this is an interesting topic!

But... I'm going to disagree with pretty much everyone here. I don't think log homes have soul. Yes, they have character, yes they have charisma, yes, they even have a sense of history when you image how old the logs are that have built your home and all they might have seen. They're beautiful and grand and always inspire a sense of awe into me when I visit one.

But as for soul, I believe that comes from each person that has invested their time into making the log home theirs, such as Wes (And several others) have done by putting in their own sweat equity. I don't own a log home - yet - but I have visited several model homes. Each one was nicely furnished, each one was beautiful and abounded with charm and grace. But after visiting friends who do own a log home, it was obvious that it was filled with so much more warmth, more personality, and just a better sense of being a "home". I believe that a log home that has devoted occupants who are sincere in their love for log home living are what makes the soul of a home. You can't have one without the other in my ever-so-humble opinion.
Comment by Wes on February 20, 2009 at 8:42pm
Thanks Michael, If only the weather would break some around here!!! So far that's been the biggest obstacle. It will all come together though. I'm enjoying every minute!
Comment by Michael McCarthy on February 19, 2009 at 11:56pm
Wes, all that sweat equity you've put into your home definitely gives it soul! Can't argue with that...thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful weekend.

Comment by Wes on February 19, 2009 at 10:08pm
My log home doesn't even have a roof yet, but soul, character, and sense of home, it definitely already has! I've been blessed to be able to be hands on in the building process from the ground up, stacking logs, peeling the bark on all those posts and beams(the dreaded drawknife!) I definitely already feel at home!! So I suppose there is a little bit of me already in this home. Each log is unique and has settled in to it's own special place that will sooner than later (hopefully!) all combine to encompass a place that I will not just reside, but live!
Comment by Shelley Martinez on February 8, 2009 at 4:40pm
Thanks Michael! And I forgot to add - yes, Log Homes DO have souls!
Comment by Michael McCarthy on February 8, 2009 at 3:20pm
Ah, Shelley, I knew I could count on you...

Your home is less than a year old and you've figured this out. Kudos! Thanks for the Thoreau quote, too.

Hope you're enjoying the getaway home this weekend!

Take care...
Comment by Shelley Martinez on February 8, 2009 at 2:34pm
Great topic! Stirs so many emotions in me. Our log home was the perfect compliment to the life we wanted to live. It was the only home we could see being a natural fit to the woods, lake and animals that we wanted to share our life with. And to quote one of my favorites - Henry David Thoreau:

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. "
Comment by Michael McCarthy on February 8, 2009 at 12:02pm
Yona, you----and others here----have nailed it. "The structure and the materials have the capability of reminding us who we are and where we're from..."

That's a beautiful thought, and I couldn't agree more. Thanks for sharing on this glorious February morn. (60 degrees here in Virginia!)

Enjoy your Sunday...
Comment by CR (Yona) Dunning on February 8, 2009 at 11:52am

This is an intriguing subject. Our builder has consistently referred to the log house he is building for my wife & me as 'your home' - not as your 'log house' & not even your 'log cabin' - though that term is nostalgic as well & refers to a time past which many log home owners would like to revisit on some level - maybe not the level that required carrying water from a creek or stuffing rags between the logs for chinking - but a level closer to the demands imposed by a life in tune more with the land & less with the technological wonders of the age.

But I'm rabbit-tracking.

Something about living in a home surrounded with logs that were not all that long ago appeals to something buried deep inside many of us. The structure & the materials have the capability of reminding us of who we are & where we're from. Our ancestors not long ago lived in the shelter of trees. Some of us feel called to come home to that hidden place safe 'far from the madding world'.

I know that the logs our home is being built from are white pine & the Mohawk/Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people of northern NY where my wife & I grew up revere the white pine as the great tree of peace. My wife (who is of Mohawk descent) & I look forward to living in peace inside the white pine. The house is surrounded with adolescent cedars which many eastern Natives revere as sacred trees. So we will be living inside a lot of good energy from both species.

Our builder did a bunch of exposed timber framing in the house. There is a long row of timber joists extending the length of the house between the walls & the roofpeak. Sometimes I imagine it will be like sitting in a grove of pines & looking up through the branches of the trees. I can't wait to sit there protected by the trees & one with the place.

I think the wood does remember - as does stone & other natural building materials - & our lives there will become part of the wood's memory. And up the road when our home is being lived in by someone we don't know perhaps they will feel our presence recorded in the wood as we will feel the spirit of the trees when we live there.

As Marsha Many ponies said - we will be home.

Thank you.

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