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 Sharon Ely on June 23, 2009 at 5:05pm
Log Homes do have souls. We love ours and Im so glad we went with Lynn Gastineau Log Homes. Lynn Gastineau is the only female Log Home company owner today and she is great!!

Gastineau Log Homes a leader in oak log homes and log cabins featuring modern floor plans, cabin kits, park models, nationwide dealers, in-house architects, designs, photos, more.
Comment by Jodi Marti on March 12, 2009 at 10:33am
We live in an older log home that my dad built almost 30 years ago, along with help from my husband. My dad passed away last summer, and I truly believe our home has a soul. Some days when we come home, its like it wraps its arms around you and helps to release any stress that may have built up over the day. There is a quietness about them that just absorbs you and gives everyone a sense of calm when they walk in the door. In the winter when the winds blow, it's like it "hunkers down", becomes one with nature, and shelters us as if we were in the middle of a dense forest. Not that there hasn't been craziness within our walls! We have hosted a graduation, a wedding and when our son came home from Iraq, it's like it gave a sigh of relief because it and our whole family's total soul was all back in place again! And yes, I think my dad smiles down at us, knowing his legacy is continuing, and all the hard work he put into building this wonderful old log home is appreciated and this home is loved and cherished by us as much as it had been by him. There is nothing that can compare to a log home!
Comment by Marsha Raymond (Ponies) on March 7, 2009 at 1:17am
Brother Yona - and once that breathing home is blessed with beat and thrums to our drums and our hearts... and once the smell of white sage and sweetgrass makes it way between the cracks... and once the echo of your laughter at Sky's puns, your sweet wife's singing and the click of four-leggeds on the wood floor awakens the rooms... the logs will sigh, nestle into place and start telling you it's story: "This is the way I heard this story, this is the way it was told to me... I started with a seed in the breeze, looking for fertle soil..."

Three weeks, my friend!
Comment by Tom Heatherington on March 6, 2009 at 4:58pm
"Ditto", "Ditto", "Ditto", "Ditto", "Ditto", "Ditto" to all the preceding comments. One need not look any further to answer Michael’s question than read the comments on this page. Maybe it's the informality of the structure itself, or maybe it is the sense of heritage or sanctuary that produces these feelings, but the sensation is genuine; you can smell it and touch it. I’ve written about this ‘feeling’ as it relates to log homes and their souls many times over the years.
Comment by Rita Hickey on March 6, 2009 at 2:09pm
Wowee, that was awesome!
Comment by Michael McCarthy on March 4, 2009 at 11:40pm
Ah, yeah...the primal aspect. That's it. You've nailed it!

Have a wonderful night, and thanks again for your insights. Beautifully said...
Comment by CR (Yona) Dunning on March 4, 2009 at 5:26pm
I'm glad to see this thread has come back to life in the last little while...

I agree that any house absorbs the history played out inside it & holds some of those memories like recordings for the future - one possible explanation for some apparitions. The lives played out within the walls of a home changes those walls & changes the lives lived within it.

I also believe log homes by what they are - are different - different by the dreams invested in them; different because of the time-honored & primal nature of the builders' skills employed; by the materials employed - the logs whether natural or milled, stone, wrought iron & all of those never-ending choices we made on the road to living in log homes.

It seems to me that the accumulation of all these things, plus maybe the ridges or hollers where these houses are built, & our because of our gathered histories as people who have lived in log & stone homes for centuries - all these things make log homes notably different in both expectation & experience.

Are the houses alive? - no more than the earth (Gaia) is alive. Though some of us know that the Earth is our mother.

But log homes are different from day one than stick built homes or concrete block homes or high rise condos. I think Many Ponies comment back a ways goes a long ways to explaining the mystique many of us experience when making the decision to build a log home & while we go through the experience of seeing a dream come true. When we come home - we do come home.

Do the houses have souls? Maybe they do. How do you define soul? Is a soul a divine spark? Is it an accumulation of memories? Is it an amalgamation of hopes & dreams?

Or is it those & more than any of these?

I think the idea of Soul is indefinable & I don't know if log homes have souls or not.

But like Many Ponies understood so well in her comment above - I know when I walk into our log home & sit under our white pine timber framed joists I will be home.

The house will know me & I will know it.

That initial relationship will develop & change. My wife & I & our grandkids & friends will add to it every day. But that relationship is there now.

We are going home.

Primal - indefinable - where the heart is - home ...

It will nourish our souls.
Comment by Rita Hickey on March 4, 2009 at 4:22pm
Thank you Michael!
Comment by Michael McCarthy on March 3, 2009 at 9:33pm
Hi Rita,

"Your log home journey is just that, a journey, and you have some road to cover."

Wise words, my friend. Thanks!
Comment by Michael McCarthy on March 3, 2009 at 9:32pm
Shad, good to have you back, amigo! Where have you been? We need your voice in the Hood...hang around this time.

Re: the soul question. I see your point, but I'm Walt Whitman-esque in my thoughts: Nature is as about as close to the divine as one can get...and trees? Well, yes, pretty damn soulful.

Be well!

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