Finding its roots among Scandinavian countries, small log homes are a part of the historical architecture of many countries. The simple structures are known for their stability, durability, versatility, and practicality, making them perfect for the country's first settlers and for those who love the feel of being out doors.
However, there is much more to a log home than what meets the eye. The wisely engineered structure involves using the length of logs to make walls, stacking the logs and interlocking them with other logs using notches. Across America, you will find old log homes using different notches. These differences are due to the different origins of the builders or different settlers. This means all log homes have a story to tell.
A traditional log cabin is actually a one-story structure which sometimes had a mezzanine or loft. It used round logs, unlike more modern cabins which use hewn or hand-worked logs. To fill the gaps in between the logs and the joints near the notches, settlers used moss and other soft material. This also served as natural insulation.
The very first cabin was built around 3500 BC in Northern Europe. When European immigrants came to America, they used the simple structure as their first forms of shelter, prior to the construction of their real homes. The first cabin in the United States is said to have been built in Delaware by Swedish immigrants in 1938.
Cabins are popularly seen as frontier shelters, often depicted in movies as the homes of Americans who would venture deeper into the west an create new settlements. While this is true, what most people don't know is that these cabins were also used for barns and village schools. Sometimes, when the settlers built their more permanent homes, the old cabins were used to house smaller animals, like chickens.
As mentioned earlier, the original log cabins were single story structures. What most people envision when they think of a cabin is a log home. Often more than one story and with interior walls that divide various rooms for different purposes, log homes are very popular in many parts of the world, especially in places with colder climates.
There is something cozy and warm about log cabins that just about everyone loves. These small log homes stir up images of a rustic family lifestyle and long lost forms of romance. Perhaps this is why log cabins are extremely popular either as a main home or as a rest house. They connect us to both nature and our history.