Log cabins are basically a building made from logs. Cabins made out of logs are a common feature in rural areas as well as many cities around the world. In timber-rich regions of the world they are popular dwelling places and are a common sight, particularly in the northern hemisphere.
The origins of log cabins are uncertain, though it is believed that the first log cabins were constructed in northern Europe in the Bronze Age. Scandinavian countries, Germany, as well as Russia, were at the forefront of log structure construction in the olden days. In the United States of America, the first log cabin appeared when the Finnish and Swedish settlers moved into an area that is now known as Wilmington, Delaware. When other settlers saw the log cabins, such as the English and the Scots, they quickly followed suit. Soon, log cabins became the much-preferred dwelling place for settlers across North America, as the design was so simple. A log cabin could be built in just a few days using only simple tools, no nails, and the result was a log cabin that was sturdy, rainproof and inexpensive.
The Homestead Act of 1862 influenced the design of America’s log cabins. The Act gave “homesteaders” rights to open land, but required that they cultivate it and build homes at least ten by twelve feet in size, with at least one glass window. The simple design of the log cabin changed over time and the most elaborate design was the Adirondack-style, which was favoured by the United States Park Service Lodges and built at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century.
Log cabins are known to be versatile buildings, but William Henry Harrison tried to use a log cabin to impress political voters: William Henry Harrison and his political party the Whigs used the log cabin as a representation of the fact that he was a man of the people. Other political figures in America that have also used log cabins for the same idea are Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson and James Buchanan. They were born in a log cabin and statistics say that a total of seven American Presidents were born in log cabins! It is no wonder that the Lincoln loyalists of the Republican Party preferred to be called the ‘Log Cabin Republicans’.
Log cabins have always been popular, however, their popularity was challenged due to urbanization sweeping across the United States of America, and a quicker method of erecting a building was needed. But log cabins have stood the test of time and they can still be found all over North America and the world.
Nowadays, log cabins are used in addition to the main house. Some people use their log cabin as a holiday home and they are usually designed in the traditional rustic house style, native to America. They come in a range of sizes and there are many companies that specialise in rustic style furniture that would compliment any size log cabin. People like to stay in log cabins because they are the essence of home living with just a spice of adventure. Staying in a log cabin can be a relaxing experience especially as the majority of today’s log cabins can be fitted with modern amenities. Other people prefer to have a log cabin in their garden to act as an extension to the home and converted into an office, gym, art room or playroom, etc.