In the US, log homes are fairly common. In most regions of the country, forests are plentiful, offering up an ideal renewable resource for building, and many Americans just love the rustic, natural feel a log home can provide. Log homes have a long history and while they're definitely a favorite homestyle today, there's a lot you might not know about them. Whether you have a log home, or you just really like them, you'll love these 5 awesome facts you may not have known about America's favorite home!
Log Homes Were Originally Built to be Mobile
Early settlers in both the US and Europe originally built log cabins to take with them as they traveled. Since many settlers moved frequently to find new land and take advantage of better settlements, they made sure to create homes they could move. Since each log in these old versions of log homes were notched to fit together — like a puzzle — settlers would take apart, move, and rebuild their cabins if they needed to move for new land. We don't think of log homes as mobile anymore, since today's homes are so much larger, but this tradition still holds true for a number of log homes that are built first by a manufacturer, then disassembled and brought to your lot for reassembly!
Log Cabins in Politics
Log homes and log cabins have made regular appearances in American politics, and have become a national symbol for the rugged individualism and pioneering spirit of the first settlers to come to America. Since America's birth as a nation, we've also had 7 US presidents who were born in log cabins: Andrew Jackson, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses Grant, and James Garfield.
Abraham Lincoln is perhaps the most famously recognized president born in a log cabin, but log homes were so popular with the American public that ninth president William Henry Harrison used a log cabin as his campaign symbol in an effort to connect with the "common man". It must have worked, because he won the election!
Log Homes Provided Jobs During the Great Depression
During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps, an organization dedicated to planting trees, building cabins, and making national parks more accessible to the public, offered employment for more than 3 million men across America. The CCC offered food, lodging, and $30 dollars a month to young men who couldn't otherwise find work during the Great Depression. Most of those monthly wages went home to those mens' families, putting food on the table for hundreds of families during one of the hardest times in American history. Many of the lodges and cabins built by men working for the CCC in the 1930s still stand today.
Michigan is Home to the Largest Log Home in the World
The largest log home in the world is situated right on our own Lake Superior. With a price tag of $40 million, this home sits on 8 miles of land, while the house itself spans 26,000 square feet. The log mansion boasts 23 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, and a great room that's 60 feet long and features a 30 foot long fireplace. Built in 1923 by Louis G Kaufman, the home still stands as the largest log home in the world, almost 100 years later.
Most Log Homes are More Energy Efficient Than Conventional Homes
Another fact that many people don't know about log homes is that they're naturally energy efficient. Because the average log home has a wall thickness of about a foot, and because logs provide natural thermal mass that helps maintain consistent temperature, most log homes come out more energy efficient than conventional homes. Logs naturally conserve energy, so when temperatures drop, log walls radiate heat back into a room, and when temperatures get higher, the log walls help keep the inside of the home much cooler. On average, a log home can be anywhere from 15 to 20 percent more energy efficient than a conventional home, saving you money, and doing just a little bit extra to help out the environment.
Turns out, log homes are pretty neat! From settlers to presidents to the Great Depression, log homes have played a major part in American history, and continue to be a favorite, classic home style today. If this article got you interested in log homes, check out our blog to learn a bit more about them, or head to the Timeless Wood Care website for all the supplies you need to build and maintain your own log home.