It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

With each visit to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park we stood and marveled at the little cabins in Cades Cove, built by the early settlers who carved out a life there in the wilderness, then given in trust to the park to be preserved as a vivid reminder of those rugged, self-reliant Americans. Families much like our own Scots-Irish ancestors, they gave us a proud glimpse of our roots.

I photographed the cabins and we studied the details with great wonder and awe.
Note: Photographs below are my own and copyright protected, please respect this.

John Oliver Cabin
..... Henry Whitehead Cabin .....

Tipton Cabin

Dan Lawson Cabin
...................... Carter Shields Cabin ......................

Baxter Cabin

Noah "Bud" Ogle Cabin



Hand-split roof shakes
..........................................? ..........................................

Notching - no pegs or nails as gravity locks logs in place

Handle on a door

Roof rafters in a loft

flat hewn logs as apposed to the round logs seen out west
Interiors - staircases, hearths, windows, chinking
Large porches - used as extra work areas on hot days
Sleeping lofts

The porch rests on rock piles, and there is rock for steps

Oconaluftee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

The Mountain Farm Museum at Oconaluftee provide visitors the opportunity to see a log farmhouse, barn, apple house, springhouse, and a working blacksmith shop. Here we found inspiration for not only the cabin, but a way to keep the deer and other critters out of our garden. In the photos below, our Granddaughter explored the farm with us.

The big front porch

a spring house
The farm-house cabin with it's smaller addition is similar to what we envision for ours

bee hives

picket fence

fences around the garden-fields

fenced-in kitchen garden

Westville in Lumpkin, GA

Westville is a living history museum depicting an 1850 west Georgia village. They have over thirty authentically furnished pre-Civil War buildings, among them a few wonderful log cabins. Below are a few of the photos I took of the log structures while visiting there. At the kitchen exhibit, a docent gave us some heirloom pumpkin seeds.... see what we did with the seeds.


Trundle Bed:
Often there was a trundle bed beneath the parents' bed. It could be pushed out of the way, then pulled out for a child to use.

Could this be the solution for the limited space in our loft?



Building and Restoring the Hewn Log House

by Charles McRaven

The Cades Cove Story
by A. Randolph Shields

This photo, scanned from a book long ago was probably our greatest inspiration for the design we settled on. We wanted a larger story-and-half cabin with a front porch, then a smaller cabin attached to the back, and with it's own porch facing to the side. There would be an enclosed connector between the two cabins with it's own little stoop-porch out the side.

The upstairs loft on the larger cabin would have a half-bath and be open (with a railing) to below looking down on the fireplace. The staircase would be enclosed like the traditional Cades Cove cabins although building code would probably not allow us to have a door closing off the staircase as was traditional.

Mike used a computer cad program to lay out the floor plan.

Now all we needed was the land to build it on !

HOME | Pioneer Spirit | Dream | Inspiration| Land | Logs | Reconstruction | Making the Cabin “a Home”
"If These Walls Could Talk" - An Ongoing Journal