It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.
Robert Louis Stevenson

The Internet proved a good source for tracking down an available log structure for sale. It was important to find one near by, in good condition and for a reasonable price. We ended up buying two structures. Just as we were finishing disassembling the first, we found another in even better condition and more of the size and shape we wanted. We decided to combine the two and sell the remaining logs.

The Tenpenny cabins were found covered over with siding

First, we bought the Tenpenny House

circa 1830, from Woodbury , Tennessee.

It began as a small 16' by 16' log cabin. Then as the family grew a larger, two-story 18' by 20' cabin was added. In traditional dog-trot fashion, the cabins were side-by-side with an opening between them. When the whole thing was roofed over and the upstairs extended over the opening as well as the small cabin, a long porch was added and thus a much larger house emerged.

We were able to salvage an 18' by 20' two-story cabin and a 16' by 16' cabin. We used the smaller of the two to make our "back addition" cabin.

Tenpenny cabin logs were carefully numbered
(the smaller cabin side shown here during dismantling process)

Below you can see where the two cabins were positioned:

Underneath the siding and insulation, plaster and wallpaper there were 175 year old hand hewn logs, most in preserved condition.

We used the logs from the smaller cabin, and sold the remaining logs from the larger cabin.

We found a bit of info about Mr. Tenpenny in a book at the local Historical Museum.

Elvis W. Tenpenny, (1905 - 1979) was a Cannon County farmer on Rush Creek all his life. He was the son of James Ellam Tenpenny (1869-1959) and Media Armstrong Tenpenny (1884-1968).


Here it is as we bought it. Being a story and a half,
the McMellon cabin was more the size we were looking for

Then a few weeks later, we bought the McMellon Cabin

circa 1820, from Fayetteville, Tennessee.

Built in the early 19th century, the cabin has had several owners. We are still researching the history and hope to one day know the entire story.

What we have found so far is that at the turn of the century it was owned by a doctor. Situated at a crossroads, patients could stop by. A clapboard addition was added at the back, possibly as a dispensory. During demolition, several old discarded medicine bottles were discovered left under the floor boards and between the logs under the chinking.

In the 1960's the cabin was purchased by the McMellons when they bought the land it sat on. The crossroads was long gone and the McMellons built a lovely farm house where they lived until recently. The family has fond memories of picnics and outings to the old cabin. They were willing to sell it to us in order to see it "brought back to life" and we will hope to see the McMellons visit it often and share in its new history.

It had at one time, a clapboard addition fastened to the back.

The date 1821 is carved along with a previous owner's
initials on a log by the front window...

a McMellon later added his signature.

Dismantling carefully piece by piece

We enlisted the services of the very excellent Craig Cropper of Cabin Creek Log Homes out of Fairview, Tennessee to dismantle the structures, transport the logs to our site, clean and treat them for any insect damage, then reassemble them according to the plans we had drawn.

With both cabins, Craig carefully numbered the logs and recorded their postions. He was very diligent in preserving for us any artifacts he found in the cabins.

Now it was time to reconstruct the logs on their new site in N.C.

Mike (on right) admires the logs along with Craig Cropper (left)
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