A log cabin is a small log house, especially a less finished or architecturally sophisticated structure. Log cabins have an ancient history in Europe, and in America are often associated with first generation home building by settlers.
Construction with logs was described by Roman architect Vitruvius Pollio in his architectural treatise De Architectura. He noted that in Pontus (modern-day northeastern Turkey), dwellings were constructed by laying logs horizontally overtop of each other and filling in the gaps with "chips and mud".
Historically log cabin construction has its roots in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Although their origin is uncertain, the first log structures were probably being built in Northern Europe by the Bronze Age (about 3500 BC). C. A. Weslager describes Europeans as having:
... accomplished in building several forms of log housing, having different methods of corner timbering, and they utilized both round and hewn logs. Their log building had undergone an evolutionary process from the crude "pirtti"... a small gabled-roof cabin of round logs with an opening in the roof to vent smoke, to more sophisticated squared logs with interlocking double-notch joints, the timber extending beyond the corners. Log saunas or bathhouses of this type are still found in rural Finland. By stacking tree trunks one on top of another and overlapping the logs at the corners, people made the "log cabin". They developed interlocking corners by notching the logs at the ends, resulting in strong structures that were easier to make weather-tight by inserting moss or other soft material into the joints. As the original coniferous forest extended over the coldest parts of the world, there was a prime need to keep these cabins warm. The insulating properties of the solid wood were a great advantage over a timber frame construction covered with animal skins, felt, boards or shingles. Over the decades, increasingly complex joints were developed to ensure more weather tight joints between the logs, but the profiles were still largely based on the round log.— C. A. Weslager, 
Nevertheless, a medieval log cabin was considered movable property (a chattel house), as evidenced by the relocation of Espåby village in 1557: the buildings were simply disassembled, transported to a new location and reassembled. It was also common to replace individual logs damaged by dry rot as necessary.
Log construction was especially suited to Scandinavia, where straight, tall tree trunks (pine and spruce) are readily available. With suitable tools, a log cabin can be erected from scratch in days by a family. As no chemical reaction is involved, such as hardening of mortar, a log cabin can be erected in any weather or season. Many older towns in Northern Scandinavia have been built exclusively out of log houses, which have been decorated by board paneling and wood cuttings. Today, construction of modern log cabins as leisure homes is a fully developed industry in Finland and Sweden. Modern log cabins often feature fiberglass insulation and are sold as prefabricated kits machined in a factory, rather than hand-built in the field like ancient log cabins.
Log cabins are mostly constructed without the use of nails and thus derive their stability from simple stacking, with only a few dowel joints for reinforcement. This is because a log cabin tends to compress slightly as it settles, over a few months or years. Nails would soon be out of alignment and torn out.
In the present-day United States, settlers may have first constructed log cabins by 1638. Historians believe that the first log cabins built in North America were in the Swedish colony of Nya Sverige (New Sweden) in the Delaware River and Brandywine River valleys. Many of its colonists were actually Forest Finns, because Finland was part of Sweden at that time. New Sweden only briefly existed before it became the Dutch colony of New Netherland, which later became the English colony of New York. The Swedish-Finnish colonists' quick and easy construction techniques not only remained, but spread.
Later German and Ukrainian immigrants also used this technique. The contemporaneous British settlers had no tradition of building with logs, but they quickly adopted the method. The first English settlers did not widely use log cabins, building in forms more traditional to them. Few log cabins dating from the 18th century still stand, but they were often not intended as permanent dwellings. Possibly the oldest surviving log house in the United States is the C. A. Nothnagle Log House (ca. 1640) in New Jersey. Settlers often built log cabins as temporary homes to live in while constructing larger, permanent houses; then they often used the log cabins as outbuildings, such as barns or chicken coops.
Log cabins were built from logs laid horizontally and interlocked on the ends with notches (British English cog joints). Some log cabins were built without notches and simply nailed together, but this was not as structurally sound. Modern building methods allow this shortcut.
The most important aspect of cabin building is the site upon which the cabin was built. Site selection was aimed at providing the cabin inhabitants with both sunlight and drainage to make them better able to cope with the rigors of frontier life. Proper site selection placed the home in a location best suited to manage the farm or ranch. When the first pioneers built cabins, they were able to "cherry pick" the best logs for cabins. These were old-growth trees with few limbs (knots) and straight with little taper. Such logs did not need to be hewn to fit well together. Careful notching minimized the size of the gap between the logs and reduced the amount of chinking (sticks or rocks) or daubing (mud) needed to fill the gap. The length of one log was generally the length of one wall, although this was not a limitation for most good cabin builders.
Decisions had to be made about the type of cabin. Styles varied greatly from one part of the US to another: the size of the cabin, the number of stories, type of roof, the orientation of doors and windows all needed to be taken into account when the cabin was designed. In addition, the source of the logs, the source of stone and available labor, either human or animal, had to be considered. If timber sources were further away from the site, the cabin size might be limited.
Cabin corners were often set on large stones; if the cabin was large, other stones were used at other points along the sill (bottom log). Since they were usually cut into the sill, thresholds were supported with rock as well. These stones are found below the corners of many 18th-century cabins as they are restored. Cabins were set on foundations to keep them out of damp soil but also to allow for storage or basements to be constructed below the cabin. Cabins with earth floors had no need for foundations.
Cabins were constructed using a variety of notches. Notches can vary within ethnic groups as well as between them. Notches often varied on a single building, so their styles were not conclusive. One method common in the Ohio River Valley in southwestern Ohio and southeastern Indiana is the Block House End Method an example of this is found in the David Brown House.
Some older buildings in the United States Midwest and the Canadian Prairies are log structures covered with clapboards or other materials. Nineteenth-century cabins used as dwellings were occasionally plastered on the interior. The O'Farrell Cabin (ca. 1865) in Boise, Idaho had backed wallpaper used over newspaper. The C.C.A. Christenson Cabin in Ephraim, Utah (ca. 1880) was plastered over willow lath.
Log cabins reached their peak of complexity and elaboration with the Adirondack-style cabins of the mid-19th century. This style was the inspiration for many United States Park Service lodges built at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. Log cabin building never died out or fell out of favor. It was surpassed by the needs of a growing urban United States. During the 1930s and the Great Depression, the Roosevelt Administration directed the Civilian Conservation Corps to build log lodges throughout the west for use by the Forest Service and the National Park Service. Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon was such a log structure, and it was dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The modern version of a log cabin is the log home, which is a house built usually from milled logs. The logs are visible on the exterior and sometimes interior of the house. These cabins are mass manufactured, traditionally in Scandinavian countries and increasingly in eastern Europe. Squared milled logs are precut for easy assembly. Log homes are popular in rural areas, and even in some suburban locations. In many resort communities in the United States West, homes of log and stone measuring over 3,000 sq ft (280 m2) are not uncommon. These "kit" log homes are one of the largest consumers of logs in the Western United States.
In the United States, log homes have embodied a traditional approach to home building; one that has resonated throughout American history. It is especially interesting to discover that, in today's world, log homes represent a technology that allows a home to be built with a high degree of sustainability. In fact, log homes are frequently considered to be on the leading edge of the green building movement.
Crib barns were a popular type of barn found throughout the U.S. south and southeast regions. Crib barns were especially ubiquitous in the Appalachian and Ozark Mountain states of North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas.
In Europe, modern log cabins are often built in gardens and used as summerhouses, home offices or as an additional room in the garden. Summer houses and cottages are often built from logs in northern Europe.
Chinking refers to a broad range of mortar or other infill materials used between the logs in the construction of log cabins and other log-walled structures. Traditionally, dried mosses, such as Pleurozium schreberi or Hylocomium splendens, were used in the Nordic countries as an insulator between logs. In the United States, Chinks were small stones or wood or corn cobs stuffed between the logs.
Log cabins were constructed with either a purlin roof structure or a rafter roof structure. A purlin roof consists of horizontal logs that are notched into the gable-wall logs. The latter are progressively shortened to form the characteristic triangular gable end. The steepness of the roof was determined by the reduction in size of each gable-wall log as well as the total number of gable-wall logs. Flatter roofed cabins might have had only 2 or 3 gable-wall logs while steeply pitched roofs might have had as many gable-wall logs as a full story. Issues related to eave overhang and a porch also influenced the layout of the cabin.
The decision about roof type often was based on the material for roofing like bark. Milled lumber was usually the most popular choice for rafter roofs in areas where it was available. These roofs typify many log cabins built in the 20th century, having full-cut 2×4 rafters covered with pine and cedar shingles. The purlin roofs found in rural settings and locations, where milled lumber was not available, often were covered with long hand-split shingles.
The log cabin has been a symbol of humble origins in US politics since the early 19th century. Seven United States Presidents were born in log cabins, including James Buchanan, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Pierce, and James K. Polk. Although William Henry Harrison was not one of them, he and the Whigs during the 1840 presidential election were the first to use a log cabin as a symbol to show North Americans that he was a man of the people. Other candidates followed Harrison's example, making the idea of a log cabin—and, more generally, a non-wealthy background—a recurring theme in campaign biographies.
More than a century after Harrison, Adlai Stevenson acknowledged: "I wasn't born in a log cabin. I didn't work my way through school nor did I rise from rags to riches, and there's no use trying to pretend I did." Stevenson lost the 1952 presidential election in a landslide to Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The 1840 United States presidential election was the 14th quadrennial presidential election, held from Friday, October 30, to Wednesday, December 2, 1840. In the midst of the Panic of 1837, incumbent President Martin Van Buren of the Democratic Party was defeated by Whig nominee William Henry Harrison. The election marked the first of two Whig victories in presidential elections.
In the previous election, the Whigs had been unable to field a single ticket, but in 1839, the Whigs held a national convention for the first time. The 1839 Whig National Convention saw 1836 nominee William Henry Harrison defeat former Secretary of State Henry Clay and General Winfield Scott. Van Buren faced little opposition at the 1840 Democratic National Convention, but controversial Vice President Richard Mentor Johnson was not re-nominated. The Democrats became the first (and, to date, only) major party since the passage of the Twelfth Amendment to fail to select a vice presidential nominee.
Referencing Vice President John Tyler and Harrison's participation in the Battle of Tippecanoe, the Whigs campaigned on the slogan of "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too". With Van Buren weakened by the poor economic conditions, Harrison won a majority in the popular vote and 234 of the 294 electoral votes. 42.4% of the voting age population voted for Harrison, the highest percentage in the history of the United States up to that time. Van Buren's loss made him the third president to lose re-election.
The Whigs did not get to enjoy the benefits of their electoral victory. The 87-year-old Harrison was the oldest U.S. president elected until Ronald Reagan won the 1980 presidential election, and Harrison died a little more than a month after his inauguration. Harrison was succeeded by John Tyler, who proved to be disastrous for the Whigs. While Tyler had been a staunch supporter of Clay at the convention, he was a former Democrat and a passionate supporter of states' rights. As President, Tyler blocked the Whigs' domestic legislative agenda and was expelled from the party.Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park preserves two separate farm sites in LaRue County, Kentucky where Abraham Lincoln was born and lived early in his childhood. He was born at the Sinking Spring site south of Hodgenville and remained there until the family moved to the Knob Creek Farm northeast of Hodgenville when he was 2 years old, living there until he was 7 years old. The Sinking Spring site is the location of the park visitors center.Caesar Hoskins Log Cabin
Caesar Hoskins Log Cabin is located in Mauricetown section of Commercial Township, Cumberland County, New Jersey, United States. The building was built in 1690 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 10, 1987.Champoeg, Oregon
Champoeg ( sham-POO-ee, historically sham-POO-eg) is a former town in the U.S. state of Oregon. Now a ghost town, it was an important settlement in the Willamette Valley in the early 1840s. Located halfway between Oregon City and Salem, it was the site of the first provisional government of the Oregon Country.
The town site is on the south bank of the Willamette River in northern Marion County, approximately 5 mi (8 km) southeast of Newberg. The town is now part of Champoeg State Heritage Area, an Oregon state park. The Champoeg State Park Historic Archeological District is within the heritage area.
The name "Champoeg" comes from the Kalapuyan word [čʰámpuik], which might be an abbreviation of [čʰa-čʰíma-púičuk], referring to the edible root [púičuk], or yampa.David Gordon House and Collins Log Cabin
The David Gordon House and Collins Log Cabin are two historic homes located at Columbia, Missouri. The David Gordon House is a two-story, frame I-house. The 13-room structure incorporates original construction from about 1823 and several additions from the 1830s, 1890s and 1930s. The Collins Log Cabin was built in 1818, and is a single pen log house of the story and a loft design. They represent some of the first permanent dwellings in Columbia. The House has been relocated from Stephens Lake Park to the campus of the Boone County Historical Society.They were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.Dawson Woman's Club
The Dawson Woman's Club was founded in 1905 as the "Wednesday Afternoon Club" and became a member of the Georgia Federation of Women's Clubs in 1907.The Dawson Woman's Clubhouse, in Dawson, Georgia, is a log cabin structure which was built in 1913. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. As of 2018, it had been moved to the southwest corner of 7th Avenue and Stonewall Street.
The building is a log cabin built for public use, made "of round, saddle-notched, unchinked logs that rest on a primitive pier foundation composed of stacked fieldstones."The building is now known as the Log Cabin Club House, and is offered for rent for events. It was for some time located at 360 6th Avenue, NE, in Dawson.The woman's club became inactive by 1950, and was reorganized as the Dawson Woman's Garden Club or Dawson Garden Club. According to the Terrell County Historic Preservation Society, "community improvement has continued to be a goal, although limited to the area of city beautification."The house belonged to the Dawson Garden Club from 1950 to 1994, when it was transferred to the Dawson Restoration Society (now the Terrell County Historic Preservation Society).Glen Carbon, Illinois
Glen Carbon is a village in Madison County, Illinois, United States, 19 miles (31 km) northeast of St. Louis. The population was 12,934 at the 2010 census.Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site
The Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site is an 86-acre (0.3 km²) history park located eight miles (13 km) south of Charleston, Illinois, U.S., near the town of Lerna. The centerpiece is a replica of the log cabin built and occupied by Thomas Lincoln, father of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln never lived here and only occasionally visited, but he provided financial help to the household and, after Thomas died in 1851, Abraham owned and maintained the farm for his stepmother, Sarah Bush Lincoln. The farmstead is operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.Log Cabin, Texas
Log Cabin is a city in Henderson County, Texas, United States. The population was 714 at the 2010 census.Log Cabin (University of Pittsburgh)
The Log Cabin at the University of Pittsburgh, located near Forbes Avenue, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania adjacent to the school's Cathedral of Learning, serves as a landmark that symbolizes the university's origins on the 18th Century western frontier of the early United States. The current log cabin, estimated to date from the 1820s to 1830s, was reconstructed on the university's campus for its bicentennial celebration in order to represent Pitt’s original log structure that served the institution through the school's founding in 1787 to the construction of a brick building sometime in the 1790s. The Log Cabin often appears in images and promotional material, particularly when relating to the history of the university.Log Cabin Camp, Illinois
Log Cabin Camp is an unincorporated community in Momence Township, Kankakee County, Illinois, United States. Log Cabin Camp is located on the south bank of the Kankakee River 4.2 miles (6.8 km) east of Momence.Log Cabin Crossroads, Indiana
Log Cabin Crossroads is an unincorporated community in Walnut Township, Montgomery County, in the U.S. state of Indiana.Log Cabin Democrat
The Log Cabin Democrat is a daily newspaper in Conway, Arkansas, United States, serving Conway and Faulkner County and some surrounding areas. It was founded in July 1879 as The Log Cabin. Its publisher is Kelly Sublett.The founding publisher, Able F. Livingston, was a former Whig Party member, who used the party's symbol — the log cabin — as the name for his new enterprise. Ownership changed a handful of times early in the newspaper's existence, eventually passing to the family of J.W. Robins in 1894. The Robins family continued to be involved with the newspaper directly for five generations. Along the way, J.W. Underhill, a one-time owner of The Log Cabin, purchased assets of a smaller Conway newspaper,The Democrat, which operated from 1881 to 1885 and had been revived in 1899. Underhill married into the Robins family, and the two papers merged as The Log Cabin Democrat in late 1900. The daily edition of the newspaper debuted in 1908 in conjunction with coverage of the opening of the Arkansas Normal School, later renamed the University of Central Arkansas.
The newspaper's main office has been on downtown Conway's Front Street since 1980, after operating from offices on Oak Street for 80 years. In addition to its primary print edition, the newspaper publishes several secondary products. Since its online debut in 1997, TheCabin.net has been augmented with multiple specialty websites through Morris DigitalWorks, covering niches such as dining, wedding planning, and local entertainment.
The newspaper was operated by Morris Publishing Group which assumed full ownership in the mid-1990s. In 2017, Morris sold its newspapers to GateHouse Media.Log Cabin Republicans
The Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) is an organization that works within the Republican Party to advocate equal rights for LGBT people in the United States.On November 13, 2018, Jerri Ann Henry was announced as the new executive director. She replaced Gregory T. Angelo who had been named president on February 15, 2013.Log Cabin Republicans v. United States
Log Cabin Republicans v. United States, 658 F.3d 1162 (9th Cir. 2011) was a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of 10 U.S.C. § 654, commonly known as don't ask, don't tell (DADT), which excludes homosexuals from openly serving in the United States military. The Log Cabin Republicans (LCR), an organization composed of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Republicans, brought the suit on behalf of LCR members who serve or served in the military and were subject to DADT.
LCR initially filed the suit, a facial challenge to the statute, in 2004. A bench trial began on July 13, 2010, before Judge Virginia A. Phillips of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. The Justice Department had unsuccessfully sought to have the suit dismissed, arguing that as long as Congress had a rational basis for passing DADT in 1993, then it is constitutional. The Justice Department also asserted at trial that LCR did not have standing to challenge the law. LCR argued that DADT violates constitutional guarantees of due process and free speech.Phillips advised the parties pre-trial that she would not apply rational basis review, the lowest level of constitutional scrutiny, to the case. Instead, in accordance with the ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Witt v. Department of the Air Force, she would apply intermediate scrutiny, meaning to be constitutional, DADT must significantly further an important governmental interest that can be advanced in no other way.On September 9, 2010, Phillips ruled that the ban is unconstitutional. On October 12, Phillips issued an injunction banning the military from enforcing the policy. She subsequently denied the government's request for a stay of the injunction, and the government then took their request to the Ninth Circuit, which granted a stay. On November 12, the United States Supreme Court denied an application by the Log Cabin Republicans to vacate the stay. The Ninth Circuit vacated the stay on July 6, 2011, and ordered an end to enforcement of DADT. On September 29, 2011, the Ninth Circuit issued a per curiam opinion that the legislative repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" had rendered the case moot.Los Angeles Area Council
Founded in 1915, the Los Angeles Area Council (LAAC) (#033) served most of the City of Los Angeles as well as several other cities in the greater Los Angeles area. It was one of five Boy Scouts of America councils in Los Angeles County, California. Since its founding in 1915, the Los Angeles Area Council has brought its purpose and values to millions of youth. The Council served 54,567 youth in the Greater Los Angeles Area in 2008 alone.Greater Los Angeles Area Council (GLAAC) is a new Boy Scouts of America Council made from the merger of the Los Angeles Area Council and the San Gabriel Valley Council. The vote to merge was held on March 21, 2015. The new name for the Council, Greater Los Angeles Area Council, was announced on June 11, 2015. The new Council will continue with Scouting Service centers in Los Angeles and Pasadena. GLAAC has three Scout shops in Los Angeles, San Pedro and Pasadena. GLAAC operates eight BSA Camps in the greater Los Angeles area. Due to the large size of the two original councils, the merger is a process that will be completed over a time span.Lower Swedish Cabin
Lower Swedish Cabin is an historic Swedish-style log cabin on Creek Road in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania (a census designated section of Upper Darby), along Darby Creek. The cabin may be one of the oldest log cabins in the United States.Palmer Park (Detroit)
Palmer Park is a 296-acre (120 ha) public park next to Detroit, Michigan's Palmer Park Apartment Building Historic District. It is named for U.S. Senator Thomas Witherell Palmer, who initially created the park when he donated 140-acre (57 ha) for a city park in 1893 on the condition that the virgin forest be preserved. The park includes a historic log cabin, a public golf course, tennis courts, hiking and biking trails and a large pond known as Lake Frances.Pinnacle Foods
Pinnacle Foods, Inc. is a packaged foods company headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey that specializes in shelf-stable and frozen foods. The company became a subsidiary of Conagra Brands on October 26, 2018.
|Late-19th to mid-20th century|
|Post-World War II to current|