Log Cabins and Book Giveaway

 

 THINGS YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT LOG CABINS

 

  • Abe Lincoln was born in one.  Okay, so maybe you already knew that, but did you also know that the first president to be born in a log cabin was Andrew Jackson? 

 

  •  Pound for pound wood is stronger than steel which makes Log Cabins virtually indestructible (except by woodpeckers and carpenter bees).  They can stand up to earthquakes and are pretty much fire-resistant. A log home was the only beachfront home in the Carolinas to remain standing during Hurricane Hugo.

 

  •  Log cabins were not an American invention. The Swedish bought the idea to American in the 1600s.

 

  •  Providing there were trees, a log cabin could be built in days, needed no nails and was rainproof, sturdy and cheap to build.  The only tool needed to build one was an ax.

 

  •  Log cabin designs were influenced by the Homestead Act of 1862 which required homes to be at least ten by twelve and have one glass window.

 

  •  Foundations were built eighteen inches high because it was believed that termites couldn’t climb that high.

 

  •  A log cabin helped win a presidential election.  William Harrison made a big deal over his “humble beginnings” and used the log cabin logo (along with hard cider) to show he was a “people’s man.”  Ironically, the man was born in a wood frame house. 

 

  •  Log Cabin syrup was introduced in 1887 by Patrick J. Towle, a Minnesota grocer. The name was chosen to honor Towle’s hero Abraham Lincoln.

 

 

Now that you know as much as I do about log cabins I want to tell you about my new story “Snow Angel” which will be released September 1st in the Log Cabin Christmas collection and can be ordered now.

 

 

 

 

SNOW ANGEL

 The moment schoolteacher Maddie Parker walked into the tumble-down log cabin schoolhouse, she knew coming to Maverick, Texas was a mistake.  Now she’s stuck at school with three of her rowdiest pupils during a blizzard and in terrible danger of becoming unglued.

 

Sheriff Brad Donovan is fit to be tied.  What kind of teacher would keep her pupils after school in such weather? Now it’s up to him to rescue them—no easy task.  For now he’s stuck at the schoolhouse with no means of escape.  But while the storm rages outside, hearts are thawing inside.

 

 Brad and Maddie have personal reasons for fighting their attraction to each other, but as the days drag on it becomes increasingly hard to do. Was it fate or bad luck that brought that together? Or could this have been God’s plan all along?     

 

www.margaretbrownley.com

 

I don’t have my author copies yet but  since I’m making you think about Christmas so early it seems only fair to give one away!

So tell us about your log cabin experiences—past, present or future!

 

 A Log Cabin Christmas: 9 Historical Romances during American Pioneer Christmases

 

 A Vision of Lucy (A Rocky Creek Romance) 

Margaret Brownley
Margaret has published more than 46 books and is a N.Y. Times Bestselling author and two-time Romance Writers of America Rita Finalist. She writes historical novels set--where else?--in the Old West! She has written for a day time soap and is currently working on a new series. Not bad for someone who flunked 8th grade English. Just don't ask her to diagram a sentence.
Updated: August 18, 2011 — 6:23 am

84 Comments

  1. Friend had a log cabin in Shenandoah Mountains, which he refurbished himself. Wonderful home.

  2. Wow,what a great post,,an that Christmas book looks so good,im a Christmas book favorite,anyway,my experience with Log Cabins would be one near at the Smokey Mts.at a place called Caves Cove,they have several that you can go inside an explore an they really nice,,also Ive been in a few newones,but I prefer the old ones,thanks for such a great post,Vickie

  3. When my kids were in grade school we went on a field trip to Heritage Hills near Green Bay. It has buildings from different periods of Wisconsin history. I remember the pioneer section had a fur trader’s cabin and a school house. Also Two Rivers has a fishing village with the museum based in a log cabin along the East Twin River.

    Christmas Ahh I’d love to read your book in the Log Cabin series!

  4. We have been to the Smoky Mountains twice and both time we stayed in a cabin. Of course they were not the older kind but we loved it. We did some exploring and did come across several older log cabins that was at one time someones home way back when. And yep, they are still standing!

  5. Hi Liz, thanks for popping in. *I wonder what you have to do to refurbish a log cabin. Rechink it?

  6. Hi Margaret! My husband and I lived in a California mountain community for eight years (Pine Mountain / Frazier Park area in the Los Padres National Forest). The area had log cabins galore, the kind made from kits. Lovely homes! If I ever had one, I’d want smooth walls on the inside. Dusting entire walls with curved logs is a big job. The logs also made nice homes for hornets and wasps. Ick!

    Your story sounds delightful 🙂

  7. I’ve had this book on my must have list for a few months patiently waiting. I can’t wait to read it. The house I just moved from after 35 years had a logcabin in the woods with a path leading to it. It was a nice place to spend a weekend looking at the creek outfront and off to the side was a spring house and the outhouse was on the other side in the back. It is still in pretty good shape.

  8. Vickie I love that–Cave’s Cove. It suggests all kinds of stories! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Thank you all for your patience today. It’s taking me forever to log in!

  10. Hi Laurie, what a fun field trip. Thank you for sharing!

    The only time I ever stayed in a log cabin was during my honeymoon. We were in Yosemite and unfortunately I spotted a mouse. Standing on the dresser screaming is not a good way to spend a wedding night. The next day at the lodge people looked at us all funny-like.

  11. P.s. Laurie, thank you for the link. I could have used that while writing my story.

  12. Hi Patsy, the Smoky mountains seems to be the place to go for log cabins! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Hi Victoria, I am very familiar with Frazier Park.
    It’s about an hour’s drive from me. On the rare occasion that I get a hankering for snow we drive out there. there are some great log cabins out there. I never considered the dusting part. You made a good point.

  14. Hi Margaret,

    Fun post and Snow Angel sounds wonderful.

    I love log cabins, always have. When I worked for the corporate headquarters of KOA the reception area had the facade of a log cabin complete with porch. Always fun to walk into the office.

    –Kirsten

  15. I’m so blessed to be part of this project with Margaret, Wanda, Jane and the rest of the gals.

    We have several log cabins still standing here in SE Minnesota from pioneer days. I love to daydream about who lived in them, all the family and life that existed within those log walls.

    Across the street from us, back in the trees, is a huge log cabin house with a green metal roof. It’s gorgeous!

  16. My first experience with log cabins is through the “Little House” series.

  17. Well, I personally have never had any experience with log cabins which seems to me like I would need a good book to read so I could learn all about them!! Wink Wink ;o) ;o)

  18. There is nothing as picturesque as a log cabin in the mountains. When I dream of where I would live if I could pick anything I wanted, I always dream of a secluded log cabin near a mountain lake. I never realized how sturdy they were in comparison to other types of houses, though. That fact about Hugo not being able to blow one down really impressed me.

    Your anthology looks wonderful, and I love your story idea. Can’t wait to see how you bring those two together with the pesky kids getting in the way!

  19. I had a teacher that lived in a log cabin that her husband built. They moved out of it a while back and we were not sure if they were going to build another one or not. Her husband built another one. They are so beautiful. Your book sounds wonderful.

  20. I’m another one of the authors privileged to work with Margaret, Erica and all the rest. Laurie, you might be interested to know that my story is set in a northern Wisconsin logging camp which is based on Camp Five in Laona. I did my research on log cabins at Galloway House in Fond du Lac. I LOVE Wisconsin history! I’m going to put Heritage Hills on my list of places in Wisconsin I must visit. It sounds great 🙂 Hope you all enjoy the book. Thanks so much for the post, Margaret!

  21. Erica Vetsch! For those who might not know Erica is another Log Cabin author.

    Thank you for stopping by. It’s a real blessing to have my name linked with yours!

  22. Liz Tolsma–thank you for joining the party! What fun it is working with you gals. Can’t wait to ready your logging camp story.

  23. Kirsten, I love KOAs. We have one we go to regularly located in Santa Paula, California. They have log cabins and Indian teepees–great place.

  24. Hi Margaret. I’m one of the authors in A Log Cabin Christmas. My story is A Grand County Christmas, and while I based my story on my Germans from Russia heritage, the setting is where I lived for twenty-eight years. The cabin I describe is a real cabin in Grand County. When I discovered that they actually built cabins on top of other cabins, and why I was blown away. I won’t ruin it by telling anyone here. They’ll have to buy our book to find out. My bad? *wink wink* Seriously, I had a blast doing research for this story. The history of the different types of log cabins and how they were built differently was amazing. In Grand County there are still a lot of the old homestead cabins around. Some are broken down, and some sturdy and still being lived in. My husband and I lived in an old homestead house for a few years. The ceiling was only 6’4. and my husband only had two inches to spare, and he had to remove his cowboy hat or it would scrape the ceiling. This particular homestead house had been added onto, but the three original rooms had that short ceiling. It was a trip taking a shower as the bathroom was one of them. Being tall, we had to almost squat to get under the shower head. Having said all of that, I was blessed to be a part of A Log Cabin Christmas. Can’t wait to read everyone’s stories.

    Merry Christmas everyone. hehe I just had to say that. Seriously, can you believe it is only a few months away. sigh. And because of Margaret, I will now be singing Christmas songs in August. hehe

    Oh…Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh, hey!
    Don’t you think that kind of fits with the cabin theme? Boo hiss. Okay, I’m leaving now.

    Debra Ullrick

  25. I’ve always loved log cabins and have a photo of one as my desktop photo. I live in the mountains of western NC and there are many log cabins still standing. Even one that was a slave cabin. They just seem comfy cozy to me. When we visit Pigeon Forge in TN, we stay in a campground cabin. It’s just a small, one room cabin, but I love it.

    Would love to read this book!

    Doreen

  26. Hi Debra–wow! This is turning into a real log cabin party! My husband is six foot six so he wouldn’t have been able to stand in that log cabin. Merry Christmas back go you.

  27. Hi Doreen, I would love to see those log cabins you talk about. Did they have slaves in the mountains? Interesting.

  28. My Aunt has a log cabin house in MN and I always loved going there. Fall is my favorite season and the log cabin house is perfect with the fall colors surrounding it. I would love to have a log cabin house but that would not go over too well in FL- not the same feel.

  29. Great info on log cabins. The only time I ever stayed in a log cabin is one that you rent on vacation and they are not quite the same. I always wanted to have a log house but never could afford one. Maybe one day when I get rich I will have one built in the mountains somewhere. A girl can dream can’t she?

  30. Christine, I see your problem. A log cabin house in Florida just doesn’t do it.

  31. Quilt lady, a girl can dream. Have you ever made a log cabin quilt? I saw one at a quilt show and fell in love with it.

  32. Amy, my story is about a teacher who teaches in a log cabin school. I understand it costs a lot these days to build a log cabin–more than a regular wood frame house. I guess it’s not so bad if you do the work yourself.

  33. Margaret- I think my teacher’s husband might have built it himself. I think that a log cabin school is a perfect setting for a story!

  34. What a fun idea for an anthology! Looks fab.

  35. Thanks for sharing this info about Log Cabins.. I knew that part about Abe Lincoln and I think I remember reading somewhere about Andrew Jackson, but the other info no, like I said thanks for the history lesson…
    Your book and cover look great.. but I just don’t want to think about that “season” just yet, thank you very much.. Smiles

  36. Margaret, congrats on the release of your Christmas anthology! It looks like it’s going to have to go in my shopping cart. Snow Angel intrigues me. I’ve never read a story where they’re stuck at school in a blizzard. You’re always coming up with something different.

    I’ve never lived in a log cabin but it’s been one of my goals. It looks like fun. And I had heard they’re very sturdy. For the first years of my life my family and I lived in a tent. We were really poor. Wish we’d had a log house.

  37. Ah, come on Kathleen, Christmas is just around the corner. I’ve already received all my Christmas catalogs in the mail.

  38. What a wonderful post, Margaret. No real log cabin stories but I remember building them with my brother’s Lincoln Logs (I remember all the notches) and always wanting to live in one. There’s one at Disneyland’s Thunder Ranch that I wish I could live in.

    Re: Log Cabin Syrup. We were horrified on a visit to a Vermont sugar house to learn that it, and Mrs. Butterworth’s, don’t contain any maple syrup at all. Yikes!

    Best of luck with the book. I love Christmas stories best of all, and collections more than that because…the stories are short and sweet and just the perfect read at a hectic time of year. oxoxox

  39. Hi Linda, interesting about that tent. I actually have a heroine who lives in a tent–at least in the beginning of the book.

  40. Tanya,
    I heard that about Log cabin syrup. I’m willing to bet this current “original” syrup is nothing like the grocer created in 1887. It’s sad what they’ve done to our food.

  41. You have my attention with your blurb… I really want to see how they deal with each other! Log cabins… I remember seeing some on a trip once, but no specific tales to share. As for Christmas, I have already been thinking about it and gifts…

  42. Alas, I have never been in a log cabin. I found all the facts fascinating though. Especially the part about it withstanding mother nature over any other type of home. It’s hard to find syrup with real maple in it anymore but I still buy Log Cabin because that’s what we had when I was growing up.

  43. Everything about your post was appealing! My log cabin experience dates back about 30 years. My mother has a small wooden (not log) cabin high up in the Rocky Mountains. One of the trails not too far from her cabin is called The Homestead Cabin Trail. After a grueling hike UP, three homestead cabins come into view, left of the trail. A woman lived alone in one of these cabins (for about 3 years), at about 10,000+ elevation. She would hike down (a long way) to a logging road, then on for several miles into the small mountain town that received over a million visitors a year. Oh, the legacies left by these amazing pioneer women! Such grit and courage! Every time I hike this trail, I sit on a tree stump in the open land surrounded by tall mountains and think about her life, how desolate it was, how difficult, and I feel a kinship with her.

    I would love your Christmas book, Margaret. Thank you for the facts about log cabins and for whetting my whistle for your book! God bless!
    Tamara

  44. Colleen, I bet you belong to the group that has all their Christmas shopping done early. I hold off till the last minute just in case Christmas is canceled or something. You just never know.

  45. I was wondering where you were Catlady. Now you know that Log Cabin syrup is not your mother’s syrup. Hey, isn’t there a commercial like that?

  46. Oh, wow, Tamara. I’m drooling just thinking about that homestead trail. I wonder what that woman’s story is. If only a cabin could talk!

    Thank you for stopping by.

  47. Hi anon! I loved that little house on the prairies series. Today’s kiddies don’t have anything like that to watch. What a pity.

  48. I don’t have any experience with log cabins except for the ones we stay in when we vacation in Tennessee….not quite the same as the ones in your stories!! Loved watching Little House on TV!! I live in SC so there are plenty of historical cabins to visit here. I would love an opportunity to win a copy of your book…Thanks!! Margie Mijares

  49. No log cabin experiences here, per se. However, I know a family whose 7 members lived in their garage, as they couldn’t afford to build their house until the parents were over 65 years of age. The garage was smaller than the log cabin picture above. They had a TV, round D/R table with leaves, running water (but the bathroom was an outhouse perhaps 70 feet away from the “house”), and two small bedrooms with handmade bunks (twin/twin for the 2 girls, and double/twin for the 3 boys, while the parents slept on the L/R pull-out couch).
    Those five kids and their mom (now 92 and still living in her “new” house) are still extremely close, which is no surprise to any of us….

  50. Margie, How great that you get to stay in a log cabin in Tennessee. Hope it has modern plumbing. Thanks for stopping by!

  51. Laney, Can’t imagine 7 people living in a garage, but what a story they must have. I’ve noticed that families who live in smaller homes tend to be closer than families with lots of rooms. I wonder if there’s any studies on that.

  52. Refurbish, in this case, meant rechink, re-roof, haul out tons of trash and overgrowth, etc. Run down doesn’t begin to describe. But, reputedly the cabin had been a stop on the stage coach line.

  53. Liz–thanks for clarifying. What fun it must have been to live on a stage coach line!

  54. Margaret,

    I love this post…I love log cabins Makes me think of Little House on the Prairie which I love. Now, when I was a kid there was a run down log cabin not far from our house. I used to play in it….

    Now, that is my dream home one of those beautiful log homes

    Thanks for sharing. Love the cover of your Christmas book

    Walk in harmony,
    Melinda

  55. Have never had a log cabin experience. Have never seen one in person.

  56. Enjoyed reading the article. We always stay in log cabins when we go fishing in the mountains of Colorado. Of course, they have some of the modern amenities.

  57. When I was about 13 our family stayed in a log cabin up in the mountains of Colorado…I remember that there was a box attached to the wall outside the door where food was put to keep it cold.But it had to be well-wrapped or it would attract large animals. Of course the only animals we saw were the horses we rode and the fish we caught. Fun times.

  58. We hope to someday have a log cabin getaway house of our own in the mountains somewhere. We have enjoyed vacations in Big Bear and Tahoe in California, but now we live on the east coast, so we’ll have to explore some new mountain locations. When I was a kid, we sometimes went to my great aunt and uncle’s cabin in Big Bear. There was a master suite in the basement, a big living room and kitchen on the main floor, and an attic with rows of beds, each covered with quilts that had been made by groups who stayed at the cabin!

  59. I’m another of Margaret’s cowriters, and my story is based on a variation of the log cabin, often built in the southern US: a dogtrot cabin.

    Dogtrot cabins are two small log cabins, called “pens,” with a breezeway in between wide enough for “three dogs to walk shoulder to shoulder.” One roof covers both.

    I use the cabin as a metaphor in my story, The Dogtrot Christmas, where a man and woman from two very different cultures fall in love and unite their differences under the one roof of Christianity.

    If you want a laugh, you can see a silly video we made to illustrate a dogtrot cabin here: ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6LNPHFNPq0

  60. Michelle, thank you for stopping by. The first time I heard about a dogtrot cabin was when researching Snow Angel. I almost used one in my story but it didn’t work out. I’m so glad you used one in your story and I can’t wait to read it.

  61. I would love to spend a winter in a cabin, somewhere with a lot of snow. Even if I couldn’t be there the whole winter, even two weeks would be fun! Can’t wait to read this book.

    Blessings,
    Jodie Wolfe

  62. A great post about log cabins and I loved Laurie G’s comment about Wisconsin my home state. Many old log cabins are restored in that state and I’m so grateful. My own part of Log Cabin Christmas is a story set in Oregon and I’m another of the co-writers. It’s called “The Courting Quilt” and it’s about a widow trying to hang on to her log cabin store and the itinerant thread salesman she thinks can help her do it until she finds out he’s promoting a “courting quilt” None of the avid quilting women is aware that the others are vying for his proposal if they produce the best quilt. The Christmas bazaar might prove his undoing but maybe not the widow’s ability to keep her store. I hope you like it. It’s my first novella and I’m honored to be in the company of Margaret and so many other fine writers.

  63. Jane, it’s great having you here–and sharing a book with you! I love your idea of a “courting quilt.” What fun. Can’t wait to get my author copies so I can read all the great stories.

  64. Wow, just love all these tales of log cabins! I have a friend who lives in a marvelous log cabin surrounded by woodland.

    I am another one who would love to spend part of a winter in one. Mainly because there would be only mice and no mosquitos!

    Can’t wait to read your book.

    Peace, Julie

  65. Hi Jodie, I’m with you. A log cabin, lots of snow, good books and of course a blazing fire.

    The perfect dream for a hot summer day.

  66. Hi Karen, thank you for stopping by–and for writing such great books!

    Hugs!

  67. Estella–no log cabin experience? You definitely need this book!

  68. Julie, you don’t mind mice? Then you’d love the log cabin in Yosemite.

  69. Michelle, thanks for the “h” and the dogtrot info. I envisioned an enclosed corridor between the two buildings. I didn’t know it would be open.

  70. Hello all!

    I’m extremely fortunate to be on this team of creative writers with a passion for history. I love research and anecdotal minutiae, so that tidbit about people thinking termites couldn’t climb up a 18 inch foundation made me grin 🙂 I’m excited to get my own copy of Log Cabin Christmas so I can curl up and read the other tales.

    My story, ‘Traps & Trimmings’ revolves around a hunter who finds himself trapped into sharing his one-room log cabin with his new ward. It might not be so bad if she wasn’t so distracting…

    As far as personal experience with log cabins, I live by Disneyland. So… do Lincoln Logs count?

    Happy reading!

    Kely

  71. Margaret,If you are ever In Tennessee,Caves Cove is a a free 10mile back area that used to be a habited by scattered cabins an churches,that are all abandoned now an stocked with plenty of wildlife that are easily spotted,,walking trails,an bike trails horse riding,an its free to drive true,I think its considered in Townsend Tn,an yes it would be a perfect backdrop for a storyline,glad you like it

  72. Hi Kelly, Lincoln logs count! You must live in Southern California, too! I can’t wait to read your story!

  73. Vickie, I’ll keep that in mind!

  74. My story in the Log Cabin Christmas collection is called “The Christmas Secret” and it’s set in Allentown, PA, which is near the town of Easton, where my husband was born. I’ve always had a fascination with log cabins and enjoyed writing this historical story.

  75. oh, wow, Wanda! What fun this has been today– a real Log Cabin party! Can’t wait to read your story.

  76. Joye, I wouldn’t think of staying in a log cabin without modern amenities! Some pioneer woman I would have made.

  77. Oh, I am looking forward to this book!!!
    No log cabin experience other than finding parts of walls of an old log cabin in the mountains of Colorado, but if I every win the lottery, I would love to have one of the modern log homes!

  78. Thanks for some fun facts about log cabins.

    We have had some nice experiences with log cabins. We spent our honeymoon in one in the woods of the Adirondacks. Th Air Force used to have a lodge and cabins on a lake in the Maine woods. We spent a lovely weekend there on a church retreat. We wanted to go back again, but the government no longer owns it. There have been a few Girl Scout and Boy Scout camps where we have spent time in log cabins and lodges.

    In Jonesborough, TN, there is an historic log cabin that has been moved to a lot on Main Street. It is open at different times, used for demonstrations of old crafts and other things during events.
    About 10 miles away is the Davy Crockett Birth Place State Park. There they have built a log cabin by the river. A replica of the home where he was born. It is a nice place to visit. They hold Scout camporees and reenactments there.

    Throughout the area we see many old log homes, out buildings and barns. Some have been taken care of or rebuilt. Unfortunately many are falling into disrepair. No matter what shape they are in, they are interesting, sturdy reminders of the early settlers in the area.

    A LOG CABIN CHRISTMAS COLLECTION is exactly the type of book I will enjoy. I love anthologies and Christmas stories are a favorite. I hope it sells well. I’ll be looking for it.

  79. Connie, I’m with you. A log cabin sounds like a dream–as long as it has all the modern conveniences. Thank you for stopping by!

  80. Patricia, you sound like a Scout mom. I’m a Scout grandma but we usually join the scouts in our RV. I hope your log cabin honeymoon worked out better than mine.

    Thank you for sharing!

  81. A very nice post. Log cabins are gaining too much prominence now a days as they are one of the prime attraction for tourists. Besides they can be used for residential and commercial purposes. Indeed a very informative post on log cabins. I just subscribed for the same and hope you will be posting same sort of stuff regularly. Thanks

  82. Thanks Log Cabin and welcome to Petticoats! I’ll be posting again after Labor Day! Hope to see you pop in now and again.

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