Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Excited! New/Old Cabin

I am so excited!

For the past month or so, we've been in pursuit of an old log cabin that is just down the road from our son's house.

We first saw it about five years ago. At that time the cabin was in fairly good shape and we thought perhaps the owners were still taking care of it. Since then we've seen it decline each year as weather and wind took their toll. This winter the porch collapsed, along with an addition we surmised was a kitchen.

So we stopped to ask. Would the owner consider selling the cabin to us?

We need another room. I know it sounds odd when all our sons are grown and moved out. But those of you who are grandparents know how that goes: they married, had children. Instead of five sons, there are now about 20 people who come to stay--sons, wives and children. And last year the next generation began with the birth of our great-granddaughter Cadyn.

We weren't sure the current owner of the cabin would be willing to see it taken down and moved, but we were also worried that the cabin would not survive much longer. When we finally saw that the owner was home (a rare occurrence), Larry went to the door and rang the bell.

He was home. And he listened. And after several phone calls and visits, it's official: the cabin is ours! And at no cost.

With this condition: we have to clean up the site. There is a lot of debris from the old kitchen and porch and items left in the cabin by former inhabitants. We had already anticipated that this might be the case so it was easy to agree.

The cabin, according to the owner, is the oldest standing structure in our county. It was lived in as late as 1994. It has a fairly new roof which probably saved it from collapsing. The owner wants to keep the roofing tin to use on a barn. Fair enough.

There is a cut stone fireplace in the cabin, which we can also have.

Can you tell I am excited? I am. We took down a cabin in 2002-2003 and built the cabin room on our house, which you can read about in this post, and that project was one of the most interesting and exciting things I have done in my lifetime. That room has become the heartbeat of the house when company comes, with the fireplace built from fieldstone by Larry, its slate floor, dining table from my childhood , and other memorabilia. The new room we plan to build will be a guest room with a fireplace and several beds--and a second bathroom and closet space, both also much needed.

We estimate this to be a five-year project. The other log room took three, but with the bathroom and a big porch this will take a bit longer because we'll be doing it as we have the funds. We are also aware that this will likely be the last building project we take on, because in five years we'll be 64 years old. But finally, finally, our house will be big enough.

Can you tell I'm excited?

16 comments:

Holly Hall said...

How exciting! I can't wait to read about the process. Your first cabin add on project is wonderful!

Nance said...

Wow! I would love to do this -- find a cabin and make it mine! Congratulations! Write about the progress, please, at every opportunity!

Granny Sue said...

Will do, Nance. It will be a long-term project, I know, but I can't wait to get started.

Jason Burns said...

Wow - once again you make me tired just reading your blog! However I'm so excited for you! If it is indeed the oldest (or even close to it) building in the county, then goodness knows what is lying around the cabin, in its walls, etc. I think its a great thing that the owner wants you to clean up the site - gives you more chances to dig around and find stuff.

Granny Sue said...

We've already spotted a few things, Jason, like the mantel to the fireplace, laying in the rubble on the floor. It's not an ornate and lovely thing, but it is original to the cabin and we may re-use it. I am sure there will be other items to come out of there that we can salvage, although there is also much trash and general debris. It might take a while just to do the cleanup, but I don't care--this is going to be just as much fun as the last one was. In the first cabin we found an old handmade chair, letters from the 1940's, blue canning jars by the dozen and other things. It was a trip to the past, sorting it all out.

gigihawaii said...

Sounds like a lot of work!!! But if you are happy, then I am, too.

Josee said...

Oh! the fun and joy you'll have discovering through the work ahead. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes of it! Enjoy!

Granny Sue said...

We hated seeing this old place just falling in, Gigi. There is a log barn about 50 miles from us that we pass on a regular basis; each trip the barn is a little less stable, the bottom logs kicking out. When I think of the work involved in its building, the many bales of hay and animals it housed, and the oldtime ways still in place then, it just kills me to see it dying. We tried to buy that barn several years ago but could not get an answer from the elderly owner. I guess, like us, he hated to give up on his past way of life, even though he no longer lives on the farm.

Granny Sue said...

Exactly, Josee! it will be an interesting time.

Country Whispers said...

Definately can tell you are excited and I don't blame you one bit. It sounds great!
Good luck with all of it and hope you have smooth sailing throughout the whole project.
Can't wait to see pics as you go.

Angela said...

Congratulations Granny Sue! That is exciting! There is a really small one room size log cabin down the road from me. I don't know if they even use it. It is cute though. I can't wait to hear more and see more about your new addition!

Nance said...

I am envious! I am a "picker" at heart, married to an anti-picker! lol Finding the mantle, and in your first renovation a home-made chair, blue jars and old letters. Can't get any better than that!

Janet, said...

Take your time and have fun sifting through the past. Too bad it couldn't just be moved intact and put beside your place and fixed up. It could be a guest house!

Granny Sue said...

Jessica, Angela, and Nance, I'll be posting plenty of photos as we go along. I learned that lesson last time. I took a couple yesterday that I will post later today, just fly-by pics as we were heading up the road to my son's house. I'll have better ones this weekend, I hope.

Janet, we did consider moving it and reconstructing to its former condition. Several considerations prompted us to use it as an add-on room: first is that the sill logs, or starter logs are in poor condition, and several other logs are also not in good shape. So we may have to pick and choose what we used.

Second is our own convenience. If we build it separate, we'd have to place it where we can run water and access our septic system and electricity because I would want a bathroom in it. It would not be much fun for company to traipse to the house to use the bathroom. Since we only have one bathroom at present, it's one of our top needs, especially when the house is full of people. So adding it as a room gives us easy access to water, power and the septic system. In the long run, it will be more useful to us this way than as a stand-alone cabin elsewhere on the property. Especially on those nights when Larry has eaten ramps and I kick him out of bed!

Deer Camp Diva said...

Congrats! I am so excited for you! I can't wait to watch the process on your blog.

The man that I am engaged to (Dean) has some old buildings (cotton gins) in a neighboring town - Dean and I walked through them last year and I am dying to get my hands on some of that wood for my walls and the floor.

Granny Sue said...

Cotton gins! really! That is fascinating. Do take some photos and post them sometimes; I'd love to see them.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...