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Little house in the big woods

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MikeW

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Someone mentioned the log house in a PM...here it is. The link goes to 3 pics.

Maybe one day I'll get around to scanning the rest of the construction pics. But for now, here is one of them. Two hippies and their first born, fall is fast approaching and we'll be leaving for the home we were living in, in another state. The following spring I would return and finish the house.

We had bought the property late summer of the year the picture was taken. Winters there meant 4-5 feet of snow and -20 deg (F), so fnishing wasn't an option that year.



The album shows the picture above, one in August of the following year, before the house was finished, and the 3rd picture is our view from behind where the other two pictures were taken. Two of our boys were born there. It was a wonderful life there.

Little house in the big woods
 

frank

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mike peace man do you still have all that hair , mike did you just use the stones for the foundations or did you change them later on . i can just see the planning dept over here having kittens . :D
 

Chris Knight

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Mike,
Amazing pictures. I am surprised those huge logs stayed supported by those skinny little piles of stone!

Do you have any more photos of that time/place?
 

MikeW

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Hi Frank and Chris, peace love dove.

Nope, the hair is pretty well gone. I think there's a recent photo in the Rogue's Gallery. The son in that picture is now 30...

Well, we bought the land for $24,000/60 acres. The closest town was 20 miles away. The nearest neighbor was 1.5 miles (coincidentally also the length of our "driveway"). No power or in-house running water. The zoning and planning commission didn't venture up in the mountains :lol: .

I went to change them out about 6 years after that photo. It's a long story. I didn't do it. We moved in the house in 1978. We visited some friends a couple years ago near there. It's still standing on those stacked stones.

Chris, yep, lots of pictures. One of these days I'll get more of them scanned. There are several albums. A few highlights from the albums would maybe be the rest of the building, peeling logs, dragging them out, erecting them, etc., the snow. Wonderful snow. What we couldn't take a picture of was how in the winter it would be so quite the falling snow was so loud it would sometimes wake us at night.

Oh, other's might be the gardens the boys built, my very first shop ever being built, and most likely would include the grizzley that attacked us one night. Oh so many wonderful memories--and pictures.

Well, like Derek said, I better get back to work.
 

trevtheturner

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Thanks for sharing those pics. with us, Mike. Magical!

I would certainly appreciate seeing more - including one of the bear (and the story behind it). You must have enjoyed many idyllic times in them there woods.

Cheers,

Trev.
 

Travis Byrne

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Hello MikeW
I too enjoyed the pics and also look forward to seeing more.

Also tell us about the times when:
You had to get up in the middle of the night to add more wood to the fire.
You had to go to the out house with a lantern so dim that you had to strick a match to see if it was lit. And it threw so many shadows that you could see all different kind of wild animals creepings up.(was that a stick or a snake?)
You wished you had a cold drink of something.(No frig)
You had to chop up little fire wood so that it would fit in the cook stove.
You had to throw out food because it spoiled, or held your nose and ate it anyway. :shock:
About the times you went without something because you only went to town once a week.
About the time when you had to gather up enough vessels to carry all the water you could or else you would have to drank out of the creek.

Alas to be young again, full of vim and vinegar and to think you knew it all and be bullet proof

This has stirred up a lot of memories in a old man :oops:

Travis
 

MikeW

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Hey Travis,

Hello MikeW
I too enjoyed the pics and also look forward to seeing more.

Also tell us about the times when:
You had to get up in the middle of the night to add more wood to the fire.


We were told an "old saying" by a one of the first to homestead up there: You are as green as the wood you burn your first winter. Trust me <g>, after the first winter, when our son's toy that was filled with water, sitting two feet from a burning fire in the old cast iron heat stove froze solid over night, I learned all about bartering. I worked in a welding shop and we ended up with a stove that could burn up to 14 hours on a single load. We also learned all about chinking logs that winter.

We cooked on a century old wood cook stove as well as heated with wood. Come the second winter, the house was plenty warm all winter. Even with the better insulation (chinking) between the logs, the roof and floor insulated--and the house you see in the pictures was only 20' by 20'--we used 14 cords per season.

You had to go to the out house with a lantern so dim that you had to strike a match to see if it was lit. And it threw so many shadows that you could see all different kind of wild animals creepings up.(was that a stick or a snake?)

Ah, our kerosene lantern put out plenty of light. Even the kids were never afraid of the dark (thank goodness!). We would often go down to our neighbor's for an evening. This would mean walking home at some late hour, summer or winter. By star light, the sky was so full of stars, that even without a moon we could see 100 feet or more in front of ourselves. If there was a moon, it was like a strange daylight scene. Winter even with cloud cover one could see way out under the lower limbs in the woods.

Of course, if was a rainy season without a moon, it could be so black that we had to use the lantern. One of the really fun memories we have occurred during the first couple winters we lived there. In the picture of the meadow below the house, you can see our samoyed, Tundra (what else?). He would pull our groceries and whatever up to the house during the winters. If Kris, our son, was too tired to walk, we would let him go to sleep on the sled and tell Tundra to go home. When we would arrive at the cabin, Tundra would have pulled the sled onto the porch and be sitting there awaiting our arrival, Kris sleeping all bundled up in the sled.

You wished you had a cold drink of something.(No frig)

We had a large creek that ran across the property, about a 1/4 mile from the house. We built a spring box over it for the summer months to keep perishables cool. No worries about cold 7 months of the year.

You had to chop up little fire wood so that it would fit in the cook stove.

The wood shed held 16 cords, of which 2 was cut to length for the cook stove. Dina use to bake 4 loaves of bread twice a week in that stove. Best bread ever. But there was always the bits of kindling for either stove to chop. Heck, there was always something to do during the day. Night was pretty much spent reading or playing games or visiting the neighbors.

You had to throw out food because it spoiled, or held your nose and ate it anyway.

The only thing that ever spoiled was part of a bear one year. But it tasted a little gamey anyway :) . But there was a lot of other game. Mostly moose, a lot of game birds (I taught Kris how to run a trap line for snaring grouse), some bear and deer. There was a lot of fish too, mostly trout, but also some bass.

About the times you went without something because you only went to town once a week.

:lol: . Oh yeah. At least for the first winter and following summer. I started a logging company and so was through one town or another often enough.

About the time when you had to gather up enough vessels to carry all the water you could or else you would have to drank out of the creek.

Had to? Actually, the spring we return to finish the house, I dug a 3' wide by 6' deep hole next to the house to keep a cooler in for, ah, refreshments. The following fall a spring came up out of that hole. Thereafter it would begin flowing about September and shut off about May. Coldest, best tasting water ever. Between those months we carried water from the creek. Every two days, two trips. During the summer when I could drive into the cabin, I would haul some barrels for laundry, etc.

Alas to be young again, full of vim and vinegar and to think you knew it all and be bullet proof

We didn't know everything then?

This has stirred up a lot of memories in a old man

Me too, actually. Unless, of course, I just made it all up... :p
 

Alf

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Ah, I don't think I was ever young and foolhardy enough to do something like that - much to my regret. I like my comforts too much. :( Who'd have thought those little stacks of rock would hold up a whole cabin - amazing. Thanks for the pics, Mike. I've been following Phil Koontz's logging and cabin building tales on the Old Tools List, so it's nice to see what the finished product he's aiming for might look like. Some fabulous pictures of his logging trip here, btw.

Cheers, Alf
 
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