Log Cabin Controversy

plymouth county fairgrounds photo
Photo by L. Bernhardt, Resident Loon

The unfolding drama surrounding a more than 100-year-old log cabin in Iowa illustrates the high costs associated with restoring and maintaining traditional log homes.

If you desire the look of a log or wood-exterior home but worry about the costly, time-intensive maintenance, give TruLog™ a call at 970-646-4490 to learn more about the innovative TruLog™ steel siding system or request a sample. TruLog replicates the contours, texture and beauty of natural timber, but with superior durability and the benefit of being maintenance-free.

The Joy Hollow Log Cabin

Thought to have been built circa 1900 by a Sioux City judge for his servant, the so-called Joy Hollow Log Cabin currently resides on the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in northwest Iowa. Lacking the resources to maintain the cabin and desiring the land it occupies for other uses, fair officials earlier this year declared they wanted the cabin moved or demolished.

The cabin has been at the fairgrounds since 2004, and it has already been moved three times in its century-plus of existence; most recently, it served as the cabin for a nearby Girl Scouts camp. Rather than see the cabin torn down, a group of area citizens initiated a campaign to save the cabin and have it moved to the Plymouth County Historical Museum.

But the museum board was initially split on whether to move the cabin and take on its associated costs.

The High Cost of Log Cabin Restoration

In a Radio Iowa article about the log cabin controversy, a longtime museum volunteer and former museum board president said he opposed moving the cabin in part because he could not “see the value of the museum taking on the responsibility and care, long-term, of another log cabin facility.”

The Plymouth County Historical Museum already has two log cabins on its site, and one is currently in a state of disrepair. One log cabin preservationist estimated the cost of fully restoring the tiny cabin at about $35,000. The cost of physically relocating the cabin could run another $8,000 to $10,000.

The Friends of Joy Hollow Log Cabin citizens group worked frantically to raise funds prior to a decisive April 8 meeting by the Plymouth County Historical Museum board.

Joy for Joy Hollow

On Wednesday, April 8, the museum’s governing board decided to allow the cabin to be moved to its property, according to an article in Iowa’s LeMars Daily Sentinel.

The Friends of Joy Hollow Log Cabin announced at the meeting that the group had raised more than $30,000 to help offset the costs of moving and restoring the cabin. The caveat is that the cabin must be relocated by June 1.

An Affordable Alternative to Logs

Even modern log homes, the timber of which is chemically treated and sealed, require expensive, time-consuming maintenance. If you’re seeking the beauty of natural wood but with improved energy efficiency, no maintenance worries, and better cost-effectiveness, TruLog steel siding may be right for you.

For more information about TruLog, or to request a sample, please contact TruLog online or call us at 970-646-4490. TruLog is based in Loveland, Colorado, but we ship nationwide and work with installers in states including Colorado, Wyoming, Texas, Missouri and Pennsylvania.

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