What Is a Log Cabin

log cabin photo

Where does the word cabin come from? It comes from the Late Latin Root word ‘hut.’ Today’s popular meaning of the word cabin is that it’s a small shelter or house, made of wood; situated in a wild or remote area. A cabin can also be a private room or a compartment on a ship. Many have heard of the Captain’s Cabin on ships or cruise lines. Another definition of the word cabin is that it’s a small dwelling characteristic of the frontier, especially when built from logs with simple tools and not constructed by professional builders, but by those who meant to live in it.

So some cabins are not true cabins.

Yes, it sounds fancy but the true cabin must be an accurate example, or at least reasonable facsimile, of the classic construction idea. Cabins have been around for centuries. Many built cabins out of real wood on their land in order for them to save money. The cabin also has historical and sentimental value to many. Some people dream year after year of enjoying a true cabin stay in Lake Tahoe, Truckee, the Alps and so many more places. They want that perfect cabin to snuggle up in, brew coffee and enjoy the snowfall or landscape in the Summer. Why settle for a ‘faux cabin’ when people can find the best? Common knowledge in regards to an authentic cabin is that it’s supposed to be constructed with real logs or at least have a real log look with steel beams underneath. Many normally think of the wilderness, ski resorts or the plains when pondering about authentic cabins. Often times we see imitations of cabins. But which are just mere imitations of cabins? People search websites on many occasions so that they can buy, build or rent the most exuberant cabin. There’s a huge business for cabin owners. People are on the hunt for their cabin vacation rental getaway to their own personal haven. But what constitutes a real cabin? What are the grounds for it? Are they technically supposed to be constructed of real pine wood or real oak? Are they supposed to be built so that they have that real log cross at each corner? Many diehard cabin lovers think so. Some only believe a true cabin is built by non-professionals and they live in it. That is at least a classic interpretation of a true cabin. I personally came across a plethora of cabin imitations on the web. With so many AirBnBs these days, it’s time to weed out the ‘faux cabins’ from the real ones. People are traveling. Many still love cabins. But the heartache is heavy when we google for cabins and we see $600 a night for a cabin that is not a cabin. Gatlinburg and even Disney World have listed cabins for rent. Some have that ‘cabin feel’ and many are just advertisements just to lure people in to stay at a fancy house trying to gleam as a beautiful cabin. Regular wood or brick just on any house does not equate to a cabin just because it sounds great to call the dwelling a cabin.

Where to Find a Log Cabin

Some vacation hot spots list all kinds of places which are supposed cabins. I searched the Gatlinburg vacation area and I saw some listed as real cabins, but many were not constructed in the true authenticity of being a real cabin. Yes, we’ve grown from the days of staying in cabins with no running water or sewage. But can we at least get the real cabin feel? Will a bear brush up against the door outside? Will we smell the real Pine as we eat Oatmeal for breakfast?

Can we sit on the swing on the cabin’s porch and wonder what kind of wood was used on the cabin in which we eat and drink before? How can we just label any wood house a cabin? Disappointment rears its head. People are accustomed to that authentic real log look. Bring it back. A cabin with a chimney is nice too. Are real cabins fading? Has gentrification led to the demise and collapse of the real cabin? Will we have to live in Tennessee or Colorado to enjoy a true cabin? Are true cabins fading? No, not everywhere. Utah has many true cabins. Nebraska has some. They are spread out in the west and south. Some still hunt for real cabins. Some still go hunting and stay in cabins to enjoy nature and animals. But during the Baby Boomer era, many can still hear hauntings of voices screaming to stay in a true log cabin. Appeasing to the eye and to the spirit, cabins have left their mark. Alaska tends to have a lot of real cabins left. But just any Victorian or Antebellum home does not equate to a real cabin. For years, people have seen landlords and more post cabins online for sale or rent and they aren’t real cabins. Real cabins have charm, log designs preferably and are quaint retreats. Can every home be a cabin or be listed for sale as a cabin just because it sounds attractive? No. Of course not.

Like Wikipedia indicates: A log cabin is a dwelling constructed of logs, 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. For centuries, people have adored real cabins in America and abroad. Years ago, the less fortunate and wealthy alike would build cabins from the ground up. Some poor people years ago, would chop wood and construct cabins on their own. They are historical treasures, good places to lay down and both the rich and the poor have benefitted from them. The pricey ones are more like retreats and the smaller ones at times were constructed because of wealth constraints. The traveler benefits from enjoying the beautiful designs of many cabins. The design itself lures many in. So we’ve got to keep real cabins around. Let’s ditch this false façade of what cabins are. They are not just any house sitting on a one-acre lot. They are log empires which stand out as distinct, eccentric and classic. They aren’t fading. There are just many cabin imitations out there. But the true cabin lover will weed through the imitations and still find a cabin paradise whether big or small. Keep logging on. Keep searching. True cabins are still here.

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