How the Milled Log Home Industry was Born in America

Log homes are considered icons of American living. Its history is long and colorful, and despite the first log homes emanating from the 17th century, plenty of us are still fascinated with its beauty. They are now not only used for weekend retreats because annually 26,000 log homes are built as permanent residence.

The history of log homes is astonishing. The construction of homes relying on the use of logs was evident centuries ago in the Scandinavian countries, Eastern Europe and Russia. It had been known that the first settlers in the United States were the Swedish who have built the earliest log cabins in 1638 at Delaware. These immigrants used their skills in log cabin construction in Colonial America. These homes are rather small consisting only of one room and very few windows. Around that time the construction of the cabin was very simple, relying largely on very simple tools and logs coming from the forests. Any person could build his log cabin and no excellent expertise was required.

The 1800’s witnessed the dramatic change with log cabins, for their construction was improved as the demands of busier living became inevitable. The log houses grew larger, and it wasn’t the simple cabin with single room and few windows anymore. Initially these log structures were built for vacationing Americans, and so aside from several rooms and plenty of windows and doors, large balconies and heavy roofs made of timber were included.

Now you may be wondering how in the world log home companies began in the country. Today there are over 200 various companies offering milled log home packages.

In 1923, a business-minded lumber man by the name of Bruce Ward in Northern Maine made business with local utility companies to supply those with poles. He built his own log cabin and chose Northern White Cedar logs because not only did he find them beautiful, he also chose them because of the tree’s natural resistance to rot and decay. His friends loved it and asked him if he could make the same cabins for them. He later opened a small mill in Presque Isle, Maine; and the first milled log houses were constructed in his plant, disassembled and then reassembled on the owner’s place. Today we know these log houses as modular log cabin homes.

Bruce Ward continued to improve his knowledge on milled log houses and studied on the many common problems associated with them such as cracks and gaps. He died in 1943. Local investors bought his mill, and focused on upgrading the products and knowledge Bruce Ward had contributed to the milled log home industry.

By the late 1960’s, so much has changed in milled log homes: machines are much better, the home designs are much more various, and the engineering standards have developed further. Not only were these milled log homes erected for the business of log cabin lodges’ owners; they were slowly purchased by people who chose to go back in time through the building of their dream log homes.

Today, milled log homes are known to cost less per square foot than handcrafted log homes. They are offered with a variety of wood species that customers will enjoy a diverse choice of designs. Milled log parts for the home are very easy to understand that a do-it-yourself homeowner could enjoy building his own log home and some minimal assistance from experienced builders. Also, not only will milled log home companies provide the services in design, engineering, and construction. They can also provide “after-sale” maintenance which will help you preserve and protect your log home to keep it last a lifetime.