Experience pioneer living at the Log House Homestead Bed and Breakfast without sacrificing modern conveniences.
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Tucked into the hillside near the North Bend Rail Trail sits a picture perfect symbol of Appalachia—the Log House Homestead Bed & Breakfast. It is rooted in its surroundings, as if the candlelit windows and deep front porch have overlooked the pond and countryside for 200 years, when in fact, owners Martha and Dick Hartley built it by hand, beginning in 1992, using timber from their own land. “This house is an icon of our mountain culture. It is a museum you get to stay in, instead of just visit,” says Dick Hartley.
Dick and Martha have always loved log structures and frontier living. In preparation for retirement, they decided to build an authentic log home and turn it into a bed and breakfast. Armed with an abundance of research, it took five years of working on weekends and holidays to cut and hew the poplar and oak logs, which Dick and Martha’s uncle pulled through the woods to the building site using a 1948 Ford tractor. Dick hand-hewed and half-dovetailed the 44 logs. It took another three years to raise the walls and finish the interior.
The end result is a 20-by-26-foot showcase of traditional craftsmanship. The Hartleys masterfully created an authentic two-story log home that sleeps five people, while adding modern conveniences—although you won’t find a television or telephone to ruin the 19th century experience. Martha and Dick are unapologetic about the lack of cable or Internet. “At the log house we don’t have phone, television, or internet access. I believe that with all of today’s technology, folks don’t talk and share with each other, and we need to get back to that. We need time to stop and reflect.”
The comfortable home is definitely conducive to talking…or rocking…or playing a game of checkers. The focal point of the first floor is the large stacked stone fireplace, outfitted with gas logs. The interior walls are black walnut, hickory, maple, beech, and oak paneling—all harvested from trees on the property. The heavy shiplap and batten doors are black walnut with cut nails and iron straps custom-made by a blacksmith. (Make sure you look closely on each of the doors and you’ll notice that the straps and handles are of different designs.) A tinsmith created the wall sconces from historic patterns, and the sconces can be dimmed to recreate the effect of candlelight.
Each immaculate room is tastefully adorned with reproduction and antique furnishing appropriate for a home built in 1820 to 1830. A Tom Sealy canopy bed takes center stage in the Cherry bedchamber upstairs. A converted antique rope bed joins a second reproduction bed in the Oak bedroom. Modern conveniences are cleverly tucked away in the “Root Cellar” beneath the house, where guests will ﬁnd a kitchenette and full modern bath with two-person Jacuzzi. (One can’t help but wonder what our ancestors would think of that.)