About Walden Log Homes
At Walden Log Homes, we understand beauty, simplicity and the hunger for a breath of fresh air and a place to unwind from busy lifestyles.
A Walden Log Home is truly the way a log home is supposed to look. All of the logs that Walden uses are at least 100 years old, and yet they are in as good a shape today as they were 100 year ago. The ultimate in Green Building, our reclaimed logs save trees! We basically recycle the logs our forefathers hand-cut, hand-peeled and hand-notched centuries ago when the forests in the southeast United States were filled with virgin timbers. They had been there since inception.
Our logs came from the hearts of these virgin timbers, so functionally, they are the same if not better than new logs. But when it comes to looks, there is no comparison. Let's face it, not everyone likes the new-log look. Our logs are not all uniform in size and shape, so they don't look like plastic. They are not mass-milled, but were hand-cut, hand-peeled and hand-notched over a century ago. Walden Log Homes is not a kit manufacturere.
We build custom homes with beautiful antique logs. So the final effect is a log home that not only looks authentic, but is authentic. We build our log homes the way log homes are supposed to look.
History of Walden Log Homes
When I was twenty years old, I went to work for an older friend who was in the business of salvaging log homes originally built in the 1800’s and re-erecting them for customers to be used for new homes. After my friend built one of his beautiful log homes on 200 acres on Lookout Mountain for himself, he decided to retire from the business. So I went into business for myself, doing exactly the same thing. That was the origin of Walden Log Homes, and that was over twenty years ago. Even after two decades, my job has never lost its luster.
However, I have gained a partner. Dan Robinson, my brother-in-law, spent nearly twenty years as Director of Marketing and Sales at Top Flight Paper Products, a national manufacturer of school and office supplies. Under his direction, Walden Log Homes has grown considerably.
Even though our capabilities have expanded over the years (we now not only re-erect an existing structure, but can also build to any plan by re-notching and re-configuring our logs), the logs are still the same.
All of our logs that we use were hand-hewn over one hundred years ago. They were all hewn with a foot adz, which is a long-handled axe with the blade positioned much like a garden hoe. With this tool, the craftsmen would straddle the felled tree, and cut off the bark and soft sap wood on all four sides until the dense heart wood was finally shaped into a large square log. And then they would begin again, massive tree after massive tree, until enough heart wood was hewn to make their home.
There are several advantages these reclaimed timbers have over new logs. One is the fact that these logs moved and creaked and twisted, natural properties of all wood as it settles, at least ninety years ago. Another advantage these logs have is that they were actually virgin timbers. Our forefathers chose the biggest, strongest trees for their homesteads, and after the “softness” was hewn from them, the dense heartwood was, and is, as hard as a rock and naturally resistant to insects and rot.
These logs are loaded with character. They are not uniform in shape or size, they have the hand-hewn marks left by the foot adze and they all have a history to tell. The trees that these logs were cut from were extraordinary by today’s standards. These timbers came from very old growth, and were hand-hewn down to the slow-growth heartwood of the tree. That is why they are still around today – and in such good condition. The craftsmanship by our settlers is remarkable. You simply cannot get logs like this anymore, and you cannot duplicate this unique, authentic look.
At Walden, we are committed to carrying on the tradition of these 1800’s craftsmen. Our goal is to combine these one-of-a-kind logs with modern amenities to provide homes that can be described as nothing less than striking. We hope you agree.
Build Your Antique Log Home
For twenty years, we have combing the southeast for original log cabins. Often these old log homes have been covered up in siding, hiding the beautiful logs but also offering protection from the elements. We have developed sources for finding these gems, and have perfected the art of building brand new log homes, some with modern floor plans, some re-erected exactly "as found", in a way would fool the pioneers that built them. We renotch the ancient logs, cut dove tail corners by hand and chink with our own concoction that does not look, well, plastic.
Almost all of the antique log homes we build are custom structures, built to our customers' specifications. However, we do have a few "favorites" that people seem to request again and again. At any rate, we can help you come up with a house plan if you don't have one already.
Although the antique log homes we salvage were all well built, they are small by today's standards. Most people today prefer a house plan that is more suitable to modern-day lifestyles (not too many families today would survive for very long living in one room!). That is why we modify the antique structures by cutting off the old notches, re-notching, and reconfiguring to accommodate any house plan that our customers come up with. This reconfiguring the beautiful, one-of-a-kind log homes is done very carefully and methodically. And the end result is so close to the original, even the pioneers who built our homes would have a difficult time discerning between their work and ours.
We dismantle these original log homes, then ship the logs back to our site in Chattanooga. We then incorporate the antique logs into your plan for your new log home. If you don't have a house plan, we will be happy to help you design your log home based on your tastes, budget, lifestyle and your building site.
Once your log home is built to your specifications on our site in Chattanooga, we number the logs, take them down and ship them to your site wherever it may be. We will then send out an on-site advisor to oversee the reassembly of the log home. Then you or your contractor will finish out the log home according to your plans.
P.O. Box 366