No one knows when she was originally built, but when my dad first bought the cabin in 1968 there were log remnants of a horse barn where the folks who logged the area kept their horsepower for hauling trees. Located in the Chequamegon Forest of northwest Wisconsin, the cabin was fairly unique, built of logs but stacked vertically instead of the typical horizontal construction.
The cabin had no foundation and was just resting on the ground. The floor took on a roller-coaster profile after a number of years. We talked about building another shack and other options, but the only thing the nine of us could all agree on was that we loved our authentic cabin just the way it was. So, the obvious choice was to rebuild it.
We found three white-cedar beams at a salvage yard in St. Paul that were pulled from an old Soo Line Railroad building. They were 11-by-16 inches and 24 feet long. We mounted one to the front, one to the back and one through the windows. With six screw jacks, we jacked up the cabin, poured a footing, set two rows of block, built a deck and set the cabin back down in the same spot.
Whenever any of us kids went to the cabin and brought friends along, Dad would always ask, “Well, how did they like it?” He always wanted it to be a place to be enjoyed by all. He set the cabin up in a trust for the seven kids to share. The trust was written that if there were more than one interested parties, the future owner would be determined by all parties cutting a deck of cards.
Lloyd Keleny, Champlin