Sep 14

Tale of Two Cabins

Before & After

A couple of years ago, my husband and I purchased a cabin at our hunting and fishing club.


The club was started in 1836. There are a few of the original structures still on the property. Our cabin was built in 1915 and was one of the first homes.


Our Creole style cabin was situated beautifully on the main lake. It was a one room structure that had been updated a few times throughout it’s life.

For our family to truly enjoy it, we had to “button it up” and make it less critter-friendly and more family- friendly.


We love preservation and wanted to add onto the cabin while staying true to it’s architectural style.


Here is the Tale of Two Cabins written by our neighbor and friend, Dave Reichert.

Davis Hawn Lumber


One that Got Away


Two doors down, our neighbors began the restoration and addition to the oldest private cottage at the Club, the 1915 one-room board and batten with tremendous Creole style French doors on three sides.  They hired a talented classical architect to seamlessly blend the old with the new, and construction began in earnest a few weeks ago.  So why was I now standing on that empty new slab?  What happened!? A hundred years of history, gone, just like that?

Well, not completely.  As they began to deconstruct and got down to the floor joists and studs, the damage was undeniable.  More insect holes, sawdust and mold than actual wood – amazing it was still standing.  They were able to save the Creole doors and as much salvage wood as they could, and now are building new off of those same remodel blueprints.  I was a little saddened, but I can’t say that I blame their decision.  Oftentimes it is a real close call on whether to save or demolish, and I had the advantage of owning a historical lumberyard and architectural millwork shop for my project.

In addition to old-fashioned craftsmanship, it seems to me that some of the necessary ingredients for preservation are patience, a bit of nostalgia, and a lot of perseverance (that’s a nicer word than stubbornness, I suppose).  I think it also helps just being somewhat of an “old soul,” and recognizing that our future is always tied to our past.

All that said, I know I’ll enjoy that sparkling iced tea this Spring on my neighbors’ new front porch overlooking the lake (they’ll be using their cottage more, now that it will keep the critters out). But I’ll still miss their old one.

Build to Last,

Dave Reichert 
and the Davis Hawn Team


We were able repurpose the Creole doors as windows across the front and side of the house. We also used all the original shiplap boards in the the mudroom and hall.


Since remodeling, our family has been enjoying the new cabin a lot more often. We even had a family reunion of 20 people!


That never would have happened in the old cabin. Now, we are just wondering why we waited so long!



Fin and Feather




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