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contents january, 2012

2 Cover Story: Back in Time 8 A Modern Day Log Raising in the USA: Log Home Package 9 Made Contents Support American Jobs 11 Make it Warm... Make it Insulated to Apples” Comparison Leads 12 “Apples Couple to Begin Construction 14 New 8” x 12” D-Log System 15 Floor Plan of the Month: Hickory Hollow

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Visit the facebook fan page of Honest Abe Log Homes and join the growing community! Articles, resources, photo galleries and log home news, all shared first through our Twitter account. Find these articles, stunning photography and more information at Honest Abe Log Home’s blog and news room. 1 • Honest Abe Monthly • January 2012

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Back in Time Article by: Sharron Bilbrey, Salesperson for Honest Abe Log Homes Photography In-Part by: Kenny Clayton


y taking a walk back in time to get a glimpse of the log cabins built by early pioneers in the Smoky Mountains, one will discover time-tested styles and designs that reveal how these cabins have influenced log homes of today. But one does not have to look much further than Pastor Ken and Joy Clayton’s new Honest Abe Log Home as an example of the early frontier architectural legacy. Ken had been inspired by the mountain homes of the Smokies for over 50 years, and now he and Joy have fulfilled his life-long dream of building a log cabin in the traditional mountain pioneer style. As we examine the John Oliver home in Cades Cove and look at the Davis house in Cherokee, NC, both built in the

mid-1800’s, and see how these early frontier cabins influenced the first Honest Abe log home designs in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, it will become evident how the frontier tradition has been demonstrated in Ken and Joy’s new log home built in 2011.

cabin. It has stood since 1850 as a testament to the rugged determination and ingenuity of the mountain settlers. “Architecturally, it reflects the techniques and skills of European immigrants and represents a style typically found on the eastern frontier in the mid-1850’s.” (1)

Much of the tradition and heritage of the settlers in the Smoky Mountains is exemplified in a small community called Cade’s Cove. Year after year thousands of visitors to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park (established in 1934) will not complete their visit without touring the loop at the Cove. One of the main stops along the Cove circle is the John Oliver

The Oliver’s original Cades Cove cabin was built in 1822 and stood fifty yards or so behind the cabin that is still standing today, and is preserved by The Great Smoky Mountain National Park service. This cabin, identified as the Oliver’s cabin, is actually the honeymoon house which their family built in 1850 for their son to use when he married. The honeymoon house boasted two January 2012 • Honest Abe Monthly • 2

stories of living space and was constructed with the hand hewn logs with notched corners. “There are no pegs or nails as gravity locked them together. The open spaces between the logs (chinks) were filled with mud to seal out

the rain and wind.” (2) Most of the materials needed to build the cabins were natural to Cades Cove except for the luxury of the window glass. This Oliver home, along with other Smoky Mountain frontier homes such as the T-shaped Davis house (seen

at the Mountain Farm Museum in Cherokee, NC) , served as an inspiration to Rick Denton, the first president of Honest Abe, and to owner, Doug Smith, as they planned the first Honest Abe Log Home. When Mr. Denton saw a picture of the Clayton home he was taken aback as to how much it looked like the original

Left: The Oliver home, defining the traditional log cabin look, is seen in what is known as Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains. Top: The exterior of Ken and Joy’s new Honest Abe Log Home, modeled after the Oliver cabin. Top Right: An incredible view of the interior living area and kitchen. The warm lighting, fireplace and Christmas tree embody the nostalgic appeal of log home living during the holidays. Bottom Right: A sketch from an early Honest Abe catalog featuring the Shenandoah model. 3 • Honest Abe Monthly • January 2012

Honest Abe model, called the Shenandoah. It and it’s “big sister” the Springfield model were featured in the first Honest Abe catalog in the early 1980’s. “Two of the first three models I sold were these models”, said Denton. Denton explains, “This look was very popular in log home catalogs in the 1970’s and 1980’s. They were a spin-off of the “Oliver Cabin” in the Cove, or a look-a-like of it.”  He explains that so many early pioneer cabins had this look, as well as another look that had a main section with a wing off the back.  “Many Clay County early homes of the late 1880’s and early 1900’s had this look.  This is the reason I always liked the look, and probably the reason I chose to build it as our original

model. Almost every log home company had models such as this, and our contact base of prospects seemed to demand this look.  We sold so very many of these models.”   “One of the historical reasons for the popularity of this style (especially with a wing off the back like the Davis house in Cherokee, NC) was due to the length of supporting timbers.  The main section and the wing were both fairly narrow.  They had to be because lengths of structural timbers were often hard January 2012 • Honest Abe Monthly • 4

5 • Honest Abe Monthly • January 2012

“I always liked this style and thought it would be a good representation for our first model.”

Rick Denton, Founding President of Honest Abe Log Homes

to get. By using two relatively narrow spaces, and shaping them in the form of a T or L, this provided quite a bit of space and a good look.  The old fashion “Dog Trot” pioneer homes were also a variation of this style.   “Usually, each space was no more than 16’ to 20’ wide, again because of length restrictions.  Timbers had to span the space to support the first and second story spaces.  It was easier to use the shorter lengths, and they were more abundant.  This was the case for early pioneers, and also for the 1970’s and 1980’s log home kit companies.  There were no suppliers that could readily supply the log home companies with long structural timbers.  We had to make do with what we had, similar to the early pioneers.   “A full-length front porch was always a necessity.  All the older pioneer homes had these porches.  Usually, the back wings also had such a porch on it.  Lots of porch space.  All of our customers wanted this in the beginning, as they have throughout the years.   Denton continues, “Regardless of the structural considerations,

the look was the primary reason for choosing these models. They were a reflection of the log home pioneer look, and the look of early homes in our region. I always liked this style and thought it would be a good representation for our

first model.” Honest Abe chose this style model to embody the pioneer spirit and the simpler life style that customers were seeking, and, in fact, are still seeking in a log home. (3) The desire for this cabin style lives on today as seen in Ken and Joy home built by Honest Abe this summer. Ken had found a

picture in an old Honest Abe Log Home catalog that had helped him explain to salesperson Sharron Bilbrey the type home he was looking for. The picture was one of the original Honest Abe models. Just like every couple who has built a home, the Clayton’s made compromises as they were planning. They both agreed that flat logs with dovetail corners were a must, but Ken wanted the traditional original chinked log style with the three inch chink line. However, Joy wanted a smaller chink line. They settled on our 6x12 Genesis log with dovetail corners, and Ken chinked both the inside and outside one-inch chink line, giving the home the flavor of the past he so desired. The pioneer influence is seen all around and throughout the home. Ken built a split rail fence along his driveway. Joy has a hanging candle chandelier over her dining table using real candles instead of an electric fixture. There are no overhanging electric lights, only lantern sconces. There are timber ceiling beams, with no open vaulted areas, much like the earlier cabins. The higher walls created by the story and a half of January 2012 • Honest Abe Monthly • 6

Left: The Clayton’s enjoy spending time with one another on their covered porches Above: Keeping with tradition, the Clayton’s also have a full length back porch, seen above.

logs gives a large bonus rooms upstairs that holds wall-to-wall beds for lots of grandchildren. And, of course, there are big front and back porches suitable for plenty of rocking chairs. On the frontier when a family needed a home, the community would often come together for a log raising to help build the home quickly for the family. While the Honest Abe crew, headed by Joe Isenberg, built the Clayton home, several of Pastor Ken’s church members came to the job site to add their contributions as well. Some provided scripture verses in plastic bags that were stuffed in the foundation walls, and others wrote scriptures on the interior

partition walls. Although the church members and community friends did not actually build the home like was done in an old-fashioned log raising, they provided prayers and blessings throughout the entire building project. Pastor Ken and Joy just celebrated their first Christmas in their new Honest Abe Log Home. Their Christmas Open House was just one of many events, including back porch weddings, they plan to host at their new home. The Clayton’s are quick to give God all the glory and have dedicated this home to His service, and, at the same time, very grateful that God has provided the blessings to allow them to fulfill such a dream. Just as the John Oliver home has

stood over time as evidence of the pioneer spirit of the early settlers of our nation, so the Clayton home will be left as a legacy to their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, their testimony that God’s “faithfulness is from generation to generation”. (4) Article by: Sharron Bilbrey, Salesperson for Honest Abe Log Homes Photography In-Part by: Kenny Clayton References: (1) Daniel, Alice. Log Cabins of the Smokies. Great Smoky Mtns. Natural History Association, 2000. (2) cove_pioneers.html (3) Personal letter from Rick Denton, December 12, 2011 (4) Psalm 119:90

Now & Then

7 • Honest Abe Monthly • January 2012

Left: The Shenandoah that served as Honest Abe’s first model home in 1980. Right: The Shenandoah as seen today, which still serves as administrative offices.

A Modern Day Log Raising

Crew leaders Joe Isenberg and Ronnie Carter stack logs at a log raising, while Jackie Cherry, VP of Manufacturing, leads the presentation.

January 28th, 2012 - Moss, TN


n just a couple of weeks, folks from all over the country will converge on the small unincorporated community of Moss, Tennessee. The occasion, a modern day log raising held indoors, and hosted by Honest Abe Log

Homes. Randy Fudge, President of Honest Abe, along with Jackie Cherry, Vice-President of Manufacturing, will host the event and tour attendees through the process of milling a log home afterward. Other staff will be on hand including representatives from drafting and design, sales associates and even builders. It’s a great opportunity to be introduced to log homes, but also the perfect time for educated enthusiasts to ask detailed questions or talk one-on-one with those on hand. Seating is by reservation, so please contact your sales representative or call 800-231-3695. More log raising events will be held throughout 2012, and a full listing can be found on our web site at: Article by: Joshua Beasley, Marketing Director for Honest Abe Log Homes

January 2012 • Honest Abe Monthly • 8

Made in the USA:

Log Home Package Contents Support American Jobs


nnovation and the drive to make something with our hands; these ideals embody the character of the American spirit, and in-turn, has lead to many of our countries great successes. In the quaint rural community of Moss, Tennessee stands proof of this success. It’s name? Honest Abe Log Homes. Now more than ever, it is important to support communities both large and small; each striving to make a product that meets the needs of the American people. That’s why Honest Abe

Log Homes is committed to do its part by providing a “Made in the USA” product, which incorporates as many components as possible that originate right here in the United States.

Alabama: Treated Lumber in Muscle Shoals, AL

Georgia: Log Gasket in Americus, GA

Colorado: Log Home Stain and Chinking in Brighton, CO 9 • Honest Abe Monthly • January 2012

Advantech Sub Floor in Commerce, GA Log Cants and Blanks in Ellijay, GA

Towns like Oxford, Maine; Ellijay, Geogia; and Snohomish, Washington are each creating their own great products. Workers and their families are dependent on us as Americans, to choose their product over one made internationally. As you consider the purchase of an Honest Abe Log Home, know that we are American owned and operated, with a determination to provide products made right here in the USA.

Conventional Lumber in Atlanta, GA Kentucky: Doors & Windows in Columbia, KY Maine: Baseboard & Ceiling Trim in Buckfield, ME

Log Siding Material in Oxford, ME Massachusetts: Log Home Fasteners in Agawam, MA New Hampshire: Tongue and Groove Paneling in New London, NH North Carolina: Log Cants, Blanks & Log Siding Material in Rutherfordton, NC South Carolina: Insulation for Heavy Timber Roof System in Greer, SC

Tennessee: Log Home Stain and Chinking in Knoxville, TN

Washington: Tongue & Groove Paneling in Bellingham, WA

Timber Frame & SIP Panels in Knoxville, TN

Douglas-Fir Timbers in Everett, WA

Log Cants and Blanks in Crossville, TN Conventional Building Materials in Nashville, TN Conventional Building Materials in Celina, TN Honest Abe Log Homes in Moss, TN

Douglas-Fir Timbers in Snohomish, WA Wisconsin: Windows – Hawkins, WI Information from research conducted by Honest Abe Log Homes through polling the specific businesses providing materials present within a typical Honest Abe Log Home package. Number of jobs supported is approximate.

When a customer purchases a home from Honest Abe, the package contents alone help to support...

4,652 American jobs across the United States!

January 2012 • Honest Abe Monthly • 10

Make it Warm...Make it Insulated


hen you approach an Honest Abe Log Home, you take in the logs, porches/ decks, windows, design etc… upon entering you will most likely observe the decorations, flooring, walls, what kind of view they have and then it will hit you, wow, that’s some kind of roof! With the beautiful 4”x8” Douglas fir timbers and the 2”x6” Spruce

11 • Honest Abe Monthly • January 2012

tongue and groove, the Heavy Timber Roof has that awe factor in strength and beauty. One of the most significant pieces though, is something you would not notice, because unlike the logs/timbers etc which are performance/ cosmetic products…. The 4”x8” sheets of Rmax Insulation are strictly a PERFORMANCE product! Tucked away above the tongue and groove are two layers of insulation (staggered at the joints) that’s dedicated to keeping your house as energy efficient as possible! The closed cell (get ready for it) polyisocyanurate (polyiso) are faced with fiberglass sheeting on both sides and is manufactured by Rmax, which has always been devoted to quality products that are environmentally

friendly. Unlike the felt backing that was standard some years ago, the fiberglass will not warp under wet conditions which means that if your job site is in the 95% ratio and does receive rain during construction…then no big deal. Honest Abe offers the standard r30 roof system with an option to upgrade to an r40. With designing the Heavy Timber Roof to go above and beyond in the strength and wow factor, we wanted to match that by providing some of the highest quality sheathing insulation on the market today and this insulation fits the bill! Article by: Inez Price, Salesperson for Honest Abe Log Homes Source:

The sun on the horizon throws its light perfectly against the newly constructed log walls, revealing the hand hewing texture that has been worked onto the surface by a craftsman of Honest Abe Log Homes.

“Apples to Apples” Comparison Helps Lead Couple to Begin Construction


ucked away at the end of an almost mile long driveway lies the foundations of a dream that has been birthing in the hearts and minds of Eddie and Tonya Decker for many years. They are beginning to see this dream become a reality. In the last couple of months a lot has taken place to see what now lies the beginning of a home and a refuge for them to enjoy for the rest of their life. What started as an affection for log homes led them down an arduous path of deciding

Hand Hewn 8”x12” Douglas-Fir Girder and 4”x8” Ceiling Beams

which company or process to place their ultimate confidence in. After talking and visiting several different model homes and companies around Kentucky and Tennessee, they ultimately came back time and time again to the quality and reasonability of an Honest Abe Log Home. In fact, after comparing “apples to apples” on a comparison quote they were surprised to see not only was Honest Abe more economical,

but the other company actually substituted cheaper materials and left out many items that were standard to an Honest Abe package. No stranger to construction, Eddie had a strong desire to do many things to aid in the construction of his new custom home. Working with Rocky-K Log Homes & Construction, (an Honest Abe independent dealer in Leitchfield, KY) throughout the January 2012 • Honest Abe Monthly • 12

The roof is on and dormers are being framed up. This log home will soon be sealed from the elements.

This view of the interior was taken just a few days before Christmas.

Log walls going up earlier in the process.

sales process, Eddie and Tonya decided that Rocky-K would do a dry-in construction only, which would allow Eddie to take over and complete the finishing of the home. The dry-in construction service, in this case, included an insulated concrete crawlspace, which will allow them to bring this area into conditioned space. This allows the greater efficiency of the log home not to be sacrificed through major changes in outside temperatures below, also staving off humidity changes beneath the 13 • Honest Abe Monthly • January 2012

home creating virtually a moldfree environment. The 28’ x 48’ home itself is constructed out of the Genesis log profile, a 6” x 12” log and will have Honest Abe’s hand-hewn feature throughout, giving the home a more traditional and vintage appeal. The beams and rafters from the Heavy Timber Roofing System have also been hand-hewn enhancing one of the already most renowned and beautiful roofing systems

in the industry. Also one of the highlights to the home is the custom designed loft Master Bedroom which will include a sitting area to enjoy the beautiful view of the lake and acreage below. Thank-you Eddie and Tonya for allowing us to be such an integral part in helping your dream come to fruition. Article by: Josh Goe of Rocky-K Log Homes. |

New 8” x 12” D-Log System Driving the development of new products and services is currently influenced by two major forces; consumer demand and energy efficiency standards. In response to both, Honest Abe Log Homes introduces our new 8” x 12” D-Log Dovetail System! “We’re very excited about the addition of the 8”x 12” Dovetail D-Log to the Honest Abe family of products,” stated Randy Fudge, President of Honest Abe Log Homes. Fudge continued, “Not only will this address some customers’ desire for a ‘massive’ log, but will also offer a viable alternative for others encountering stringent energy code compliance in specific northern climates.” Massive was definitely the direction to go with a new log system. Rachel Meadows, Sales Manager for Honest Abe noted, “For some time now, we’ve been hearing from prospective buyers that a larger, D-log system was needed. It’s the look that many people are after, it offers unprecedented energy efficiency, and has a classic

design with the incorporation of the dovetail corner system.” The system is now being offered and Honest Abe expects to construct several in its first year alone. Other log styles and products are currently in development and will be announced later this month. More information on this log style will be made available in print and online soon. For immediate details, please contact your Honest Abe Log Homes sales associate. Article by: Joshua Beasley, Marketing Director for Honest Abe Log Homes January 2012 • Honest Abe Monthly • 14



his newly designed floor plan was created to allow a homeowner to always enjoy the outdoors, and to experience it in different ways. The abundance of windows throughout the home allows natural sunlight to flood in. A spacious climate controlled 15 • Honest Abe Monthly • January 2012

sun room is attached directly to the living room. The screened-in porch is the perfect place to enjoy an evening meal or take in some reading while protected from unwanted pests. Last, a gable porch on the front of the home stands ready to welcome visitors.

The Hickory Hollow rounds out at 2,204 square feet which incorporates two bedrooms and baths with an optional multipurpose room we have labeled as a “game room”. The home was designed to be constructed with a conventionally vaulted roof


© Copyright 2012, Honest Abe Log Homes, Inc.

system. However, Honest Abe’s Heavy Timber Roof System could easily be applied to the design, adding exposed beams and rafters to the roof system. For more information on the Hickory Hollow, download the PDF available through the members area of Honest Abe Extra!

Want More Great Plans?

Check out the floor plans section dedicated to log and timber home plans created by Honest Abe Log Home customers! January 2012 • Honest Abe Monthly • 16

Š Copyright 2012, Honest Abe Log Homes, Inc.

Honest Abe Monthly, January 2012  

Honest Abe Monthly is a publication of Honest Abe Log Homes Inc., which designs, manufactures and builds energy-efficient, custom log homes,...

Honest Abe Monthly, January 2012  

Honest Abe Monthly is a publication of Honest Abe Log Homes Inc., which designs, manufactures and builds energy-efficient, custom log homes,...