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Joy of rebuilding a settler cabin log-by-log on MN homestead

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John spent 15 years building his home and all the furniture, mostly with lumber from the woods of his Long Prairie (Minnesota) homestead, and much of it hand-hewn with a broad ax, so when, one summer, his visiting mother-in-law announced she had bought an old log cabin for $20, he was ready. Originally built around 1870 by John Maynard (a settler from Kentucky who fought for the Union and post-war had been forced to flee his home state), the structure had been collapsing on a neighbor’s property who was only too happy to be rid of “that old dump” (he had been planning on burning it down that summer). John and his brother piled the numbered logs one by one onto a hay wagon and he and his wife Ruth spent two summers reconstructing the Civil War era shelter a mile away on their spacious homestead. He replaced rotted logs and floor planks and crafted new windows, doors and stairs. In keeping with the original time period, the cabin is without electricity and John’s wife, Ruth, equipped it with kerosene lamps and a kerosene stove for cooking (plus a wood-burning stove for heating). It’s not plumbed, but a rain barrel supplies water for cleaning dishes, outdoor showers or wash tub baths. The outhouse is a short walk from the home, but John thinks this only adds to the experience, “You have to put your coat on and get cold or swat a few mosquitos, but it's good for the soul. Perhaps we've conveniences our real life away someplace.” For three decades, the cabin was used during visits from Ruth’s parents (Carol and Doug) or for John and Ruth to take their two kids for backyard getaways, but today they have begun to rent it out to others looking to disconnect from modern life. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/30507921
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Text Comments (504)
Jussi (3 days ago)
"There was no such thing as insulation", while true for this house, is definitely not true for all houses. Sawdust, moss and reeds have been used as insulation in log houses since at least the 1600s, especially in the Nordic countries.
Frank Hornbuckle (7 days ago)
it would have been nice if you took some before pictures of the log cabin and you first bought it for $20.
Frank Hornbuckle (7 days ago)
1 log is worth $20. don't make any sense at all he might as well just give it away.
Заборы СтройМонтаж (20 days ago)
Похож на русский старый дом в какой нибудь деревушке, ооочень маленький домик #забормонтаж
GreenEyes 1226 (23 days ago)
Very nice
Ruth Chelimo (23 days ago)
The intro couldn't be creepier.
Aether the Piper (24 days ago)
I would love to find a woman to live with like this :)
luciano suarez (25 days ago)
Old rusty cabin from outside, a beautiful nice home from inside
Ledor S (26 days ago)
Wow! so lovely!
Charity Saxum (28 days ago)
What a treasure! And he’s literally 20-25 minutes south of me. So from one born and raised Minnesotan to another, I say he did an amazing job ! Great video 😊
monjiaitaly (29 days ago)
I think this life style would cure a lot of not only me but many peoples psychological ailments in this hyper modern technological world.
ThePattiw (1 month ago)
I really enjoyed this one!
Brad the Pitts (1 month ago)
11:09 The drone is the ultimate symbol of new vs. old
D D (1 month ago)
Kirsten, your filming is so touching, humane and in a very special way poetic. This gent connects us all to life , nature , traditions and meaning of heritage, no boundaries ...Beautiful presentation, splendid discourse to remember for life 🌹❤👈💎 it chimes in my mind....
Sara Pulford (1 month ago)
I see a bit of chinking in need of repair. Oy. No plastic so what about the rainwater tubs ? Could do without the tinkling background.
Karan Joshi (1 month ago)
Amazing! It’s actually bigger on the inside then I thought it would be.
Frank W (1 month ago)
That drone appearing above the house freaked me out. We are in the 21st century for sure.
Frank W (1 month ago)
What today we call a tiny house...
FUN GUY (1 month ago)
Old school I dig you cell phones and tv have brainwashed these people into pay more for less
Antonio Lagos (1 month ago)
Caminar x esos bosques que rodean estas casas , se siente una intensa y motivante potencia espiritual que siempre me han parecido irresistibles y yo las he disfrutado rodeado x el misterioso silencio de la soledad. Lindo video gracias x lo aprendido.
Mrs. O. (1 month ago)
Ill buy that for $20!!
balham456 (1 month ago)
An adze would work better to shape the logs.
balham456 (1 month ago)
“Is that wood nail?” DOWLING Of all the clips on this channel, this one I’ve enjoyed the most.
Bobbi Floss (1 month ago)
Over 10,000 Lakes in the state and you couldn’t find 1
Dave Alan (1 month ago)
Oh, yeah I’d have burned it down too! South’ll rise! 😂😂
Carol Norton (1 month ago)
I love the "authentic period propane match" .
jennyredbeans (1 month ago)
He is a national treasure!
Mister Pumpkinhead (1 month ago)
What a paradise! Imagine John teaching future generations...
Rachel Mackie (1 month ago)
John's way of life makes sense to me. Lovely. Thank you
Yebo Screbo (1 month ago)
If you’re looking for community your best bet is church. Love this video. Love the Amish. Love this house. Love this old guy!
Richard Smith (1 month ago)
People now day really don't realize the significance in a 150 year old log house! That is what been lost in our society now days! Young people and kids really don't care anymore! But when the past is gone then its gone for ever....
Ladydee Fit (1 month ago)
Omgoodness this house looks exactly like the one I grew up in. I would love to visit this house. I'm so glad this man know its value. Thanks for sharing this you made my day.
Tawny Schlienz (1 month ago)
What part of Minnesota is this? I'm in NE Minnesota. I've always loved the late 1800s n always thought I lived in that era in my former life. I'm drawn to pretty much everything from that era. And I wish I lived like him nowadays. A simpler life but also a harder life. I think I'm in a place in my life where I can start growing my own veggies n living off the land like we were meant to.
Puff Of Smoke (1 month ago)
I'm transported back in time. So much beauty in his work.
comment (1 month ago)
Convniences and community don't have to contradict each other. I love log cabins and it was interesting to see how it's built, but i have no problem with running water, a flushing toilet and a hot shower inside a log cabin. All these sorts of obsessions with log cabins and tiny houses and all that make one thing especially painful obvious - how many people are so prone to extremes. And often things are assumed to be connected that aren't inherently connected. Among people living in normal houses in the main stream there are plenty who are majorly screwed up in their family lives, have no sense of community, but there are also very deeply wholesome people who are very tied in with family, community and the things that matter most and very spiritually oriented. All these things are just objects - whether it's a kerosene stove, or a gas stove or a wood burning stove, whether it's a flushing toilet or an outhouse, they don't make a person.
whycuds (1 month ago)
Different. I like it. Very informative. Very cool.
Sun shine (1 month ago)
Wonderful video very nice thanks for sharing.
TXMEDRGR (1 month ago)
How wonderful that they saved this historic cabin. Great job, thanks.
Foot and Furrow Farm (1 month ago)
Great video. Living in Minnesota makes his story that much more special.
John Roddy (1 month ago)
Both Homes are a Credit to you Well done
Sambo Rambo (1 month ago)
Amish give good head
Jamie Jarrett (1 month ago)
Is this on AirBnB for rent? It would be awesome for a weekend getaway
Wayne Cecil (1 month ago)
“Perhaps we’ve convenienced our real life away someplace...” Wisdom. Seems a lot people commenting love this quote.
Marlene Jones (1 month ago)
I would have liked to see the finished chair close up but it was just skimmed over. Some of this video was cut short in areas i think we needed to see. I mean the man made his own dining chairs for gods sake. How extraordinary. As far as what generation made things by hand, well that point will be moot pretty soon if we dont stop destroying the planet. Its almost too late to stop the destruction. Too many big corporations and wealthy folks thinking this land will live on forever. It wont. My great great grands will have no water access, no liveable land and no resources left if something isnt done now.
Andrea Kallfa (1 month ago)
Always good videos/presentations. Thank you.
Neil Johnson (1 month ago)
Very nice!
Jen Ford (1 month ago)
A MN man my generation with our grandfathers views of building your own life, my grandparents MN settlers home was just torn down a couple of years ago and was occupied till the end.
Churra (1 month ago)
I want to live there.
Patrice boudot-lamot (1 month ago)
bravo et respect Monsieur !
RancherSteve (1 month ago)
You do seem to find the most interesting buildings/dwellings and meet the most interesting people. Thank you!
Bent Nickel (1 month ago)
All these comments about how we've lost ourselves and the terribleness of it all, but you as a people WANT the lives that you live, otherwise you would have done what this man did to live the simpler life. Don't complain about cell phones, then spend $900. for a new one and sign up with a 3 year service plan.
Jim 88 (1 month ago)
What an interesting and peaceful man.
caesarmtnmama (1 month ago)
eekns (1 month ago)
Traditionally chamber pots would be used. It’s not safe going out to the outhouse at night.
Strauch Dieb (1 month ago)
I like how the Amish kept and improved on low tech solutions from back in the day. I think those could be of great importance in switching to a sustainable lifestyle in the future. Also, dude´s still pretty jacked, and he knows it too ^^
Harry Nutsac (1 month ago)
Love that place
iLovewood (1 month ago)
Thank you so much for sharing this. Beautiful.
Taka Yama (1 month ago)
I draw line at that baffroom. Me old soul don’t need that kind of strengthening. I good.
trueaudience (1 month ago)
I don’t want to hear that wind chime all day or first thing when I wake up, I don’t fantasize going to outhouse at all, especially at night. Those are your fantasy, not mine. Respecting and loving nature is one thing, but do I have to struggle and battle with nature day to day when I have some brain capacity to improve my living condition, hell yes! Human senses can adapt to various environments, when our senses is developed to adapt to one environment, our senses will be underdeveloped for other conditions. We can strengthen our tolerance by exposing ourselves in various condition, but we can’t stay in the psyche of constant ‘what if’, or indoctrinate what’s right or wrong as human evolve. It’s healthy to reflect to introspect, but it’s not healthy to worship any human period to a fault.
The Woodshop (1 month ago)
Beautiful craftsmanship!
Jeff Weber (1 month ago)
Great job on the cabin save and rebuild - love it. I think he's got some quirky ideas that just don't ring true to me. Irrational to demonize certain materials (drain from the roof, insulation, etc) or improvements like plumbing. Buildings can be made to adapt to the times without sacrificing their charm. As for the Amish, from my experience they are generally practical, business-minded people, who incidentally enjoy tax-exempt status from social security and medicare. Their use of modern technology varies by sect. I don't think the Amish have a monopoly on community, but it sounds like this man is sadly missing a sense of community right now and I wish him well.
Aaron Colin (1 month ago)
Great video!!
Sebastian Cardoso (1 month ago)
This was beautiful.
Meena (1 month ago)
He has a nice voice too
RichieT5 (1 month ago)
I am amazed those kids weren’t screaming for internet and video games like most do now
RichieT5 (1 month ago)
I totally get the Armish rejection of technology - not so much electricity but definitely mobile phones - I am sick to death of seeing people out and restaurants glued to their phones! Love that windchime
Laura Rowe (1 month ago)
Anytime I eat with family I don’t touch my phone at all. If I go outside with my kids I don’t touch my phone either, I bring it alone only for emergencies.
Pastor Paul D (1 month ago)
The man had ideas he sought out answers to his questions then he discovered he loved nature trees and then learned how to utilize the trees & things that God has provided man with. We all can learn something from people like this notice how we never got upset he never was angry very calm and composed and just listening to him speak for me was quite relaxing
vwr32jeep (1 month ago)
“Perhaps we’ve ‘convenienced’ our real lives away.” So true.
Jeremy Ksor (1 month ago)
I am Montagnard indigenous live in North Carolina I love to live there.
UltraAar (1 month ago)
Im dutch canadian, id love to live there
todd lecher (1 month ago)
Brendan Fazekas (1 month ago)
Very cool stuff
Peter Spencer (1 month ago)
Our Scamp Life (1 month ago)
Such a cool story. We are in MN too. It's so beautiful to hear stories like this. Plus this gentleman sounds like Red/green. Comforting
Daniel Mwalasa (1 month ago)
A sad life in this family, they live in the middle of the wild without electricity, clean water and security!🤔 OMG
J Bello (1 month ago)
it's really nice but i would put insulation... and add a tiny bathroom with a composting toilet...
hiraeth 20 (1 month ago)
Favorite episode ever. I wish there were more like him.
darangemaster1 (1 month ago)
very cool lifestyle that i could easily embrace.
J Bird (1 month ago)
I am an amateur historian. Seeing living history is inspiring, I have 1 complaint, you should put wood filler and preservative on the outside of the house. To preserve it so our children can injoy and understand.
Jag Girl (1 month ago)
What a beautiful home..💜
Danny Segarra (1 month ago)
My dream is to be this gentleman
Tyler More (1 month ago)
Hitoshi Igarashi (1 month ago)
A paradise for rodents
makemoneyrelax (1 month ago)
can you please post your camera gear, your videos are so high end
Kenyetta Benjamin (1 month ago)
Very lovely home and way to live, the world is a mess now days it's so nice to see some one living in quiet and a calm state of being.
Carmindy Stevens (1 month ago)
what the fuck is this guy thinking-- no foundation?!?! that shit looks so unstable.... good fucking grief.. a stack of stones?!
john spencer (1 month ago)
What a cool guy 👍🏻
kent neumann (1 month ago)
Mosquito's are definitely not good for the soul. Unless suffering is good. Mosquito's should be wiped off the face of the earth and I don't give one shit about any after effect up or down the food chain. Critters can find some other bug to eat. Adapt or adios. Southwest MN.
Jay Millette (1 month ago)
The drone flyover.
Linda McLean (1 month ago)
MAE HAY (1 month ago)
I love style of cabin! But the mosquitoes would run me off I have a wonderful friend who lived in this state for many years while raising her children. Her husband built their home and enjoyed the wholesome life. 👍
Siegrid Thomas (1 month ago)
I am in awesome of this man...to live this way...for vacation, yes, but not for good, I would feel I miss to much ! ...sad for me !
LEEMURJ (1 month ago)
He has the Unabomber type style and building sensibility!
Lorena S (1 month ago)
I love the house, I would add a bath/laundry even if I had to take half of porch to do it , solar panels on roof
jane baugh (1 month ago)
I do enjoyed this Video. I am not a 21 Centry person eater. Love the old Log Cabin. My Grand parents was such a Blessing to me. Teaching me the old ways. I so miss the easy way of life. God bless you for restoring the Cabin.
Sarah Purnell (1 month ago)
Wise, man, his knowledge will, be lost to many in this modern age of instant gratification and materialism. What he says about community is sadly so very true and getting worse every day. I for one would love to try a simpler lifestyle xXx
yooser naime (1 month ago)
The impulse to romanticize the past is powerful. If it makes you happy, go for it. Still, it seems trivially true that ALL technology is artificial. A modern house is just as "real" as your cute little log cabin...more comfortable, too.
Bob Bates (1 month ago)
I would love to have a place like that . I would want it to be next to a lake or a river that is deep enough for at least a canoe
effie924 (1 month ago)
wow amazing !
Gloria Jimenez (1 month ago)
Can you sell it to me for 😀$20.00 Lol. I love it ❤
Daniel DRKNESS (1 month ago)
This was so enchanting! old dawg just is so confident with everything he is about!! great place and is so WOKE!!