Supplement to “Log House Heritage”
If a log house is on your land
1. Take plenty of good, clear photos before beginning any alterations. If you can draw floor plans, that can be useful, too. Do your research carefully and have a good plan before undertaking any major renovations.
2. Find out as much information as possible about the house from old records, but also “listen” to what the house, the location, and details say. Many assumptions abound in regard to log houses, some of those assumptions leading people to compromise the authenticity and identity of the house.
3. Leave any weatherboarding on, as it will protect the logs underneath until you decide on the extent of the work to be done.
4. Fix the roof if it is leaking. A simple step like this will sometimes preserve a log house for several more decades, if when you don’t have the time or money to do a restoration.
5. Realize the possibilities in preserving its identity, renovating it, moving it, or donating it. A major question, says Bill Macintire, is: Do you have a purpose or plan for restoration or renovation? If you do not, often the best choice is to stabilize the structure until you do. At the very least, 300-year-old logs have value as salvaged wood, and salvaging part of the structure, though a last resort, is a better option than demolition and disposal.
6. Consider that the structure might be eligible for a Kentucky Historic Preservation Tax Credit, enacted in March 2005.
Log house resources
The Pioneer Log House in Kentucky
by William J. Macintire
Kentucky Heritage Council, 1998
Kentucky Heritage Council
State Historic Preservation Office
300 Washington Street
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Kentucky Folk Architecture
by William Lynwood Montell and Michael Lynn Morse
The University Press of Kentucky, 1976
BitterSweet Cabin Museum
Mt. Vernon, Kentucky 40456
Magoffin County Pioneer Village
191 South Church Street
Salyersville, Kentucky 41465
U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for
Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration and Reconstruction
National Register of Historic Places
The Preservation and Repair of Historic Log Buildings
Preservation Brief #26
Kentucky Historic Preservation Tax Credit
To read the Kentucky Living June 2006 feature that goes along with this supplement, click here: Log House Heritage