Monthly Archives: April 2014

Log house for sale!

Here ya go!  This dandy of a house must be removed within two weeks or else it’s firewood.  An Amish family owns it and wants to build a new house on the same piece of ground.  The house measures 16’x25′, the logs are all oak, and the corners are notched with a shallow full dovetail.  It sits near Highland, MN about forty miles north of Decorah.  Contact me if you’re interested.


A three room Akershus plan

A three room Akershus plan


Oak logs and full dovetail corner notching

Oak logs and full dovetail corner notching

Akershus, Fillmore County, MN

Here’s a very large three room akershus house I located just last night in Fillmore County, MN.  This building is totally incredible, and it isn’t too often I find something as big or substantial as this.  It measures 18’x28′ and is a story and three-quarters high.

The interior has been remodeled extensively, making it quite difficult to tell exactly what’s going on.  It’s fair to say that there once was an interior log wall that separated the large (stue) room from the two smaller (bedroom and pantry) rooms.  There’s a masonry wall in the cellar to carry the wight of this log wall and the bottom-most log located below the elevation of the first floor is still intact.  But the wall on both the first and second floors has been removed.  The staircase has been moved to a corner, and the two small rooms have been combined into one.

Unlike the large Overland house I’ve been piecing back together for the last number of years with its roof of heavy purlins and logs that extend to the gable peaks, the logs in this place extend just to the start of the gables.  The gable framing and roof rafters are peeled trees hewn flat on one side to accept roof boards.  It’s quite something!  I rarely find rafters made of hewn trees.

This house is quite special and should be saved in its place or disassembled and stored for future use.  It was occupied till just this past January, at which point its owners bought a farm across the road.  The local Amish could be hired for a cost of about $6,000 to disassemble the whole building.  Dumpster disposal fees would add an extra cost, as would asbestos testing and potential mitigation.  It’s a sweet little place, and definitely a house worthy of preservation.

Coon Valley Akershus

Here is a fantastic example of the three room Akershus plan.  This house sits just outside Coon Valley, Wisconsin.  It measures 16’x32′ and is a full two stories in height.  It was built by Ole Knutson Rundahl of Telemark, Norway in 1855.  The house remains incredibly unaltered and is in good repair.  The outbuildings include a tobacco barn and a stone milk house/tobacco bailing shed.  Southwest Wisconsin was once a primary chewing tobacco growing area, believe it or not, and the region still maintains an impressive number of tobacco drying sheds.

The people of southwest Wisconsin are incredibly gracious and kind.  The owner of this house, a man in his 70s or 80s and a many-generation descendent of tobacco farmers, let me poke around inside and out of the house and the outbuildings, and told me all about the intricacies of tobacco growing, harvesting and storing.  It was a really cool learning experience.