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Great Escape: Massachusetts Riverside Retreat

A remote riverside retreat provides the perfect getaway for one Massachusetts family.
by Cheryl D. Smith | Photos by Roger Wade

Dominic and Alessandra Ingemi longed for a place to escape from their busy lifestyle in Danvers, Massachusetts. Searching for an ideal location to build their vacation log cabin, they found their getaway in the picturesque town of Bath, New Hampshire.

Builder Dale Phelps suggested siting the home on a grassy hilltop to take advantage of the spectacular mountain views. The couple also modified the covered porch that wraps around the left side to an open deck.

“We were already familiar with the area and felt it was the perfect spot. The lot borders the Wild Ammonoosuc River, which was a huge plus for us,” says Alessandra. “The property is close enough to everything we need, but far enough away to still have the peace and tranquility we desire.”

Dominic researched many log home companies before the couple decided on Woodsville, New Hampshire-based Coventry Log Homes. “We visited Coventry’s showroom, and once we met the salespeople and toured the model, we were confident it was the right log home company for the job,” Alessandra explains.

The couple selected Coventry Log Homes’ 6-by-8-inch kiln-dried D-shaped eastern white pine logs with a single tongue-and-groove profile for the entire home. “Kiln-dried pine serves as a stable, energy-efficient material with little shrinkage,” states Richard Titorenko, a sales representative for Coventry Log Homes. “We also precut, letter and number all logs for ease of construction.”

Maple cabinetry adorns the interior log walls of the kitchen, while bone-colored ceramic tile covers the main countertop and dual-level island, which provides ample room both for food prep and an eating space. The interior walls are protected with a clear polyurethane seal.


General contractor Dale Phelps of DG Phelps Builders and his crew were able to get the house and garage up in approximately seven weeks. “Thanks to the efficiency and craftsmanship of Dale and his crew, the main level was completed just in time for us to hold our first Thanksgiving dinner,” Alessandra recalls. “Now it’s an annual tradition to celebrate Thanksgiving at our log cabin.”

Sitting on about 12.5 acres, the 2,688-square-foot home includes three bedrooms, two baths and a cozy loft. It features Mannington laminate wood flooring and an airy living room that opens to the kitchen and dining areas. The couple redesigned the home’s two-car garage into a spacious great room with a sweeping 14-foot cathedral ceiling. A family room on the lower level and a separate three-car garage housing the family’s outdoor recreational equipment round out the home.

The couple's two children have loads of fun in this bed-decked bedroom. "The children didn't claim a room for themselves, so whenever we have guests, they give up this room and sleep somewhere else," says Alessandra. To increase living space, the couple opted to install hooks on the wall with hangers in place of closets for all bedrooms but the master bedroom.

The Ingemis visit the log cabin almost every weekend and have offered it to their local church to host special events. “Our church needed a place for a retreat, so we suggested our log home because it has beautiful scenery and little distraction,” Alessandra explains. “The church has held four retreats there so far.”

The peaceful covered porch is the perfect setting for reading a good book and soaking in the thrills of nature. "At night, there's a wonderful view of the constellations and the Big Dipper," says Alessandra.

It’s a retreat for Dominic and Alessandra, too, who use this hideaway to spend time with their two sons and other family and friends. “This cabin is a place of refuge where we can do things that we don’t normally get a chance to do like hiking, cross-country skiing or just sitting by the river,” says Dominic. “The blessing of having a log cabin as our second home is that it feels like we are truly on vacation because the atmosphere is so different from a stick-built home; it feels warmer and more relaxing.”

“It’s a childhood dream come true,” he says.

Home Plan Details:
Square Footage: 2,688
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
Producer: Coventry Log Homes
Log species: Pine

Published in Country's Best Cabins
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One Response

  1. Hi!
    I commented on the dining room set of this house but failed to leave my email in case any one knows where it was purchased.
    Thanks, enjoy your email newsletters immensely!

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