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Reader Spotlight: A Log Home Restoration in Vermont

This lucky log home enthusiast stumbled upon an old-school cabin on five acres with a pond. All it was missing? A little TLC.

Written by Paul Pabst


Growing up on the south side of Chicago, I knew nothing about Vermont and even less about log homes. My only experience with the latter was when my dad gave me a set of Lincoln Logs. I loved the interlocking logs, the chimney and the green roof. My dad, like many of us, always wanted a log home. I inherited this desire from him.

A few decades later, I was living in New York City and had a vacation from my job at CBS Sports with no specific plans for my time off. So, I drove my old motorcycle to southern Vermont to see the state for the first time. I ended up in a cool little town called Wilmington. As I rode around, I saw some chalets, some timber frame houses and a few log cabins. I kept visiting Vermont (Wilmington and Mount Snow specifically), always with an eye out for a cabin of my own. It took a while.

Then it happened. In March 2018, a great local realtor named Jacki Murano sent me the text I’d been waiting for … “I found it!”

“It” was an old-school log cabin on five acres with a pond, a rock wall in back, good views, down a country road … in short, perfection. When I pulled up, it took me about three minutes to make up my mind. The next day, I showed it to Mrs. Pabst and the little Pabsts. My daughter Molly asked if it came with a moose of our own. My other daughter Payton immediately started planning how to sled over the frozen pond. 

The cabin was built in 1979, and while the inside was in good shape, the outside was quite worn. It needed some stone around the concrete foundation and more importantly, it needed a fresh coat of stain or two … or three. This past summer, we got to work. My guy Ryan Holton at Moosehead Cedar Log Homes sent over his crew, and we started corn-blasting. I couldn’t believe how good the logs looked afterwards. A few coats of Perma-Chink stain plus a topcoat and the place looked almost new instead of 40 years old. In fact, it looked like a bigger version of my Lincoln Log set. 

I wish my dad were here to see this and get some time on the front porch with his grandkids, a rocking chair and a six pack. I will have to handle that end of the deal for him.


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