New Kentucky Home | A Secluded Log Cabin

A Maryland couple enjoy a retirement log home they bought already built.

Exterior font elevation of the Miller residence

Roger and Mary Ann Miller were perfectly content to spend their retirement years in their 150-year-old home in Maryland until their daughter, Susan Tucker, told them about a log home for sale in rural Kentucky, on the edge of the Appalachian Mountains. One look at the property and the Millers were enthralled with the coziness of the home and the solitude of the setting. “We had talked about owning a log home, but we weren’t seriously searching for anything to buy,” Mary Ann recalls. “At the time, we were living in our historic Maryland home, which we had restored, and thought that would be where we would retire.” The home Roger and Mary Ann purchased had been planned and built by Beth and Bill Clark, owners of Back Country Cabins Inc. and local dealers for Appalachian Log Homes of Knoxville, Tennessee.

After so many years of building, living in and then selling log homes, the Clarks decided they wanted a farm with their own log home. They purchased 300 acres in Garrard County, 50 miles south of Lexington, and picked out 30 acres for this home. Bill and Beth began construction on the barn, and over the next few years, between completing homes for their customers, they were able to work on their own residence. They selected Appalachian’s Clark Mountain floor plan, which they modified by adding a loft over half of the great room and a kitchen on the back of the cabin with wrap-around windows that provide a beautiful view of the knobs, meadow and ponds.

Detail of the front porch

The 1,800-square-foot, main-level floor plan includes a central core living-dining room combination with a step-down kitchen, mudroom and half-bath. The master bedroom suite occupies one wing, while a guest bedroom and full bath is in the other. The basement, located only under the center section, is finished with an additional guest bedroom, utility room and large storage area. The loft is reserved for use as a sitting room. Despite its traditional styling, the home is totally up to date. “Some of the very early log cabins often were very dark,” Beth says. “This is understandable since glass was scarce. Although we intended to follow the basic tenet of trying to create a primitive-style log home modeled after these original cabins, we wanted the home to be very light. Therefore, we increased the amount of windows, especially in the gable end of the loft.”

As practical as they had made the home, the Clarks realized they wouldn’t be settling there. “After we had lived in the home for several months, we began discussing various options,” Beth says. “Our goal was to be completely debt free, and if we sold this home and built another on our remaining 150-acres, we would realize our goal.” Somewhat reluctantly, Beth and Bill placed the for-sale ad, the one that caught Susan Tucker’s eye. Mary Ann and Susan visited the home, and Mary Ann was sold on its primitive style and charm. After Roger toured the property and realized they would have so much privacy after living in heavily populated areas most of his adult life, he agreed this would be a great move. Both Mary Ann and Roger were more than happy to relocate to be near to their daughter, her husband Mike and son Lincoln. They made an offer that Bill and Beth couldn’t refuse and moved to their new Kentucky home.

More on this home, including its many heating options, ran in the 2008 Annual Buyer's Directory for Log Homes Illustrated.