Dennis & Betsy Parman
2006 found Dennis and Betsy Parman searching for the perfect antique log structure to dismantle and reconstruct into a ‘new’ home for their family. A venture into the Bardstown, Kentucky area brought the discovery of a 30 X 36 ft. poplar log barn still standing on its original site, accompanied by the dog-trot style cabin, a summer kitchen, a smoke house, and a blockhouse. This particular homestead has been documented by the Historical Society to be the oldest homestead in Nelson County. Dennis and sons, Andrew and Kevin, with help from Steve and Michael Morgan, dismantled the structure and brought it back to Brown County where it has been reconstructed as the living room of their lovely and spacious home.
Wide pine plank floors, marvelous primitive furniture, baskets, and redware that the Parmans have collected fill the home with charm, and are sure to delight the antiques lovers among this weekend’s visitors. Just imagine the cozy winter evening seated at the long dining table, as the fire crackles in the massive fireplace constructed of hand-hewn Brown County stones. Notice the clever use of logs re-purposed as the steps leading to the lower level, where you’ll find the entertainment area of this home. Another colonial style fireplace, constructed of 160-year old bricks, a wide-screen TV, leather sofas, and a pool table show that the Parmans have one foot in the 18th century and the other foot firmly planted in the here and now. Parman’s business, Peaceful Valley LLC, is a company that dismantles, designs, and reconstructs antique log cabins into new homes.
Scott & Kristy Kainreth
Kristy’s hint to Scott for a special celebration for her 30th birthday last year turned into a weekend stay in this Brown County cabin, called Moon Shadow. Scott and Kristy fell in love with the charm and comfort of the place, and learned that it was for sale. The rest, as they say, is history.
Built in 1978, Moon Shadow has an open floor plan on the main floor, where you will find comfy leather furniture situated to take advantage of the gas log fireplace in the family room. Pretend that you live here, and then picture yourself savoring a stack of pancakes at the kitchen table, or reading the Sunday funnies while lounging in the adjoining sunroom. The Kainreths’ vacation home has room for the whole family with three bedrooms, and 2 ½ baths. Climb the staircase to see cozy rooms outfitted with pretty wicker pieces and other country touches, as well as a family heirloom cradle just right for babes-in-arms. Hiking the trails, soaking in the hot tub, and playing in the tree house are favorite outdoor activities, but foosball and card games at the poker table on the lower level of the home make even the rainy days fun.
Bill & Becky Freeman
Bill and Becky Freeman found their own bit of heaven in the midst of acres and acres of woods and wildlife. Bill’s boyhood memories of log cabin vacations in Wisconsin begat a longing for a cabin of his own. His dream was realized in 2005 when the couple at last moved into their newly erected hand crafted log home. They used standing dead timber (lodge pole pine) from Montana. Bill’s dream loft office overlooks the great room fireplace and their private lake. The home was built for entertaining their many friends and family. The furnishings are a mixture of family heirlooms and lodge style furniture purchased over the years in anticipation of moving into this home. Becky designed the kitchen using a farm sink, 6-burner Wolf stove, and many custom features.
Be sure to look at the unique block and tackle supported oven exhaust hood! The dining area mule deer chandelier has a track system that allows it to be moved to accommodate needed space when entertaining. The open floor plan allows guests to mingle or have a sit- down dinner. Their largest sit-down dinner party had 47! The many windows allow vistas of meadow, woods, bird feeders, and lake. Outside you can meander down a path to the fire pit or on down to the lake’s edge for a calming view of the lake and fountain.
As you meander along on Brown County’s back roads and byways, you will find yourself at the hand-crafted custom log home of Carol Zapapas. A broad front porch welcomes you, and the handsome front door gives a hint of the beautiful craftsmanship inside. Carol’s open plan was designed just for her by a Seattle architect, and brought to life in 2006 by builder Mike Sager. Amish cabinetmakers created the lovely hickory cabinets in the kitchen, which are complemented by the hickory floors. A soft golden hue covers the textured walls in most areas of the cabin, with accents of black and cranberry red throughout.
A painting of Carol and her dogs, Juneau and Rex, walking the property hangs above the fireplace mantel in the light-filled living room. Carol’s birdhouse view of her beautiful wooded acreage can best be appreciated from her home office in the loft. Ceilings soar to 26 feet in this space, and you will notice the strong horizontal and vertical lines of logs, wood plank ceiling, railings and pendant lighting. When guests come for weekend getaways with Carol, they snuggle beneath beautiful quilts, and awaken to woodland sounds and breakfast on one of the screened porches. When Carol isn’t immersed in her work of oncology research, she is planning her next national parks visit, or reflecting on her days of piloting her own airplane.
Mark & Leslie Schafer
Purchasing a load of firewood several years ago led Mark and Leslie Schafer to some wooded property where they would eventually build their Brown County getaway. Ownership brought with it the task of clearing a spot for the cabin built entirely by the couple and their three sons. Much of the lumber used in the cabin’s construction, as well as the furniture and cabinetry within, has come from trees felled on site, then milled locally. When Mark isn’t teaching math, he most likely will be making lots of sawdust as he spends hours on his next woodworking project. Leslie, a nurse, stays trim by biking and running in mini-marathons.
Cross the front porch and step into the living room to see the mission style sofa, tall case clock, étagère, hand-painted wood trunk, and the kitchen table, which are but a few of Mark’s creations. We think you’ll admire the satiny finish on the cherry cabinets, and the hickory paneling in the kitchen. The hickory tree which produced this paneling at one time stood tall and proud on the hillside, but had to come down in order for electric crews to bring power to the cabin. Breathe deeply in the cedar-paneled bedroom upstairs and appreciate that distinct woodsy aroma. Bunk beds in the other bedroom await the weekend visits of Mark and Leslie’s three little golden-haired granddaughters.