Frontier Log Cabins in Hocking Hills, Ohio - The Founder's Story
1987 Mike came home announcing that he had found an old log cabin and
planned to purchase it, move it to the property, and restore it. You
see, Mike grew up in a small town where every summer as a teenager he
watched old cabins being destroyed to build new structures. He had
always wanted to restore one, and now was his chance. What an
First the cabin had to be stripped of any outer siding that had been
added through the years. Inside, drywall, paneling, and whatever else
had been used to cover the logs had to be removed before we could begin
disassembling the structure. We numbered and marked all the logs before
taking them apart so the cabin could be reassembled. This took several
weeks, working evenings and weekends after work.
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Frontier Log Cabins
18381 Thompson Ridge Rd.
Laurelville, Ohio 43135
Thank you, from the Baustian family,
Philip, Ian, and Micah
Hocking Hills Quality Lodging Seal of Approval.
Quality and Safety.
Teresa on left - Mike on right
Most of our guests ask us how this adventure into the cabin business all began. So bear with me while I tell you the story.
The Thompson family owned the forty-acre property for years. They
farmed the land until, in 1955 and 1956, the parents and four of their
five daughters planted approximately 22,000 white pine seedlings.
(Their fifth daughter was born in January of 1956.)
The families small cabin burned down in the early 1970s, leaving only a
stone chimney down by the pond. (We removed the old chimney in 2007.)
The father, Bud, passed away in the mid-1970s, and the mother and
daughters kept the property until deciding to put it up for sale in
that time Mike and I had two small daughters-Jesse, age four, and Joni,
age six. We were living in the basement of our home because
Mike’s work, construction in Columbus, was slow and we
didn’t have the money to finish the main floor. It seemed totally
out of the question to go into debt for a piece of property, but we
went to look at it anyway. As we walked down that pine lane, Mike says
I melted like butter, so off to the bank we went. (A big factor in our
decision was that I’d been best friends with the youngest
Thompson daughter, Twila, since way back in the late 1950s. Oops! I am
telling my age!)
We really had no plans when we first bought the property. Mike, the
girls, and I would take walks to the pond and enjoy nature and the
quietness of the forest. I would remember the times I’d spent
there with Twila, who is still one of my dearest friends. I remember
when the trees were barely as tall as I was. I remember picnics and the
beach area for swimming at the pond. Twila and I would ride down the
lane-it was barely a path then-in the back of her Dad’s 1945
Willys Jeep, of course laughing all the way.
a set of Lincoln logs the cabin was taken apart and loaded onto a truck
and hauled to the property. We chose a spot far down the lane and off
to the right, where there was a bare spot big enough that we
wouldn’t have to cut any trees. Then we rebuilt the cabin log by
log, finally putting the roof on to protect it. Cleaning the logs was a
dirty job, with lots of hot water, soap, bleach, and scrub brushes-and
lots of elbow grease. Though many suggested that we power wash the
logs, we knew that could damage the wood and take away the natural
Our whole family loved our new project, and we continued to work
evenings and weekends to restore it. The girls were six and eight years
old now and were very much involved. We had to decide where to put the
kitchen and bath, which the original cabin never had. Early settlers
did all of their cooking in another building called the summer kitchen
to keep the main house cooler. And the bath … well you probably
know about that already. So we had some decisions to make, and lots of
dirty, hard work.
Can you believe we took three years to finish that first cabin? But we
had lots of fun, and we cherish the memories of those days together.
When it was finally done, we wondered what to do with it. We lived so close. Would we ever stay there much?
At that time a wonderful couple, Emil and Margaret Parker, lived on
Thompson Road by the Rock House State Park. Emil was retired from the
military and had settled in the area to open a clock shop. He made the
most beautiful grandmother and grandfather clocks, wooden toys, and
other wooden items. The Parkers loved the visitors who came to Hocking
Hills. Many of them stopped by the Parkers’ little shop, if only
to chat and ask questions about the area. So the Parkers suggested we
try renting the cabin to tourists coming to stay in the Hocking Hills.
So here we are, nineteen years later, with two more log cabins and the
cedar cottage. You might ask if we will add more. Finding old cabins
has become more difficult, but Mike and I would love to restore
another, if our old bodies can withstand the work.
on the structures is sometimes difficult to trace. All three of ours
were originally from Hocking County, approximately ten miles from our
property. As I studied the history of log cabins, I found out that many
were moved numerous times over the years as settlers moved about. It is
said that if a log cabin is in its original location from the first
settlers, there will be a cedar tree planted in the front yard to
remind them of home in England. None that we moved had that tree, so
they had probably been moved more than once already.
Other findings indicated that two of our cabins (the ones to the right
of the lane) were built around the 1820s. The notching of the outside
corners on the cabin on the left indicates a construction date prior to
We purchased the cedar cottage in 1996 and discovered that it, too, had
some history. It first served as a small one-room schoolhouse in the
early 1900s, then became a full-time residence. So again we took on the
project to restore the structure and add it to our business.
The big barn/house to the left of the cabin lane and beside the cedar
cottage is yet another project. When it came up for sale, we again went
to the bank, hoping to protect the cabin property from close neighbors
and noise. We had no idea what it would become, but it sure made a good
storage unit for everything we needed to keep.
In 2011 we added the barn house now called the Hitchin Post to the cabin business.
Frontier Log Cabins is a small family owned (well, not yet-we seem to
have to take our little books to the bank each month, just like
everybody else) and operated business. We have all been involved with
every part of running it-construction, maintenance, laundry, cleaning,
taking calls and reservations, shopping for supplies, and all the other
But the best part is you-our guests. We love meeting you and getting to
know all of you. We enjoy hearing about where you live, your children,
your special pets, and your different jobs. We enjoy seeing you
enjoying your time away from work and your hectic schedules, relaxing
with someone special. That is what we like most about this business.
When things get hectic for us here-and at times they really do-our
guests are what make it all worthwhile. Thanks for choosing to stay at
our cabins. We hope you can return often to relax and enjoy.
Teresa on left - Mike on right
Hocking Hills Cabins - Frontier Log Cabins - Ohio