Beautiful Ozark's and a Real Log Cabin
The Old Log Cabin
A Real Log Cabin
How many people can say their early childhood years were spent growing up in an authentic, old log cabin? I can. The log cabin was on my grandmothers’ land in rural Ozark Arkansas perched atop a 40 acre tract among the beautiful Boston Mountains. That’s why I feel my life has fallen between several eras, the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.
No one could say how old the cabin was or who built it. According to the oldest residents in the area, it had been there as long as they could remember.
It was in the mid 1950’s when my mother became ill and had to “farm out” her four children to other family members. She sent me and two brothers to live with our grandparents while she recuperated. I was about 4 years old and the middle child.
At that time my grandparents were living in the log cabin while they built a house across the yard. There was no electricity, running water or modern conveniences to speak of. I vividly remember watching my granddad from the doorway of our cabin while he labored laying cinder blocks for our new home.
We Used an Outhouse
We used an outhouse and got water from a well. Washed our clothes and took baths in a creek about a mile away at the foot of our mountain. We also used coal oil lanterns for light, a fireplace for heating, wood burning stove for cooking and a nearby cave for a storm shelter. It seemed as if we were living in the 1800’s even though it was the mid 1950’s. It was also the happiest time of our lives for my brothers and me.
However, we were not alone living in those conditions. During those years the Ozark Mountains was one part of the United States that had not as yet completely caught up with the rest of modern America.
But, for a couple of young, adventurous wild boys it was paradise. It was a thrill to explore the mountain. My brother’s and I discovered old fishing ponds and remnants of old home foundations where our ancestors had lived. We also found ancient trash piles and uncovered countless other “treasures”. Old, handmade tools, bottles and other artifacts abounded.
The years passed. We grew up and moved away. Fortunately I had a chance to visit the old log cabin again as a young man. It was still standing, seemingly unchanged by the passage of time. My grandparents were using it for storage and didn’t want anyone going inside because of weak flooring. But, the kid in me won out and I managed to sneak in under the cabin flooring. It was all still there, the coal oil lanterns, my mom’s china faced dolls, memorabilia from our childhood and other things from a bygone era.
The old log cabin no longer stands. It burnt down in 1973, possibly from a carelessly thrown cigarette by some passerby. Although it no longer physically stands it will always be a part of my fondest memories.