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Blog Cabin

Feb 6

Mysteries of the Deep

Blog Cabin 2013 Tree Trunk Foundation

As promised, we are proud to announce the launch of our Remodeling of Blog Cabin 2013 package on HGTVRemodels.com. One of our first features focuses on the elevated foundation and the primitive supports that stood in its place for over 120 years … tree trunks. Nope, no typo here. Read the article to find out how tree trunk foundations were constructed and stood the test of time. This is just the first of many facsinating nuggets of information we hope to share about this coastal North Carolina cottage in the weeks to come.

  • Posted at 11:44 am on February 2, 2013
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463 Comments

  1. Mary and Dylan, This is so interesting. I'm really glad the blog cabin in being built on sturdy ground be enjoyed by the winner for generations to come. I love the fact that whomever will be the new owner will have all of the "before, during and after" pictures of this wonderful home. Thank you for the new post. DIY TEAM: keep up the great work. Becky :) <3

    bythebaydreamer on February 6, 2013 at 6:21 pm
  2. Dittos for all the thank yous. These posts (pun intended) are keeping the history of the cabin alive. We also see there are ways of surviving without all our technology, although the time involved may give us pause. This project with the cabin cam and frequent posts makes it so much more interesting.

    Grammagail on February 6, 2013 at 7:20 pm
  3. Hey Mary: Did you know that the Longleaf pine is practically extinct in the southeast? Farmers switched to the faster growing loblolly pine. A book called Looking for Longleaf was written by a NC professor that talks about the demise of the longleaf. Not so on my farm, however! I planted multiple longleafs in order to help preserve these pine trees. Also…did you know that the longleaf is mentioned in the official North Carolina toast?…..Here's to the land of the longleaf pine, the summer land where the sun doth shine. Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great. Here's to the land of the Old North State! So the fact that you are preserving some of that foundation is pretty spectacular and pertinent to NC! Thank you thank you thank you from a born, reared, and educated North Carolinian!!

    ncsheepfarmer on February 6, 2013 at 7:42 pm
    • Thank you, NCsheepfarmer, for sharing both the history of the longleaf pine in North Carolina as well as the words of the beautiful Toast! I live in your neighboring State, Virginia, and was very moved by what you shared–being one who yearns to conserve and preserve Nature, I shall do my own best to do the same, with longleaf pines. ^_^:D Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on February 6, 2013 at 8:45 pm
    • Yes. It takes forever for those trees to mature. But their pine cones are absolutely HUGE! And, of course, their needles are really long. They are prized for their needles. But since pine needles serve as a fuel for fires, some cities are banning the use of pine needles as mulch. This means there is even less incentive for farmers to grow these trees.

      ncsheepfarmer on February 7, 2013 at 8:22 am
    • Thanks for preserving a part of the ecosystem!!!

      Lia_M on February 6, 2013 at 11:27 pm
    • Very interesting ncsheepfarmer, I knew that the Chestnut tree was almost extinct, but never heard about the longleaf pine.

      vicki_in_Utah on February 6, 2013 at 11:32 pm
    • Hey Vicki…yes. Please see the reply that I sent to DwnSoDwnEaster.

      ncsheepfarmer on February 7, 2013 at 8:23 am
    • Hi ncsheepfarmer, thank you for the great history of the Longleaf pine. The toast was wonderful, I raised my cup of coffee up high in celebration of this strong North Carolina tree. When visiting Yosemite National, I was so taken by the Giant Sequoia dating back more than 2000 years. I'm not sure if they have the Longleaf there, I do know they have a broadleaf. I think its great the you planted Longleafs on your farm in order to preserve this wonderful tree. Thanks for sharing! :-)

      Heading South on February 7, 2013 at 9:04 am
    • Thank You NCsheepfarmer! I too love the beauty of the longleaf pine! A majestic tree that I associate with the NC coast. Last summer while traveling along the coast, we stopped at a restaurant, with a beautiful parking lot. The reason the parking lot was so beautiful—it was bordered by a white picket fence and numerous longleaf pine trees surrounded the perimeter of the fence. It was the most mature longleaf pines I had seen growing together in quite some time. The majestic look of the longleaf pine with it's huge cones, and long needles made a restaurant parking lot look like a postcard. Across the street lay many open acres of a farmes field, eventually bordered by a thicket of various trees. It was So pretty.

      Mel on February 9, 2013 at 8:36 am
    • Mel: I use the pine cones to make craft items. In fact, I spray paint the cones with high temperature paint that I get from the auto parts supply store. They look great in front of the fireplace…especially at Christmas! Red….white….dark purple…

      ncsheepfarmer on February 9, 2013 at 7:29 pm
    • What a Great idea NCsheepfarmer to spray the cones with paint from an auto parts supply store! I may have to steal your idea, and your Christmas color choices. Thank You for sharing :)

      Mel on February 9, 2013 at 8:13 pm
    • Love learning new info. Your comments encouraged me to look it up….
      Longleaf pine is the legendary southern yellow pine of forest history. While the tall, stately longleaf pine once covered 30 to 60 million acres of the southeastern United States Coastal Plain, 200 years of logging and land clearing have greatly reduced its range. Longleaf pine takes 100 to 150 years to become full size and can live to 300 years old. Modern methods of reforestation are helping to restore longleaf pine to previously cleared land. In the future, we may expect to see more of these majestic trees in the Florida landscape.^_^

      Jen_in_nc on February 20, 2013 at 9:37 pm
  4. Here's a link to the book that I talked about above: http://www.uncpress.unc.edu/browse/page/141. In terms of finding the official wording of the North Carolina toast, you could probably look at the North Carolina government website…..Just some interesting tidbits!

    ncsheepfarmer on February 6, 2013 at 7:52 pm
    • ncsheepfarmer, thanks for that link! Enjoyed :-)

      Heading South on February 7, 2013 at 9:07 am
    • Glad to c that u r heading south! My mother gave birth to me when she was a teenager. One of the benefits of that for me was the fact that I got to know my great-grandparents and grandparents when they were alive. I used to listen to my grandmother talk about taking the turpentine to the Black River near Harrells with her father. The Black River eventually flows into the Cape Fear River. They would travel via the river on a raft down to Wilmington. There was no road back then. Tar and turpentine were so very important to NC history. (Remember: Michael Jordan was a Carolina Tar Heel!!). This find by HGTV is such a wonderful connection to its locale. I am so very very glad they highlighted it with the blog! It will give the new owner of this wonderful home an immediate connection with its surroundings and the history of its surroundings. What a wonderful way to give this person a sense of place!

      ncsheepfarmer on February 7, 2013 at 9:54 am
    • ncsheepfarmer, wow! thanks so much for sharing! May I encourage you to consider writing a memoir of your life and your ancestors stories spoken to you in the history that formed them. Thank you!

      Heading South on February 7, 2013 at 10:41 am
    • And please feel free to share more of that local history here…It makes the cabin that much more special.

      karenlin91 on February 7, 2013 at 11:11 am
    • I think NC should soften the rules and induct HGTV into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine! http://projects.newsobserver.com/faq/what_is_the_… (this link has the correct wording for the Toast)

      ncsheepfarmer on February 7, 2013 at 10:05 am
  5. It is truly remarkable to know how the cottage was built and stood the test of time – I never would have guessed tree trunks! Thank you for this enlightening piece of knowledge, it just makes me even more amazed and in awe of this wonderful home's history!

    Shelly313 on February 6, 2013 at 7:59 pm
  6. Thank you Mary and Mr. Eastman for all the Great information and Photos.. Wow I'm surprised the Cottage wasn't blown over a long time ago, but Soooo Happy She wasn't..Can't wait to see what will be used in the Cottage….Now She has a New Strong Foundation and she has been wrapped and will soon have a new "Hat." She will truly get a chance to last another 100 years…
    Mary, we really appreciate the updates and Photos, We are enjoying the Camera Cam so much….We all are so attached to this Cabin "Cottage" and want what is Best for Her and the New Owners…The Guys are doing an Excellent job and We commend them for their hard work and dedication Especially during all those "Very Cold" Mornings and days last week…Mary and Mr. Eastman, Thank you again and know we can't get enough of this exciting Rebuild and want more, more, more!!! Have a good evening…

    Jennie/Florida on February 6, 2013 at 8:30 pm
    • always enjoy your comments

      labrat8 on February 7, 2013 at 5:16 pm
    • Labrat8….Thank you so much for your kind words…I do tend to rattle on sometimes..LOL

      Jennie/Florida on February 7, 2013 at 6:12 pm
    • where do my responses go? i never see my blogs

      labrat8 on February 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm
    • If you click on "last activity" all the new comments come to the top. Or if you click on "Date" you can go to the end of the thread and read them, some times there are lots of pages.

      vicki_in_Utah on February 7, 2013 at 6:28 pm
    • Hi Labrat8, I'm sorry, I don't understand your question…OK, after you reply to someones post and submit your comment, do you go back to that persons post to read your response??? Am i answering your question? Please let me know!!!

      Jennie/Florida on February 7, 2013 at 6:31 pm
    • We see them, Labrat8. The quickest and easiest way to see what you just posted, I think, is to go to the beginning of the blog you just posted on, at the top, and where it says, "Last Activity" click on that. The line of comments that you just posted upon, or your post, if you recorded a post in the box at the end of the page will move up near the top. Then you'll find yourself and the most recent posts of the day! Hope this helps. Welcome to the blog! Happy to have you! I agree with you about Jennie, too! xD;)^_^ Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on February 7, 2013 at 10:51 pm
  7. How reeemarkable and extremely resourceful people were in the 1800s and to think those timbers were still functional. I'd be interested to know more about building back then!

    sandyK on February 6, 2013 at 10:58 pm
  8. Thanks for sharing the photos and the information. Truly fascinating about building practices 120 years ago. Interesting that the original builder used materials locally available-probably for both cost and convenience, practices that seem to be making a resurgence!

    Lia_M on February 6, 2013 at 11:32 pm
  9. Amazing how creative early settlers were in using what nature provided around them to build and secure their modest homes. Light years from all of our complex building codes.

    I wonder how a tree trunk foundation would work in earthquake prone regions?

    Regardless, considering the age of the Blog Cabin and how well it weathered the elements over all those years, I'm really impressed.

    DBCoop on February 7, 2013 at 1:08 am
    • I know this isn not about bc, but every time I see your baby it makes me think of mine to me nothing more beautiful and smart then the cocker spaniel. I lost my "Lady" la year ago. she was precious to me- she was almost 15 yrs old, and black miss her and even though your baby is beige she reminds me of Lady, faces the same. and got to type re: bc. it is getting more beautiful everyday. Can not wait til finished . only problem is how we all are going to fit in the house when we all win : my house too: time share maybe ha ha enjoy reading blog Can not wait until next room select : bogartandbacall

      michelle scott on February 7, 2013 at 7:28 pm
    • Parts of western NC are in an earthquake fault line but I think the lines follow the Blue Ridge mountains.
      I wonder if any mountain cabins created foundations in the same way as the blog cabin.

      It's really amazing to me that the wood survived this long in such a humid environment!

      Lia_M on February 7, 2013 at 10:55 pm
  10. Checking the Cabin Cam this morning it looks like they are having their morning meeting, new workers, 2 women I haven't seen before. There sure is a lot of lumber over to the right by the driveway. Wonder what else they are building?

    vicki_in_Utah on February 7, 2013 at 10:13 am
    • It appears they are filming.

      jkcarter on February 7, 2013 at 11:46 am
    • Vicki in Utah, I would bet that lumber is for the interior walls. Time will tell. I love how we all have such a passion and "ownership" in our cottage by the sea.

      chris50555 on February 7, 2013 at 3:13 pm

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Blog Cabin is the groundbreaking multimedia experience based on a very simple idea: You Design It, We Build It, You Could Win It! This truly interactive series asks Internet users to vote on the design features for a real vacation getaway. Expert hosts from DIY Network series will be on hand to rebuild the 1920s lakeside house that will become a luxurious home for a lucky sweepstakes winner. Plus, a one-hour Blog Cabin special, hosted by tool expert Chris Grundy, will highlight the incredible transformation.
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