The unlikely story behind our tiniest cabin at camp (first hit shelves a decade ago).Before the tiny house craze, Instagram, & every step of home remodels where documented on vlogs, @countrylivingmag asked me to write the journey of restoring the smallest of our cabins (and all the layers of history we peeled back in the process).It was the first project to set off a chain of many more cabin moves, restoration projects & books here at camp. Its called A Very Modest Cottage- inspired by The Thomas Jefferson quote :I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage with my books, my family and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post, which any human power can give.The dedication (2nd shot here) was to my dad, who I miss every day. He was born & raised in the same farm town that his parents, my siblings & I were.Its the same place where this little log cabin sat for 85yrs before we loaded it up on a flatbed & hauled it 350 miles to camp.This books pages are filled with the DIY failures + lessons learned, before/afters & Wagoneer flea market hauls. But its the pages that are filled with stories of the owners before us that we connect with the most. They are the stories of the mom & pop in the depression who opened the tourist roadside Log Cabin Court in Beardstown, Illinois. The stories of the sportsmen in the 1940s turning it into their gambling den.The stories of the returning soldier turned small truck yard operator trying to start a business who needed an office.Those stories are the little thread that tie my hometown & camp together. Theres a humility in big dreams on a small scale and small town, midwestern work ethic. This little cabin reminds us of what matters & lasts.Flipping through its pages now, Im happy to see that the thread is still tight. Like camp, its intended purpose was to preserve history, not monetize trends. We hope that another decade from now somebody will find a copy on a library shelf & pull at that thread. Cause theres always more of a story behind things than we realize, if we take the time to look closer.
December 1, 2020 • Published by Tereasa Surratt