History buffs and old house lovers will not want to miss this opportunity to gawk inside what is the country’s oldest log cabin, a quaint oak construction currently seeking an incredible $2.9M. Known as the C.A. Nothnagle Log Home, the structure was built around 1639 by Finnish immigrants and is located just two hours outside of NYC in the town of Gibbstown, NJ. Although modest by today’s standards, measuring 16 by 22 feet and boasting just a single room, the cabin’s current owners say it’s actually quite palatial considering cabins back then clocked in at only 12 by 12 feet on average. Now, is it worth the price tag?
As noted in its listing, Nothnagle is the oldest log cabin in the U.S.A. and the oldest of its type in the Western Hemisphere—two facts that have landed it a place on the National Register of Historic Sites. Since 1940, the cabin has been tended to by Doris and Harry Rink, a couple who live in an 18th-century house attached to the structure (included in the deal).
Under the care of the Rinks, the historic cabin has been carefully restored to its near-original condition. In 2000, Mr. Rink told the NY Times that when he and his wife first acquired the property, the interior was completely plastered and you couldn’t see any of the logs. Similarly, the exterior was shrouded in ivy. The two painstakingly stripped both the inside and the outside of the cabin to expose the logs just as they were when the home was first built. The floors and the roof were also reinforced.
Rink says “the person who built it was an artist,” noting that the cabin was made to last. Not a single nail was used in its construction, and the logs were instead assembled using double-dovetail joinery for extra strength. Other neat features include a lofted sleeping area and two removable logs that can be taken out on hot days to create cross draft ventilation.
Currently, Nothnagle is set up as a museum where the Rinks offer tours of the cabin highlighted by artifacts and furnishings uncovered when they first got the home. Among the relics are “a 240-year-old boot, toys, a fork, an iron thimble and other things [found] under the floor,” as noted in the Times article. On site are also a number of 100-plus-foot redwood trees, a gazebo, a shed, a machine shop, and a four-car garage.
One important caveat: The buyer of the property will be required to provide a “life estate” for the Rinks who will continue to give tours and tend to the cabin.
[Via Atlas Obscura]
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