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Discovering the Charm of a 1940’s Miners’ Cabin in Big Bear.

An adventure sparked by a childhood memories led to the purchase of a historic miner’s cabin.

The best years of my life have been in the mountains of southern California. A world away in just a couple of hours. Leaving behind the hustle and bustle of the city, you’re among the trees, animals, blue sky, and fresh air. I got this love of the outdoors from my dad. He had an old cabin right by Lake Arrowhead on the edge of the national forest.

As a teenager, my dad would let us go exploring for hours on end, bringing back the prize snake to scare mom. For my dad’s birthday (it was the last one before he passed), we took him back up to the lake. My dad was in heaven. I pictured myself in a log cabin with a Chesapeake Bay retriever, listening to country music and reading a good book.


1940 Miner’s Cabin

I cashed in every last cent of my savings and bought an 800 square foot rundown 1940 miner’s cabin which sat on a perfectly located lakefront lot. I loved that cabin for 9 years but squeezing 4 daughters and my wife into that little place wasn’t going to last long. So build we did. Throughout the building process, it gets a little crazy with all the decisions and details that crop up.

Surprisingly, choosing a stain brand and color seemed to be one of the hardest decisions. We did loads of research, really valuing the opinion of those whose business was staining log cabins. It seems we kept hearing, “Sashco is the best” but now we couldn’t decide between Transformation Stain® and Capture® and Cascade®.

The person I hired to do the staining was really pushing us hard to use Transformation Stain®. He told us that he loved the way it looked and lasted. Others told us the virtues of Capture® and Cascade®. I ‘threw a dart’ and went against the sub’s preference.


A Work of Art

I’m not sure how we would have liked Transformation Stain®, however, I do know that we love the way the Capture® and Cascade® turned out. The color we chose is gorgeous. Our sub loved working with the products, too. All I know is that if I close my eyes and try to dream of the perfect hand-scribed chinker-style log cabin, the images and floorplan in my mind don’t compare to the cabin we built. It truly is a work of art, like a painting, and the paints we used on our easel were from Sashco.

After four years, we just had our first maintenance application. Only having to apply the clear-coat of Cascade® was a money saver and made the cabin’s wood ‘pop’ again. I think of my dad a lot now…especially when I am at the cabin, reading a good book with Sam next to me — my Chessy buddy, who happens to be the best dog in the world — listening to some country. And I feel him smiling down on me as I pass on the love of the outdoors to my kids.


Summer Scene

One summer scene seems to bring it all together. Each summer morning that my family is at our cabin, we wake up early to wake-board and water-ski. We are one of the first boats on the lake. The CD player is set to play ‘My Father’s Eyes’ by Eric Clapton. We fire up the boat and idle out. It’s so quiet, the lake is smooth as a mirror, the sunrise is gorgeous, and my kids are either amped to board or wiping the sleep from their eyes.

I’m enjoying the sound of the boat’s engine, my wife has a beautiful smile on her face…and Clapton comes on. The song and its words are an excellent tribute to my dad. My kids are now young adults and tell me that whenever they hear the song they think of me and those summer mornings. It’s a comforting thought. I think they will remember those moments for the rest of their lives.



Looking to restore or maintain your own log cabin? Our best advice to you…try before you buy.
Click below to order FREE Capture® Stain samples. There are 11 different colors to choose from including a brand new Weathered Wood gray to give your home the rustic look without the rot.