‘This is home’: Retired forester lives off grid in log cabin his father built

AN INHERITED CABIN THAT’S STOOD THE TEST OF TIME

Stover, 70, a retired forester, has lived on this land year-round for 16 years and has loved it all his life. His father built the log cabin from trees he felled nearby back in 1954, when Stover was just a boy who helped peel off the bark by hand. They built it strong, to last — and it has. The sturdy logs have darkened with age but have withstood the storms of more than half a century. Inside, the 255-square foot cabin is heated only with a wood stove and lit with LED lanterns and an old gaslight system when the sun goes down. Stover jokes that when he wants running water, he runs down to the nearby spring with a bucket in his hand.

“This is home,” he said. “There’s a fair amount of effort just living [here], but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“I remember coming in on snowshoes and cross-country skis,” the retired forester said. “My father liked to come here because there were no ringing telephones. He could come here and do what he wanted.”

The 70-year-old retired forester harvests logs on his property and sells the lumber he saws. Except for the log cabin,  all the structures on the property including the large garden and storage building, were built by Stover using these lumber. His father built the log cabin from trees he felled nearby back in 1954.

“They built it strong, to last — and it has. The sturdy logs have darkened with age but have withstood the storms of more than half a century.”

One day, he knows he will probably have to move in the winters from the cabin to a different house, one that is warmer and located closer to the road.

But not just yet.

“I do it because it’s what I want to do,” he said of living in his homestead. “I do it because it’s me.”

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