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Houdini On The Mountain

Lookout Mountain Real Estate Office

Lookout Mountain Real Estate is pleased to invite you to come by and visit our office which is built with authentic early American logs and mountain stone. Some of the logs came from a barn built over 200 years ago in NW Tennessee, near Reel Foot Lake.

Other logs came from a barn built in the 1840’s in No Bob, Kentucky. These old logs are loaded with character, in places there is hair from the horse’s tail caught in the cracks and there are old pegs still lodged in the logs.

The log system for our office came from our friends at Walden Log Homes, who have been constructing homes using reclaimed old logs for over twenty years. As Co-owner and founder of Walden Log Homes, Scott Kelley says about these logs:

“All of the logs we use were hand-hewn over one hundred years ago. They were hewn with a foot adz, which is a long-handled axe with the blade positioned much like a garden hoe. With this tool, the craftsmen would straddle the felled tree, and cut off the bark and soft sap wood on two sides until the dense heat wood was finally shaped into a large square log. And then they would begin again, massive tree after massive tree, until enough heart wood was hewn to make their home.

“There are several advantages these reclaimed timbers have over new logs. One is that these logs moved and creaked and twisted, natural properties of all wood as it settles, over 100 years ago. They have done all the moving they are going to do.

“Another advantage these logs have is that they were all actually virgin timbers. Our forefathers chose the biggest, strongest trees for the homesteads, and after the “softness” was hewn from them, the dense slow-growth heartwood was, and is, as hard as a rock and naturally resistant to insects and rot.

“Aesthetically, these logs are loaded with character. They are not uniform in shape or size; the hewn marks left in them are authentic. The craftsmanship by our settlers is remarkable. You simply cannot get logs like this anymore, you cannot duplicate this unique, authentic look.”

Complimenting the antique logs are 60 tons of mountain stone. Chris Tudor, master stone mason, and Jacob Goolsby worked five days a week for eight months laying stone. Along with the mountain stone veneer for the foundation and the exterior center portions to the roof apex, they constructed two magnificent fireplaces, one interior and the other on the screened porch out back, using two different styles of dry stacked stone.

The interior fireplace is constructed of small horizontal dry stacked stone, is eight feet wide at the hearth and is over 24 feet tall. There is an arched, keystoned opening for the fire box that is accented by a custom fire screen fashioned by Iron Age Crafters that has a replica of our office as part of its design; while the hearth is a single, curved 824 pound stone.

On the screened porch the fire place is constructed of larger dry stacked stones and the fire box opening is rectangular and features a design over the opening that resembles a diamond suspended between butterfly wings. Iron Age Crafters provided another fire screen showing the deer and wild turkey that are so prevalent to this area of Lookout Mountain.

All the carpentry work was done by Rocky Top Builders, Bobby Gaydon and his two assistants (Terry and Marshall). They are true craftsmen; it takes special skills to do the carpentry and trim work that is incorporated in these antique log structures where nothing is quiet square or plumb. They were especially creative as they were able to incorporate old beams, barn wood and antique beadboard into the interior finish of the office. On the screened porch they used old tobacco posts and barn wood to make a unique and inviting area to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Lookout Mountain.

We are also grateful to our friend and neighbor, Jim Everett, who used his talents to make the handrails for the stairs and the loft railing. Desiring a different look, he used sourwood, a local tree, to make the rails. Finding dead sourwood trees, he removed the bark, dried the wood, steelwooled them, and then applied several coats of polyurethane. The finished product was exactly what we wanted; unique and very appropriate for our office.

Please enjoy the photos and then come up for a visit to see what these craftsmen have created. We can sit on the screen porch and relax as we discuss all this area of Lookout Mountain has to offer to those desiring the mountain lifestyle we have to offer. Then we can go into the conference room and explore, using our plasma screen TV and our special software, the various properties that might deliver what you desire.