Nebraska Forest Service


Date of this Version



Nebraska pioneers built their homes with materials that were locally available. The prairie often dictated the use of sod. However, logs were generally used when trees were available. Today, logs are used in construction of country homes, vacation cabins, and hunting lodges despite modern construction materials. Log construction is aesthetically pleasing and energy efficient.

In 1994, I began building a log cabin along the Niobrara River near Butte, Nebraska. My goal was to build an attractive, comfortable cabin using local wood products. I used ponderosa pine logs for the walls. Bur oak and green ash lumber was used for window and door trim. Stair and porch railings were constructed from hand-peeled eastern redcedar poles. Redcedar boards were also used for paneling the basement.

The purpose of this report is to describe local wood products and specific constructions techniques used in my successful log cabin project. There are many books available on log home construction. I have tried to avoid duplicating available literature.