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My Cabin: Historic Revival
One couple restores a log cabin to its former glory
Story & photos by Jennifer Beadling
Cabin location: Medford Lakes, N.J.
Published: May 21, 2015
New Jersey historic log cabin Medford Lakes
RENOVATION & RELAXATION – Since purchasing this log cabin in April 2009, Jennifer and Brian Beadling have worked hard to restore it to its original 1927 glory. When not renovating the cabin, the Beadlings enjoy spending time on Upper Aetna Lake with their two German shorthaired pointers, Limoncello and Hooch.
New Jersey German shorthaired pointers dock
My husband, Brian, and I live in the small, quaint town of Medford Lakes, N.J. It is a town with a rich, historic heritage that dates back to the Revolutionary War. The area is surrounded by the pure beauty of greenery, lakes and wildlife. We don’t have streets; we have trails. The kids don’t ride a bus to school; they ride their bikes.
We bought our dream home here in April 2009. One of the town’s original log cabins, it was built on Upper Aetna Lake in 1927. But it didn’t quite look like a log cabin (or a dream home) when we bought it. The logs and ceilings were covered with painted wood paneling, the original plank floors were covered by rugs, and much of the house was in major need of TLC and repair. Our goal is to restore this historic log cabin to its original splendor (doing all the work ourselves), and fill it with decorations and mementos of Medford Lakes, as well as items that would be relevant to the cabin and its history.
Since buying the home, we’ve replaced the roof, ripped out all paneling and rugs, replaced rotten logs, and stripped the remaining logs of their bark and refinished them. We’ve also repaired the flagstone patio out by the lake.
New Jersey historic log cabin woodburning art
Inside, we’ve repaired the chinking, renovated the kitchen, and used woodburning techniques to add rustic designs and animal images to some of the logs (see photo, above). EDITOR’S NOTE: Woodburning, or pyrography, should only be done on natural, untreated and unfinished wood.

Some materials can be dangerously toxic when burned.

Brian works in the mortgage industry, so he was able to locate the original deed to our home. He discovered the name of its first owner. A Google search produced the man’s name in a link for the English Setter Club, a local and nationally known club for pointing dog breeds.
New Jersey historic log cabin kitchen
AFTER – The Beadlings brought rustic flair back to their cabin kitchen by replacing the cabinets, installing an apron-front sink, removing wall panels and adding a stone backsplash.
New Jersey historic log cabin kitchen before
BEFORE - The cabin's kitchen prior to renovation.
In our research, we learned that the original owner of our home owned a German shorthaired pointer named Windy Spot, a dog that won many awards at the club for field trials. I called the club to see if I could get more information on this dog and his owner, or a picture of them that we could hang in our cabin. When the man from the club called me back, and I explained my story, the other end of the phone was silent. When I asked the man if he was still on the line, he asked me to repeat where I lived. It turned out that this man was a direct family member of the man who built our log cabin!

We now have two German shorthaired pointers, Limoncello and Hooch, and we’ve named our log cabin “Windy Spot Cabin” after the first dog that ever lived in our home.
We’ve also connected with the man whose ancestors milled the logs of our home and transported them by horse-and-buggy to the site. This man still runs his family’s sawmill, and he is our resource for every log we need for renovation.

We are now in the process of updating the lake side of our property. We had a new fence installed and tore off the broken lattice and half logs covering the cinder block pillars under the porch. We plan to replace the lattice and do some landscaping.

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