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Call it a Cabin if you prefer. But is it Really a Cabin?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Madeline Island Realty 50317-90

Call it a Cabin if you prefer. But is it Really a "Cabin"?

Somewhere around here, in one of a couple of glass-front lawyer's bookcases, is a copy of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. The book was published 170 years ago and inside the cover is a pen-and-ink etching of a small, rustic cabin.

The cabin depicted in this illustration is very small, very cozy and basic, with a small stone chimney and a wisp of smoke rising from the place, signaling that someone is home.

We love the concept of cabins. It conjures up images of "Lincoln Logs" that kids used to build with, dating back to 1916. A cabin looks sturdy and protective, almost like a little fortress. It's a symbolic image that speaks to our desire for warmth and security and the concept that one doesn't need a huge house to feel secure and at peace.

Now dial your time machine forward a bit, to 2021. Cabins have begun to adopt "smart home" features, such as bathroom mirrors that unfog themselves automatically. Our cabins are beginning to feature smart appliances that act in concert with one another. Today's cabins, like our primary homes, are increasingly equipped to respond to our wishes. But is that really a cabin?

Maybe an owner would prefer to call it a "luxury cabin" instead, which changes the depiction slightly, from something deliciously understated to a more honest portrayal. Satirist Tom Wolfe might have ridiculed the term "cabin" as little more than an outrageous exaggeration. After all, at what point does the vacation cottage with an array of smart kitchen appliances, the 85-inch 8K Neo QLED Smart TV with surround sound and the casually-placed collection of signed Raoul Dufy lithographs in the hallway become a luxurious pied a terre, rather than a mere "cabin"?

The term cabin can describe something simple or grandiose. Let cabin-owners engage in their fantasies! After all, a cabin is what you make of it.

On Madeline Island, we have cabins of all sorts. Some are rustic and cozy, others so luxurious that they put a lot of strain on the term "cabin". Buy a cabin on Lake Superior and make it your own, whether that means something minimal or something more like an uber-comfortable suburban home.







Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Eric - you're right.  Remembering cabins can conjure up playing with Lincoln Logs as a child but with age comes the realization that "names" of all kinds are subject to interpretation.   

Nov 07, 2021 05:09 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Eric. A "cabin" has different meaning for different people. Helping them fnd one that fits their definition is a whole other challenge. Enjoy your day.

Nov 07, 2021 05:32 AM
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Michael and Wayne, you're both absolutely correct! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder (buyer)!

Nov 07, 2021 05:41 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em: golfArizona@cox.net

Back in the 80's my wife and I built a 4 bR Lincon Log Cabin.  To us it was home.


Have restful Sunday.Enjoy following your favorite NFL team, Monday is right around the corner.  Thanks again for this post.  bill

Nov 07, 2021 05:41 AM
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Bill, I own a log home myself. The place has in-floor hot water heat, a reading loft with built-in bookcase and a fully-equipped kitchen.  Calling it a cabin might be an understatement.

Nov 07, 2021 05:44 AM