HANSVILLE — It all started with an antique car.
When Seattle resident Sherry Pollard took a ferry across the Sound to attend an antique car show in Port Townsend in the late 1990s, passing through the North Kitsap area reminded her of something familiar — her childhood home in Alaska. When she rented a small cabin-like outbuilding with her dog during the stay, she felt more at home in the woody environment including roosters and goats that were roaming outside her doorstep, compared to her city life as a Safeco employee and building manager. That’s when she decided to research investing in property in the West Sound region.
After finding 2.5 acres of land off Hansville Road, Pollard learned about a company that builds log cabins. But she was not new to the idea of log homes — her grandparents, her parents and even she and her ex-husband had all previously built and lived in cabins.
Pollard found Karen and Dan Hosfeldt of Olympic Log Homes of Port Ludlow, a distributor for a log cabin company in Montana, and that’s when everything came together, she said.
But not without jumping over a few logs herself.
Pollard knew she would have to start saving to be able to afford the cabin. She also knew she needed to gather necessities to fill the inside of the cabin.
Beginning with a 72-inch, 1950s sink with drainboards, Pollard starting gathering gems from friends, strangers, garage sales and the nooks and crannies of Seattle.
“I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it unless I had everything for the inside first,” she said, noting it would be the most cost-efficient way to furnish the cabin and still afford the payments on the property. She now has a storage space in Kingston “clear full” of everything she needs for her new home.
The logs used to build the cabin are standing dead timber, said Karen Hosfeldt. Not green, or alive, timber.
“They are already dead,” Karen Hosfeldt explained, adding the logs are in good condition. Some of the wood is also fire-kill and beetle-kill wood — timber that has been through fires or beetles infestations, both leaving marks, but not decreasing the wood’s durability at all, Hosfeldt said.
Pollard went as far as to travel to the log cabin company in Hamilton, Mont., where her home was being milled and prepared for shipment.
She received a warm welcome from the millworkers and was given a tour of the site where they prep the logs, done electronically, so the employees barely have to touch the timber or machinery.
Pollard visits her property on the weekends to watch the progress of her new home, as well as help out wherever she can.
She sweeps the sawdust after the construction workers drill holes in the logs and tends to her stovepipe stove under a tarp next to her trailer, occasionally providing homemade soup and cookies for everyone. She watches over her property like a hawk, keeping tabs on the trees and natural landscaping that surrounds the work area, often telling the men, “Don’t take that tree down, or that tree!”
She says the cabin, which is expected to be ready for move-in by February, weather permitting, is also her way of paying respects to her grandparents – pioneers of the Alaskan Frontier and avid travelers.
She commented often about the support she received from her friends and family.
“I thought it would never happen but I had breaks,” she said, keeping three scrapbooks filled with fliers, invoices, pictures and decorating ideas for her home. “You can’t imagine how many people are supportive of someone who has a dream.”
Her home, one of the smaller plans, will be 903 square feet with an open floor plan.
“Small and cozy,” Pollard said
As the house has started to take shape, with the base built and logs beginning to stack on top of each other, she thought about a certain old fashioned toy.
“They look like Lincoln Logs,” she said, while getting a little teary with enthusiasm for her new home. “Except it’s grown up.”