Restoring the Helen Spiker Log Home

Windsor Log Home Restoration is about to embark on another historical restoration. It is a circa 1800’s farmstead home that was originally built next to a small branch of water on a level lot in the Greenbrier State Park of Washington County, Maryland. It was added to the Maryland Historical Sites Inventory in January of 1984. Since then, the state park decided they no longer wanted the abandoned structure on site as it had been restored to wilderness.  In 1986, the state park sold the structure to Alex Grabenstein, owner of a company called Vintage Lumber. “Vintage Lumbers’ objective was to reuse old wood obtained from dismantled derelict barns and other agricultural buildings in central Maryland. The reclaimed lumber provides a high quality and cost effective resource of building materials for new construction. This historic material has widespread appeal as functional but decorative antique wood flooring and beams.” After Alex Grabenstein purchased the structure, he placed an advertisement in a prominent log home magazine. A private homeowner from Georgia read the advertisement and eventually purchased the structure from Vintage Lumber. She wanted the home to be re-constructed in Ball Ground, Georgia.  
                The home is known as the Helen Spiker Log Home. It is a typical structure built in the L-shape plan with the style and design that was very typical of the region and time in which it was located.  According to the Maryland Historical Sites survey, “the house is a two-story, three-bay by two-bay structure with a two-bay ell. It has a central entrance with two-over-two sash window frames in the outer bays of the first story and three bays in the second story. The window and door frames are set out from the log providing evidence that the log was once covered in weatherboard siding that has been removed from the structure. The logs are V-notched at the corners and have wide spaces filled with stones, woodchips, and mortar. The structure sits on a stone foundation that is partially collapsed. It has a steep gable roof covered with sheet metal…The ell has a double-tiered porch has an entrance and a window leading to it on each floor and is falling down.”  The Historical Sites further states that this home illustrates the persistence of log construction in the region, and although it has sustained significant vandalism, the basic components of the structure are solid except for the stone foundation, “providing an excellent visual documentation of an outstanding architectural type.”
                Alex Grabenstein of Vintage Lumber and his expert team came in to remove this amazing home. He recalls the event happening in the dead of winter. In Maryland, this means it was during sub-zero temperatures. The dismantling process was a routine affair. But he remembers one event that sticks out in his mind. He told us of a discovery underneath the second floor joists.  It was a beehive. The experts had to spray the hive with water in order to work on it. They retrieved over 5 gallons of honey from the hive before destroying it so they could continue the dismantling process. Mr. Grabenstein stated that in his forty years of dismantling log homes with his company, Vintage Lumber, this was the best cabin he had ever had the pleasure of working on.  The structure was shipped to Georgia and has been re-constructed and is now a private residence. The newest owners, Rich and Shirley Soroka have graciously agreed to allow Windsor Log Home Restoration to restore the home to its original beauty and luster. We will post day by day updates so you can watch the process unfold.
Customer Support: 706-698-3645
Windsor Log Home Restoration
PO Box 1963
Ellijay, GA 30540

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