A childhood dream of building a log cabin came to fruition 45 years ago for a Town of Schley resident. Since then, that dream has become a bonafide passion for 79-year-old Ernie Burgener.
“I was around the age of 12 or so when I was walking through the woods one day and I came across the remains of an old log cabin,” Burgener explains. “I thought it was pretty neat you know, and I wondered what it would be like to have a cabin of my own. From that time on it was something I always wanted to do, build my own cabin.”
Twenty-two years later, at the age of 34, Ernie Burgener accomplished his goal and finished his second cabin measuring 16’x24’ on what is now known as Big Buck Road, in the Town of Schley.
As reported in a 1971 article of the Merrill Foto News, Burgener enlisted the help of his father and a few hunting companions in cutting the timber to rebuild a cabin which had burned down the previous year.
The team lacked architectural drawings which are common in the process of modern building, but apparently such plans weren’t needed. The team finished their project based strictly on Burgener’s concept of what a log cabin should look like.
While one may consider a meticulously constructed cabin an accomplishment in itself, Burgener was far from done.
In fact, in 1989 he constructed yet another cabin on Burgener Avenue which he now calls home.
Then again this past summer, Ernie shifted direction a bit in taking on a new task of single-handedly constructing a 10’x10’ mobile cordwood cabin.
“It started as a dream I suppose from when I was a young boy and I guess it just became a retirement hobby. It’s something I enjoy doing,” Ernie adds with a smile, as he leans up against his newly finished creation.