Construction of the Log House

Northeast corner, 2021

The front of the Log House is made of solid white oak logs that were taken from the wooded area near the house’s first location. Each hand-hewn log is square cut with square notched lap joint corners. Beams are joined by wooden pegs.

Gaps in the logs were originally filled with pieces of wood or stone and a mixture of clay, sand, water, and straw, which has since been replaced with modern sealant to protect the structure.

The house has undergone many changes over the years. The Schmidts added clapboard siding, a wood floor, and raised the ceiling. After moving it to Tower Road, the Burnhams removed the siding, built the addition on the back of the house, and added heating, plumbing, and electricity.

The Schmidt-Burnham Log House has been remarkably preserved thanks to restoration efforts by the Winnetka Historical Society. Today, the exterior looks much like it did in the early 20th century. The c. 1837 axe cut marks are still visible on the square-cut logs on the original part of the house. The Burnham’s 1917 addition also remains intact.

West side, 2013.

Winnetka Story Documentary Log House Video:
Click here to watch a clip from the documentary about the Log House.

Gazette Articles about the Log House:
Burnham Log House: 170 Years of LivingSummer 1999