Not many people in the area work out of an office that is made from logs which will soon be 200 years old. But Steve Chapman, owner of Chapman Sawmill and Logging, has an office made of cabin logs which will soon be celebrating their bi-centennial.

Not many people in the area work out of an office that is made from logs which will soon be 200 years old. But Steve Chapman, owner of Chapman Sawmill and Logging, has an office made of cabin logs which will soon be celebrating their bi-centennial.
The logs in the original cabin were on the tax rolls as early as 1843. It is estimated the cabin was build by squatters in the 1820s on land about six miles north of Pierce City. The land was part of the “railroad allotments" which were given to railroads companies to be sold to help pay for the expensive railroad construction.
In time, Chapman said the cabin had a farmhouse built around it. “I was in it many times growing up. It was owned by some cousins.”
When they tore the old farmhouse down, the log cabin was found inside. The logs were hauled to Chapman’s Sawmill, and he used many of them to construct his office.
The logs are post oak, black oak, and sycamore, and after 200 years were still in good enough condition to be used as the walls of the office. Much of the old lumber was originally cut with a huge circle saw. When re-planed, the curved grooves from the circle saw are left, giving the wood a special old-time look.
Some of the lumber has the fine black lines where the material is beginning to rot. When re-sawed and dried, however, this wood is still solid and has a special look that cannot be duplicated except by nature.
Chapman’s Sawmill specializes in milling lumber out of all kinds of logs. They also do re-sawing and planing of old wood. Much of the lumber Chapman cuts is used for counter tops, fireplace mantels, and special wall coverings. “I’m an oddball who cuts stuff no one wants or will do,” Chapman said.
On the inside of the office, the walls and ceilings are covered with samples of the wood Chapman sells. For example, the inside of the roof is divided into three sections: one of sycamore, one of maple, and one of hackberry.
Different woods (walnut, oak) line the inside walls to show the variety of woods available.
In glass cases scattered about the office, Chapman has artifacts relating to the old-time logging industry. He also has a nice display of Native American artifacts that he and his wife have collected over the years.
Although the walls of the office are made from 200-year-old logs, the beams inside the building are also old and unusual. They are made of 7 1/2 inch by 15 inch timber. It took a huge, old growth log to produce such enormous cuts of wood.
Television programs such as “Barnwood Builders” have helped make the use of old logs and used lumber popular. Chapman Sawmill and Logging does some of the same things locally that the television builders do, and Chapman also works out of an office constructed of 200-year-old logs.