Search

Lehigh Valley Log Cabin Trail

The Lehigh County Log Cabin Trail was established to identify and call to the public's attention 22 of the 100 remaining and charming 18th and 19th century log cabins and other log buildings. It seeks to add to and enhance the public's appreciation of the rich historic log building heritage of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.

Some parts of the Lehigh County Log Cabin Trail, in the Central Section, are routed along part of Lehigh Valley's delightful Covered Bridge Tour, which adds further historic charm and educational value as one explores the log cabin trail. 

Please keep in mind these cautions about photography. All log buildings on the Lehigh County Log Cabin Trail located in public parks may be photographed on the outside. Privately owned buildings marked by an asterisk (*) as drive-by buildings, however, should not be photographed. Please respect the privacy of the people owning, and in some instances living in, these log structures!  

 of the Lehigh County Log Cabin Trail brochure. 

** Information was researched and compiled as an Eagle Scout Candidate Project Associate for Boy Scout Troop 131, Wescosville, PA

  

 

The Tour Route

The trail begins with the Southern Section, then moves north to the Central Section, continues into the Northern Section and the Blue Mountain (Kittatinny Ridge) forming the northern border of Lehigh County, then returns to three buildings in the northwestern part of the Central Section where the trail ends. 

Southern Section

The log cabin trail begins at Exit 60 of I-78 just south of Allentown and includes roughly the southern one-third of the county. It includes Lower Milford, Upper Saucon, and Upper Milford Townships, along with villages and towns including Limeport and Emmaus.

  1. Carlin Log House (ca 1850)*. This full two story log building has a transom that may be original, full mortar chinking, and nine-over-six window sashes. The logs of the building were treated for preservation purposes, as demonstrated by the shiny finish that’s visible on them. This is a drive-by siteAccess: 3687 Lanark Road, Coopersburg, PA. (This building is located in Lanark despite its Coopersburg postal mailing address). 
  2. Miller Log House (ca 18th century)*. This story-and-a-half log structure with wood chinking is a so-called “bank” building built into the side of a hill. It possibly had a central fireplace at one time. The floor joists on the rear of the building extend slightly suggesting a possible pent roof once was present but is no longer there. It’s a good example of how newer building additions to the original log part can convert a small log building into a lovely modern residence. Good landscaping nicely augments the external appearance. This is a drive-by siteAccess: 7028 Sell Road, Zionsville, PA.
  3. Peter Rothenberger Log House (ca 1830-1850)*This charming stone ended, story-and-a-half log house is beautifully preserved and enhanced further by the wonderful landscaping around the building. Full mortar chinking is visible. The current front and side windows indicate possible taller original windows were used on the building. As with some other log buildings included on the Lehigh County Log Cabin Trail, some newer additions were added to the original log house at a later date. This is a drive-by siteAccess: 6521 Crown Lane, Zionsville, PA.
  4. Schubert-Graber Log Cabin (ca late 1700s)*. The Schubert-Graber log cabin, along Power Valley Road, is thought to be the oldest building in Upper Milford Township. It is one of several remaining log buildings in the township. It is unique, however, because it is built on a stone foundation that’s dug into a hillside like a Pennsylvania “bank” barn. A mortar analysis indicates that the four walls were not built at the same time, but were built using various percentages of fine clay, lime, straw, wood shavings and crushed anthracite coal. Unlike most other log cabins whose horizontal logs are stabilized by “V” notches in the corners, this building has a mortised vertical post in each corner. The horizontal logs have tenons which are fitted into the pockets and secured with a dowel driven through the mortise and tenon joint. Another unusual feature is the lack of evidence of either a stairway from the ground floor to the first floor, or a fireplace or chimney. Without heat or cooking facilities, this building may have been used for Schubert businesses which included a cooperage and later a wool business. This is a drive-by site. No parking is availableAccess: From the previous building return to, and then turn left onto, Powder Valley Road. Continue ahead for 0.6 mile to the Schubert-Graber Log Cabin on the right. Please do not park on private property near the log cabin.
  5. Pennsylvania Avenue Log House (1798)*. This full two story log building is one of three remaining in the Borough of Emmaus. It has dovetail notching on the corners—a relatively unusual feature on remaining Lehigh County log buildings. Little information is available regarding its builder and history, but is claimed to date from the late eighteenth century although it may actually have been built in the early nineteenth century. The structure is now converted into an apartment building. This is a drive-by siteAccess: 1281 Pennsylvania Avenue, Emmaus, PA.
  6. Shelter House† (1734). The Shelter House is an exceptionally well-preserved example of the European continental log house style, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It shows very nicely the evolution of a building’s expansion from one section into multiple (three) generation construction. The house predates the 1741 arrival of the Moravian faith to the Emmaus area, and is believed to be the oldest continually inhabited structure in Lehigh County. Although Shelter House’s name originates from the German Zufluchtshaus, which means “a house or structure to which to flee,” there is no record of it ever having been used as a refuge from an attack. Tours are available by appointment with the caretaker-in-residence. Contact the Shelter House Society, (610) 965-9258. In addition, open houses and tours are held each year on Emmaus Heritage Days and the first weekend of December. You may walk around the property and take photographs of the exterior of the building, but please respect the privacy of the caretaker and his family who live in the structure. Access: 601 South Fourth Street, Emmaus, PA.

 

Central Section

This section of the log cabin trail includes the City of Allentown, Lower Macungie, North Whitehall, Lowhill, and Weisenberg townships, and villages and towns including Breinigsville, Wescosville, and Schnecksville. The Central Section has nine log buildings included on the trail.

  1. Hunter’s Cabin (ca 1739-1741). This representative Germanic log cabin was built in ca 1739-1741 by Abraham Kirper (or Carper) on land that that was bought in 1738. Later the cabin and 294 acres were acquired by Peter Bogert whose family owned the property for five generations. In the 1930s, Robert A. Young owned the land and had some restoration done to the clapboard-sided log cabin, and in 1938 additional restoration was completed by the Allentown Parks Department with the assistance of Allentown architects John K. Heyl and William D. Miller. The cabin is a story-and-a-half “bank” house moved to its current location from a hilltop across 24th Street. It is believed the current compass orientation of the building is rotated 180 degrees from the original orientation—perhaps to provide a view of nearby Bogert’s Bridge from the cabin’s front porch. It is one of three log structures preserved in the City of Allentown’s park system (there are four within the City of Allentown). It rests in a lovely setting beside the 1841 Bogert’s Bridge† (one of the oldest remaining covered bridges in Lehigh County), in part of Allentown’s extensive park system, after being moved to its current location from a nearby hillside. Hunters Cabin contains two rooms, plus an overhead loft, and a basement. Visitors may walk around the cabin, and photograph its exterior, but it is not possible to go inside. Access: Walk through adjacent Bogert’s covered bridge to Hunter’s Cabin on the left a few feet from the other end of the bridge.
  2. Henry Bortz Log House (1792). Located along Rt. 222 (Hamilton Blvd.) in Wescosville, this story-and-a-half log house has exposed exterior logs on part of the building, and “shiplap” (clapboard) siding covering the logs on the remaining structure. The east end of the building is an 1815 addition, a post-and-beam brick filled structure under the shiplap. The siding was whitewashed each year before winter. In addition, the kitchen areas were also whitewashed to keep that area of the cabin clean. Where the house now sits is not its original location. Previous to it being moved by the Lower Macungie Township Historical Society, to save it from being razed, it was located farther along the same road toward the intersection, which is where it had been moved about 1815 from yet another location! The building is owned by Lower Macungie Township, and maintained by the Lower Macungie Township Historical Society. You may walk around and photograph the exterior of the building, but it is not possible to go inside except during several special events held annually. Access: 5047 Hamilton Blvd., Wescosville, PA.
  3. Lynford Lardner Log Cabin (ca 1746-1750).  Located in Trexler Park in the west end of Allentown, the story-and-a-half Lynford Lardner log cabin was used in the early twentieth century by General Harry C. Trexler, a major local philanthropist, as a summer retreat on his Springhouse Farm (now Trexler Park). The General built substantial additions to the log structure but, in 1952, they were removed to restore the log building to its current, more historic appearance. The cabin has board-and-batten siding on the upper gable ends, early nine light (glass pane) sashes on the rear of the building, but six light sashes on the gable ends. The cabin is constructed over a spring which supplied drinking water to building’s occupants. You may walk around the building and photograph its exterior, but it is not possible to go inside. Access: In Trexler Park, Allentown, PA. Enter and park, then walk left on the park’s loop road about a quarter mile to the Lynford Lardner Log Cabin.
  4. Balliet Log House (ca 1790-1820)*. This two story structure was probably built by Paul Balliet, son of Paulus Balliet. Paulus came to America in 1738 aboard the ship Robert and Alice, with the intention of operating an inn in what is now North Whitehall Township. The land was granted to him by Thomas and Richard Penn. Paulus died in 1777, and the land on which this house stands was willed to his son Paul, the other sons John and Stephen getting other parts of the estate. Paul married late in life, at age 50, in 1815. It is possible he built this house for his new bride. The first floor window treatments are not original. In the 1960s the front door had been removed and a picture window installed across it and the original window opening. This has been partly restored. The other first floor windows had been enlarged at some point. The second floor windows are most likely the original treatment. The building’s sidewalls are longer than the width of the front wall. The apparent age of the original part of the adjacent barn is 1840. Additions have been added onto either side of this center section. The nearby springhouse was in place by 1845. This is a drive-by siteAccess: The building’s location is 4458 Coffeetown Road, Schnecksville, PA.
  5. Schneck Log House (ca 1798). The Schneck Log House may date back to 1798. Tax records show a Schneck ancestor paid taxes on a log building of one story. Speculation is that the present building was modified at a later date, perhaps to provide more space for a younger son’s expanding family, or perhaps to be used as a home for the widow. The interior retains its original wide floorboards and an original wall along the present staircase. The fireplace is rebuilt from stone that had comprised the base of the original huge fireplace, and is very unusual in being located at the back of the building.  Doors are of the period, and all windows are custom-made featuring old glass. A pent roof is present on the front of the building, and there is wood chinking. The property is home to several Eagle Scout projects: a pavilion sheltering a double butcher stove, a buried-barrel “refrigerator,” a large grape arbor, and a four-square German garden with simulated wellhead. The Schneck Log House is owned by the Upper Lehigh Historical Society (PO Box 255, Schnecksville, PA 18078). Visitors may walk around the building, but it is not possible to go inside. Access: Located along PA Route 873 in Schnecksville. behind the STS Tire & Auto.
  6. Wright Log House (19th century)*This log house has two full stories with horizontal, shiplap siding on one gable end. Dovetail notching is used to join the ends of the logs together. The interior of the building has very low ceilings. This is a drive-by siteAccess: Located at 2579 Neffs Laurys Road, Schnecksville, PA.

 

Northern Section

This portion of the log cabin trail includes the townships of Lynn, Heidelberg, and Washington, and various villages and towns including Wanamakers, New Tripoli, Slatedale, and Slatington. The Northern Section has seven log buildings included on the trail. 

  1. Remaley Log House (ca 1842)*. This two story log house, built by Charles Ramaley, apparently is the only log building remaining in Slatington. The current wavy chinking is not original. The six-over-six window sashes on the front of the building may be original. This is a drive-by siteAccess: This house is located at 1217 Main St., Slatington, PA. 
  2. German Log House (ca 1840s)*. This two story log and stone building was the original house of Joseph German who built the structure. He was a farmer and land owner who sold part of his land late in the 1840s. The building is one of two log structures remaining in Slatedale, but the only one with logs exposed to the outside, which gives the building an especially charming appearance. This is a drive-by siteAccess: This log house, with a rustic log fence in front of the property, is located at 4219 Main St., Slatedale, PA.
  3. Bellis Log House (ca 1750)*. This two story log building is one of the most northern log structures remaining in Lehigh County. The six-over-three window sash on the gable end is a unique size. At one time the building was named “Villa Maria,” but that name is no longer used. This is a drive-by siteAccess: 9073 Furnace Road, Slatington, PA.
  4. Zeisloff Log House (ca 1738-1748). George Zeisloff (who built this log house) and his brothers Balthazer and Nicholas, arrived in America from Germany on September 1, 1736. George and his family joined the Allemaengel Moravian Congregation on May 12, 1755. In 1756, most of the Zeisloff family was massacred by Native Americans during the French and Indian War. Only two sons survived. This 18th century story-and-a-half log house was relocated from its original site about 1.5 miles away along Zeisloff Road, and reconstructed at its current location in Ontelaunee Park. The house originally was one and one-half story, and measured 22 by 32 feet. The lower part of the roof is slightly kicked out to protect the wall logs beneath it. This might reflect some Swiss architectural influences. There is board-and-batten siding on the gable, and a pent roof at the bottom of the gable to protect logs beneath it. Logs extend slightly beyond the corners. The original fireplace lintel is used in the restored house. It is one log measuring 12 feet long and about 16 by 16 inches square. Many original stones also are used in the fireplace and the building’s foundation. In the rear wall of the fireplace is an opening through which hot coals were passed into the Stube or living room where a five plate cast iron stove was used to heat that room. Smoke from the stove passed through a small hole into the fireplace. The stairway treads going to the attic are removable. This allowed occupants of the house to remove the steps as they retreated into the attic when raids by Native Americans were impending. There also was a small “loop hole” or peephole in the attic over the east door so occupants could remain alert for danger. The opening also could be used to sight a gun. The house also contains a Salen Fenster, or soul window, in the bedroom’s west wall downstairs. This Kammer, or chamber, is where the older people slept and upon death the soul window is where the deceased person’s soul escaped to the outside through the hole. Younger family members slept in the attic. You may walk around this building and take photographs of its exterior. On special occasions each year, such as Pioneer Days during October and the Pioneer Christmas Open House, visitors may go inside the Zeisloff Log House and adjacent Fort Everett. Access: Ontelaunee Park, New Tripoli, PA.
  5. Fort Everett (ca 1756). This fort and its stockade wall, now (but not originally) adjacent to the Zeisloff Log House, is rebuilt with the intent of simulating the approximate appearance of the original fort that was located near the former American frontier along the base of the Blue Mountain or Kittatinny Ridge in colonial times. The fort was one of a series that were built during the period 1753-1758 along the south and north bases of the Blue Mountain (Kittatinny Ridge) between the Delaware River and the Susquehanna River. Benjamin Franklin was charged with the task of having the fortifications built, and he visited and inspected them. It took Franklin’s men approximately seven days to build the original fort. The idea for reconstruction of Fort Everett began early in the 1960s when Boy Scout Troop 29 from New Tripoli constructed a replica of the fort and its stockade on a flatbed trailer for use in parades. Finally, in May 2006, after years of effort and fundraising, the reconstructed Fort Everett blockhouse was completed. Access: The Zeisloff Log House and Fort Everett are located beside each other in Ontelaunee Park.
  6. Stanley Log House (ca mid-1700s). This two story log house apparently predates the American Revolution. It is located near what once was the American frontier along the base of the Blue Mountain (Kittatinny Ridge) in Lynn Township. There was a central fireplace, and there is a Salen Fenster, or soul window, in the back of the building. Curiously, there is no back door which is unusual for a Germanic log building of this age and style (compare this building with the nearby Zeisloff Log House in Ontelaunee Park which has a back door, and a soul window on the front of the building). This is a drive-by site. The nearby Class II Standard Pennsylvania Barn is unusual in having only one end wall extended forward to help support the forebay. Access: 7593 Kings Highway (Route 143), New Tripoli, PA.
  7. Frederick Leaser Log Cabin (ca pre-1755)*. The Frederick Leaser Log Cabin is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In Revolutionary War times, Frederick Leaser was a Pennsylvania German farmer who helped to save the Liberty Bell (see Local Frederick Leaser Memorials section). The structure is a “bank” log building. Its north side appears to have two fairly distinct sections suggesting different construction times. The building currently needs major restoration work. Access: 7654 Leaser Road, New Tripoli, PA.

 

Return to Central Section

The Lehigh County Log Cabin Trail now returns to the Central Section for visits to the final three log buildings on the trail. 

  1. Milot Log House (ca 0000). The Milot Log House is a story-and-a-half bank building. There is (in 2008) some insect and rot damage on some of the logs (see section on this website for information pertaining to restoration, preservation, and maintenance of log buildings). This is a drive-by siteAccess: 2628 Boger Stadt Road, Fogelsville, PA.
  2. Adam Bair Log Cabin (ca 1753). This cabin originally had a stone foundation and was constructed on the former Adam Bear property at the location now identified as 7872 George Road. In the 1788 Federal Tax List, this property’s characteristics were 200 acres, 2 horses, and 2 cattle. In 1789, this structure was identified as a one-story 28 feet x 22 feet log house. The building was relocated in about 1977 directly beside of the Weisenberg Township building by the Northwestern Lehigh Jaycees from the George Road property to the Weisenberg Township property. During that move and reconstruction, very drastic modifications were made from the building’s earliest known version (a photograph). The current structure does not have a basement and is not nearly as high as the original building. Some of the original logs were badly deteriorated and discarded. Only good logs were utilized in the reconstruction. In the original version there was also wood chinking between the logs, but the current rebuilt version lacks that wood chinking. In addition, the original six-over-six windows on the original version are not present on the current building. Curiously, neither the original cabin nor the version now on the Log Cabin Trail, had a chimney. Therefore, we do not know how it was heated. Access: The building is located at 2175 Seipstown Road. Fogelsville, PA.
  3. Kline Log Cabin (ca 1752). This log cabin was a utility building in poor condition, originally located on the Kline farm between Shimerville and Vera Cruz in Upper Milford Township. It is an example of a log structure being relocated which saved it from complete loss. It 1989, it was moved to its current Weisenberg Township location by Richard L. Weiss. The building, however, is now drastically modified from its earliest known version. The original interior had a stone fireplace and blacksmith forge in one corner of the cabin, and there was a ground floor. The original cabin also did not have an overshoot. It measured 11 feet by 15 feet, and did not have an upstairs. The reconstructed version of the building now measures 16 feet by 20 feet. There is a pent roof on one gable but not on the opposite gable. Access: 1885 Klines Mill Road, Breinigsville, PA.
Top