The SpaceWelcome to Fern Hollow Cabin, a rustic, historic log cabin in the lush woods of Northeast Iowa. This is the cabin of our great-great-great grandparents, Norwegian immigrants who came here in 1853. We restored it in 1989, and it's really beautiful...a walk into the simple and quiet past. The electricity is made right here, by our solar panels (in cooperation from a bright and reliable star). Our land is a Botanical Sanctuary with United Plant Savers, and is carpeted with native species that are medicinal and beautiful.
The log house is filled with good energy from all the 165 years that people have lived here. It feels good to be connected to our past. It feels good to visit a place where the surfaces are brown, textured, and storied. And it feels good to remember that even without a phone ringing or email calling, you still know how to enjoy the passing of time.
My ancestors didn't have any modern technology; we've added some but not too much. We get our electricity from the sun, which powers both the refrigerator and the lights. There is cold running water, and a simple way to heat it up. There's a completely modern cooking range, which doesn't fit the decor but works swell! There's a special toilet--ask for details if you're curious. If you want to use a computer, you can use a laptop and charge your battery but to get internet you'll need to drive to town. If you want to make a call, you can use the land line up at our house or take a short walk or drive up the hill to use your cell phone. Here you can experience what life was like before the constant ringing and beeping of now.
In other words, it's simple. That's what you're looking for, right? A chance to get away from the clutter of everyday life, and a chance to step into another time: that's what you'll find at Fern Hollow Cabin. It is good.
The cabin is 6 miles from Seed Savers Exchange and right next door to the Pepperfield Project, dedicated to promoting and teaching hands-on cooking, gardening and agrarian life skills. It's 6 miles from our beautiful town of Decorah, where interesting things in the arts and outdoor activities are happening all the time.
Whether you are alone or with a partner, bringing children or even a dog, we warmly invite you to come and stay for a day or more. Wrap yourself in the songs of the woods.
We Love Kids and Kids Love it Here
Remember that time you went to an old museum cabin and wished you could stay all day and play? It’s like that, only this time you CAN stay. And not only do you get to read and play games and fall asleep and wake up in enchanted log house; on top of all that there’s the woods for running around, making forts, catching fireflies, picking flowers, and watching fairies.
The Little Log House, just across the creek bed, is a favorite place for the young ones. It’s just far enough away that they feel brave to go there, but you can see them playing from the front yard of the (not-so) Big Log House.
The tree fort, now sitting on stumps on the woods floor because the tree aged and died, is kinda’ modern art: it’s pentangular, with a sun roof! Three kids can sleep in there easily during camp-outs from the retreat!
We like to sing and dance with children and their families, and if you ask for a family singalong at the cabin you're almost sure to get one!
Plus: swimming in Canoe Creek, campfires, watching the work around the place, and seasonal events like cider pressing, gardening, black walnut gathering, maple syrup boiling, and maypole dancing.
Our girls grew up in the log cabin, and we’ve left some of their favorite books, games, and art supplies down there for other kids to discover. There’s a small loom, marbles, wooden puzzles, homemade Lincoln logs, blocks, a flower press, and more. Guest AccessThe whole cabin is yours. The 29 acres where we live is yours to share with us. Interaction with GuestsOur house is a stone's throw away, and we are almost always available to answer questions or to chat. We've lived near Decorah for 35 years and on this land for 25 years, so we can help make lots of connections with the things you want to know about. The NeighborhoodThere are so many wonderful things to do in and around Decorah. It is easy to spend many days here. Here are some places you may want to visit. (sorry it's not possible to insert live links here--you'll have to look them up yourself.)
(URL HIDDEN) builds local community through arts, cultural, and recreational events. Here's where you can learn almost everything that's happening while you're visiting.
Seed Savers Exchange, famous and wonderful, our own local national park!
Pepperfield Project, Fern Hollow's next-door neighbor, where you can take classes and walk trails.
Decorah Bike Trails, extensive and growing
Vesterheim, the Norwegian Heritage museum that people drive days to see.
Canoeing in the area, one of our most popular outdoor activities.
NorthEast Iowa Fly Fishing Guide Service
ArtHaus, where you can take in arts events or take classes
Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce, your link to lots of businesses in the area.
Ryumonji Zen Monastery, yes it's true and it's warm, welcoming, and unspeakably beautiful there.
Welcome in Decorah, a Wedding Resource fo ALL Couples Other Things to NoteMy ancestors didn't have any modern technology; we've added some but not too much. We get our electricity from the sun, which powers both the refrigerator and the lights. There is cold running water, and a simple way to heat it up. There's a completely modern cooking range, which doesn't fit the decor but works swell! There's a special toilet (ask for details if you're interested). If you want to use a computer, you can use a laptop and charge your battery but to get internet you'll need to drive to town. If you want to make a call, you can use the land line at our house or take a short walk up the hill to use your cell phone. Here you can experience what life was like before the ever-ringing telephone and ever-filling inbox!
In other words, it's simple. That's what you're looking for, right? A chance to get away from the clutter of everyday life, and a chance to step into another time: that's what you'll find at Fern Hollow Cabin. Call it your sanctuary. Call it your playground. Call it your hermitage. It's all of that, plus whatever else you want it to be!