Biz Buzz Monday: Restored, relocated 1840s log cabin opens to guests in St. Donatus

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-states. In addition to this update from St. Donatus, Iowa, we will have additional developments in Tuesday’s edition.

A St. Donatus resident with a fondness for old homes has given a historic log cabin a new lease on life. And now, he is sharing the home with guests who want to experience a stay of their own.

Steve Ehlinger opened Woodenhead cabin to guests in November, nearly two years after he initially discovered the structure in Bernard, Iowa. The log cabin, which was constructed in the 1840s, immediately captured his attention.

“I really like older homes,” Ehlinger explained. “I live in an old stone house from the 1800s that I bought back in 1980. Historic homes have always interested me.”

In January 2020, when Ehlinger first happened upon the cabin, crews were in the beginning stages of demolishing it. He quickly came to an agreement to buy it, saving the home from its impending demise.

Ehlinger arranged for the cabin to be transported to St. Donatus in August 2020, relocating the home to its current address at 105 Dubildchen Drive. He then dove into the lengthy renovation process.

“There was a lot to be done,” he said. “We had to redo all the chinking between the logs, put in new floor systems, a new roof, new windows and doors.”

He also constructed an additional bathroom and attached a two-car garage to the cabin.

In the brief time it has been open to customers, Ehlinger has received positive feedback. He believes that the property gives customers a chance to get away from the hustle-and-bustle of everyday life and enjoy a more peaceful environment.

“It has a nice hillbilly vibe, being out in the country,” Ehlinger joked. “It is also very welcoming and cozy inside.”

Ehlinger has worked closely with his son, Alec Ehlinger, to get Woodenhead up and running. Alec now serves as the manager of the property.

Woodenhead can be reached at 563-599-4683.