THE ONE-LOG HOUSE: Classic Kitsch Amongst the Redwoods

705 US-101, Garberville, CA 95542

The kitsch factor is high at this classic roadside attraction located amongst the giant trees of the Redwood forrest. Welcome to the infamous One-Log House of Garberville.


The one-log house is one of those goofy things you see promotional signs for all over the highways taking you through the lovely and economically prosperous Humboldt County region. They're proud of this log up here, damned proud, and they should be. Just look at this beauty in the flesh.


So, what is the one log house, you ask? Well, it's exactly what it sounds like: One large Redwood tree log, hollowed out and gutted, then seemingly outfitted like the living room of a house by some grizzled backwoods Martha Stewart-type. Get it? Plus, it looks pretty amazing and mysterious from the outside, just a giant redwood tree turned horizontally with a door and a welcome sign. How could you ever resist stepping in?


Once inside, things are small, round, and, sadly, far superior to any $3,000 a month apartment you'd ever find in NYC or LA nowadays. 


Now, this is my kind of place, it has everything I'd ever need to properly live out the last 60 years of my life. You've got your kitchen (along with various spices) breakfast nook, reading tables, benches, books, curtained windows and dual beds in case you want to have a slumber party with a friend. How romantic.


I love this type of random tourist shit, and at $1 a pop, it's more than worth taking the plunge and checking out. The full excursion won't burn more than five minutes of your time, and this, sir, is a five minutes that'll greatly enrich your life. Plus, now you'll always have a response to the immortal question which I'm sure you get asked on the daily: "What is the coolest thing you've done inside a tree?" Unless you have a strange bark fetish of some kind, I promise visiting this will forever be your answer.  


And finally, I gotta wonder how the surrounding trees feel about the one-log house. Is it painful to see their fallen brethren all decked out like a rustic cabin? Are they happy for him because of the attention from the public? Upset by the mutilation process that got him here? Jealous that he earns $1 a head when someone steps inside, perhaps? Is this a form of tree prostitution? Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself.



Created in 1946 by the finely named Art Schmock (seriously, A+ on the name given the source material here) the hollowed out beast that makes up the One Log House is actually 2000+ years old and weighs a whopping 42 tons. 

With intent to create a tourist attraction that replicated a living situation akin to a motor home, it apparently took two men eight months to hollow this sucker out, eventually creating the 7 foot high and 32 foot long room you see today. Plus, according to legend, the chips taken from the tree were enough wood to build a five-bedroom house.

As an added bonus, the house was built on wheels, as Art had the idea to take it on some type of tour. After stopping at such exotic places like Leggett and Phillipsville, the one log house eventually settling in its current Garberville location in 1999.


One Log House