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The Inspiring Story Behind this DIY Remote Log Cabin in Alaska

This is a video based post on an inspiring story behind a remote log cabin in Alaska.

The man you see in the wool cap on the ATV was going to build a cabin on his land.

But two weeks after he purchased the land, he was paralyzed.

That was in 1980.

20 years later his sons and their friends/family built the cabin for him.

Here’s what it looked like in 2000:


In 2005, he was helicoptered to the site so that he could see it.


I encourage you to enjoy the video based on this story and the log cabin below:

Video Story: Enjoy Below

Watch below and see how they:

  • Took down the logs
  • Transported them to the construction site
  • Peeled them
  • Dug to prepare for foundation
  • Build the flooring
  • Do the cuts on the logs to build walls
  • Roofing

…and more. All while they had a bunch of fun, too. Not to say that it was always fun and games (there were a few injuries.. and even a fire).

They even built a garage to go along with the cabin to use for storage, etc.

Caution: some foul language and footage of injuries.

ATVs to Help Transport Logs that They Took Down On-Site


Later on, they Expanded the Cabin to Make Room for Friends/Family


Interior Shot (Fireplace)


Group of Friends/Family Building it Together






Original story/video on YouTube.

It’s was all possible thanks to John Sutherland, Jake Sutherland, Jeff Sutherland, Jhan Haddeland, Aaron Haddeland, Jeff Texley, Mitch Phillips, Zac Lemke, Michael B. Hayes, Isaac Tucker, Charonne Sutherland, Matt Russell, Steve Smith, Dave Clark, Isaac Herriott, June Virardi, Lily Sutherland, Griz Sutherland, Anna Sutherland, Marc Stephens, Jimmy Conant, Joe Borg, Hans Peter-Tobler, “Slick” Durr, Dagwood, John Smith, and Becky Smith for their help and involvement.

If you enjoyed this inspiring story about a log cabin in Alaska you’ll love our free daily tiny house newsletter with more!

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!

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{ 18 comments… add one }
  • RockyMissouri January 17, 2014, 6:14 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed that….!! Is the cabin still being lived in…?

  • gary January 18, 2014, 12:11 am

    it is one the best one you ever hade like real good

    • Alex Pino January 18, 2014, 10:14 am

      Thanks Gary

  • Ashlyn Schaetzle January 18, 2014, 12:47 am

    Awesome story and love the cabin.

  • Zack E. M. January 18, 2014, 8:11 am

    Totally awesome..! I have been dreaming of adventure for so long and I think I have gotten twice more the inspiration of getting into a project that I have been trying to put together for the past 6 years, by watching some people who let nothing stand in there way… Love the movie and hope to share my experiences with ya’ll some day.. But all in all this movie had brought back to me the reason why I started my dream in the first place.. Keep building and keep your dreams alive….!

    • Alex Pino January 18, 2014, 10:14 am

      Thanks Zack, glad it sparked some inspiration in you!

  • Gale February 12, 2014, 4:11 pm

    Loved the video – but it seems the place is now in disrepair. What a shame. It was so well made and made with love.

    • charonne sutherland March 12, 2015, 9:22 pm

      There are two cabins. The one built in 1972 is the one you may be thinking is in “disrepair”. The cabin built in 2000 by the Sutherland boys and their friends is still in fantastic shape.

      • Charonne sutherland March 28, 2015, 8:29 pm

        It’s very sad, inspire of achieving this dream for their Dad one brother Jeff Sutherland has turned against his brother Jake and is keeping jake away from their Dad.

  • Christine Nightwolf February 15, 2014, 4:34 pm

    Thats something to be proud of. What loving sons! Beautiful place made out of love.

  • Brian April 12, 2014, 2:44 am

    A truly beautiful story with loving sons and family. you are truly blessed.
    Thankyou for sharing your inspiring story.

    • Brian June 15, 2014, 7:47 pm

      Still an inspiring story this time around. The black and white photo above, of the Father and two sons, I find quite haunting and timeless.
      Thanks Alex for the rerun.

  • david June 15, 2014, 6:05 pm

    The best story so far. Wonderful.

  • AVD June 19, 2016, 3:08 pm

    Very nice cabin design and craftsmanship. I love the creative selection and use of the distorted trees for the entry porch columns. That column use adds interest and joy-factor to the entire project.
    Bark-free logs are the way to go.

  • Gabriella June 18, 2017, 4:28 pm

    The homes lived are beautiful because they have a piece of our heart, here is explained the charm of love, because what love is like, and everything return….

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee June 19, 2017, 11:47 am

      So true, Gabriella!

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