MILLER CREEK - The Little Log Cabin Co., which builds charming little log cabins, has opened in the old furniture warehouse along U.S. 52 at Miller Creek in Mingo County.
Chip Caudill of Delbarton said he plans to start manufacturing the small cabins and soon will employ as many as 16 workers the first year. He said he hopes to increase to as many as 23 workers in the next few years.
Caudill, who may be remembered as a record-breaking football player at the old Burch High School in the early 1970s, has been building log cabins for several years in Pikeville, Kentucky. The opportunity came for him to start a new business near his hometown, and he said he couldn't pass it up.
The first cabin Caudill and his son Micah constructed at the new factory is 14 feet by 20 feet with a 6-foot porch. It includes a living room, full kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and a loft, which can sleep several people. The appliances are included in the price of the cabin.
"I've been building log homes for 30 years," Caudill said. "I've been all over the country building them. I came back here for family reasons. I promised my wife I wouldn't travel anymore."
Caudill has a degree in structural engineering.
"About five years ago, I started making drawings. I had this idea in my head," he said.
He had been building the cabins in Pikeville but decided to move to the bigger warehouse at Miller Creek and to bring the company back to his home county.
Caudill has been working with Leasha Johnson of the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority (MCRA) to rent the large warehouse.
"They've been a really big help," Caudill said. "I've been a year getting this here."
Johnson said MCRA thinks there's a great market for the cabins.
"There's a tremendous need for more ATV lodging in the region to accommodate the 50,000-plus per year trail riders who visit the world-class Hatfield-McCoy trails, and these cabins would be a great option for entrepreneurs who are interested in either starting or expanding a lodging business," she said. "And because they offer a variety of cabin sizes that are constructed here in Mingo County but transported to any destination, The Little Log Cabin Company can also produce units that are suitable for tiny home living, lakeside living, or countless other small home demands."
The warehouse/manufacturing facility at Miller Creek will have four bays, where the cabins can be built in segments and production can be sped up. The final piece of construction is a metal roof, which is being purchased locally from Quality Metal Roofing.
"This is a great set-up for us," Caudill said. "We have plenty of storage for our lumber, logs, appliances and other tools."
The cabins can be delivered on a flatbed trailer and be set up quickly on a block foundations or a concrete pad.
For more information, visit The Little Log Cabin Company on Facebook.