The Rest of the Story

Do you remember the radio broadcasts of the legendary Paul Harvey, who usually managed to find a way to tell us “the rest of the story” – something interesting, quirky, or poignant relating to the news item he had just delivered. Because of his wonderful storytelling, that phrase is now part of our shared vocabulary, and so I’m using it to conclude the family drama of the Steiners, builders of classic log cabins, which was featured in last month’s newsletter.

In this case, the rest of the story is particularly moving.

ou may remember, from last month, the amazing log cabins built in the first half of the 20th century by Henry Steiner, a master builder originally from Germany, in the Mt. Hood area. With the help of his family, all of whom were put to work at some point, Papa Steiner built nearly 100 classic log cabins, the great majority of which are still standing, and greatly prized by their fortunate owners. The Steiners built their cabins directly on site, using materials from close by – trees for logs, river rocks for fireplaces, etc. And since there was no such thing as electricity on site, all these cabins were built entirely by hand. No power tools. Think about that for a minute.

At lunch breaks, Papa Steiner would often meander through the nearby forest, looking for interesting bits and pieces to incorporate into the cabins. This habit of his was so well known that no one thought anything of it when, one day in 1953, he left the family home in Brightwood (on the slopes of Oregon’s Mt. Hood), to take a walk through the forest. Nor were they especially alarmed when he was gone longer than usual. But when he had not returned by the next morning, it was clear that something was wrong.

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