Above are pictured George, Harriet and Sarah Burns. According to the original land deed, George Burns was deeded this property in Albertville, Alabama on June 6, 1891 but it looks like the deed was not filed until 1911. As the story on the mountain goes, George was a freed black slave who traded a gun for the land. Every single person we have spoken to about our land and about the Burns family speaks of them with honor and respect. This little area was a very tight knit community and there are a few old timers that remember especially Sarah Burns. Billie Slaton, a precious lady in her late 80’s came up for a visit while I was working on Burns Bluff Lodge and she sat and talked for a long time about all the special memories she had growing up on the mountain and how Sarah Burns was such a special lady and that everyone held high regard for her. She told me how Sarah used to bake some of the best cakes and cookies and how she would often go down for visits because she knew she would be offered something yummy to eat. She loved Sarah’s cakes so much that on her wedding day, she and her new husband and a handful of cousins piled into their wagon and rode down to the bluff to Sarah’s place and had their “wedding reception”. Other folks we talked to told us how church groups used to come down to the bluff and have picnics along side the stream. How they would all take off on adventurous hikes down the mountain. We sat on the front porch at Kennedy Cabin for hours it seemed talking to our new friend Rhonda Slaton Osborn and her family. Glenn and I both commented how listening to their stories of the sweet memories they have growing up and playing on the bluff made us feel like we had been there too. We left that meeting feeling like we were part of their family. Over the years the land has changed hands a few times. We have met at least 3 of the previous owners and all of them tell us about how special this bluff is to their friends and families. I have included a sweet memory that one of the previous owners gave me after she and her husband came back and stayed at Eagles Nest a few years ago. Our dream for Burns Bluff at High Falls is that it becomes the place all these people remember again: A place for families, groups, teams and friends to come and gather, for picnics along the stream, for hikes down the mountain…..and now to build their own dream cabin and share a part of the mountain with us. Now take another look at the photo above of the Burns family and notice what type of house they chose to make their home on at High Falls. This Bluff’s story began over 100 years ago with a log cabin……..
We have owned 22 acres of our land for 8 years now and have already put 2 log cabins there that we have operated as vacation rentals for several years. In reading through the pages of our guest books at both cabins, the thing we kept reading was what a blessing these little cabins on the bluff in the middle of nowhere had been to so many marriages and families across the country. Ya’ll, that is the reason we built them. We soooooo wanted to build a place that people could go and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life: •A place where people could slow down and rest. •A place where people could relax and forget about their struggles and strife. •A place where people could be still and sit on the bluff and listen to the sound of the wind in the trees, watch the eagles soaring along the rim of the brow, the waterfalls cascading over the bluff and the stream running gently below the bluff and just be amazed at God’s beautiful creation.
For the last 5 years we have prayed about the idea of purchasing some additional land on the mountain and starting a small community of log cabins but the timing was not right until this past winter. In December 2017, when approached by the owner and asked if we would like to purchase the 43 acres next to our land……..we knew it was time! For the last 3 years, Mark Bowe and I have been designing and building log cabins together. You may have seen some of our projects on the DIY Network show, Barnwood Builders. One of the ideas that Mark and I have been tossing around for a while is building a Barnwood Living Community, a community built of all reclaimed structures, using my designs and Mark Bowe and the Barnwood Builders amazing building skills. We have actually talked to and met with several different developments in different states trying to find the perfect spot for the FIRST Restoration Log Cabin and Barnwood Living Community. Each time, there was something that just didn’t feel like home to us. Maybe that’s because home was right here all along. Mark, Glenn and I all agreed….Burns Bluff at High Falls was the perfect place to build the PREMIER Restoration Log Cabin and Barnwood Living Community.