Log House Living


Four generations have enjoyed what started as the Mork Family Cabin on O’Brien Lake in north-central Minnesota. Originally built in 1958 by Clarence (Cal) and Esther Mork. this cabin has provided special memories for countless friends and family. It even played a role in bringing together some couples, including current owners Jeff’and I indsay Balmer.

Jeff and his brother. Matt, are the Morks’ grandsons. The brothers are also partners at Lands I nd Development, a dcsign-build firm based in Crosslake, Minnesota. Matt is in charge of sales and marketing, while Jeff provides architectural design. It was a no-brainer that Lands F.nd would serve as contractor for the cabin s renovation.

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And about die cabin as matchmaker? Well, it’s I familiar tale of young love played out since the dawn of cabin time: Lindsay was friends w ith Jeff and Matt’s cousins. Ihc kids gathered at the cabin for summertime fun, and young love blossomed.

A dresser and fish-theme mirror add charm to the bathroom,

Iconic elements of the original cabin were kept, such as Cat’s boat on top of the blue cabinet.


The original 920-square-foot cabin was finished with cedar paneling and pine floors and had a living room, kitchen, bedroom, and sleeping loft. But it lacked a bathroom and electricity. To the delight of daughters Priscilla and Sarah, Cal added those “luxuries in 1963, along with a screened porch overlooking the lake. While Esther would have gladly continued using kerosene lamps, having a “real’ refrigerator meant the Morks didn’t need to stop for ice en route to the cabin. (Back then, ice was harvested from Mille Lacs Lake in the winter; the blocks w’ere stored in sawdust for the kitchen icebox.) But other than a well that was added, the seasonal cabin remained untouched by time.

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