Henry Steiner: Quintessential Northwestern Cabin Builder
When Henry Steiner, a craftsman who emigrated from Germany, began making his signature cabins, his intent was to create functional and economically assembled homes, not idyllic cottages that seem to come right out of a fairy tale. However, that’s exactly what happened. His cabins –many of which are dotted around the Mt. Hood area— are precisely what one might imagine if asked to think of how that storybook “cozy little cabin in the woods” might appear. Over the years, Steiner’s sons, Fred and John, began helping their father with construction of the cabins.
Steiner is famous for using the native materials found onsite or locally for his cabins –sometimes used in very unique ways. Signature aspects of most Steiner Cabins include a “wagon wheel” or “sunburst” gable, a basalt rock fireplace, arc-shaped front door made of a split curved tree, gnarled tree root used for a front door handle, and unique log beams supporting the gabled porch roof.
Henry Steiner is considered a master of the Oregon Rustic style. He built approximately 100 cabins between 1925 and 1952. Most of his cabins are in the Mount Hood area between Government Camp and Sandy, Oregon. The Mt. Hood Museum’s annual Steiner Cabins Tour is designed to acquaint visitors with both this native Northwest design as well as to offer a chance to tour wooded cabins ostensibly straight out of a storybook.