Log Home Lily Pad Project


Hearthstone Inc. Helps Tennessee Elementary School Cope with Fire by Rebuilding their Famous ‘Lily Pad’

When Norris Elementary saw their beloved log cabin go up in flames last December, Tennessee-based Hearthstone stepped up and volunteered to provide the logs to build a beautiful new log cabin. Hearthstone even offered to upgrade to top of the line logs, free of charge.

Norris, TN (September 2009) – Norris Elementary School, located in Tennessee’s Anderson County opened their doors to students this fall with a very welcome sight – their popular Lily Pad being rebuilt and on the way to being better than ever thanks to a generous offer from Hearthstone, Inc, one of the nation’s leading fine crafted log and timber home builders.

Back in December of 2008, Norris Elementary saw their popular 600-square foot cabin engulfed in flames. Known as the ‘Lily Pad’, the log cabin is used for science research relating to the surrounding wetlands. According to a KnoxNews.com, the fire created hysteria and mourning for many community members.

Located less than an hour away in Dandridge, Hearthstone heard the story and reached out to the administrators and faculty at Norris Elementary and offered to help the school out.

Chris Wood, Vice President of Sales and a key contact for the project, said: “We were all deeply saddened by the fire that destroyed such a vibrant part of the community. The decision to help create a new, traditional-looking log cabin for Norris Elementary school was a no-brainer.”

Hearthstone provided logs from the Bob Timberlake Log Collection, which are “better than the original” reproduction, and even upgraded to the log package for free.

The top-of-the-line logs look flawless with their flat sides, but also have natural irregular contours on the top and the bottom. The outside walls are made from massive logs, ranging between 14 and 24-inches in diameter

Wood continued: “This is the type of traditional log home George Washington or Abraham Lincoln would have built. These aren’t machine logs. We cut the trees off at the base, square two sides and hand hew the logs, just like our grandfathers did 200 years ago”

The project is anticipated to be finished later in fall.

For more information about the Lily Pad, visit their Lily Pad Page or call Hearthstone Inc. at 800-247-4442.

From the Knoxville News Sentinel

Norris – The Lily Pad is growing back.

That’s the whimsical name for the small log cabin next to Norris Elementary School that was destroyed last December by a mysterious fire. Construction of the replacement on the same site began this week. The building, to be used by students as a nature research center, should be opened with much hoopla in about two months, Principal Jess Anne Cole said.

“All of last year, we mourned the loss of the Lily Pad, and it’s exciting to see it coming out of the ground,” she said. The new and improved version of the Lily Pad is next to a wetlands area created on school grounds. The building itself is bigger than the original version to accommodate more students, and its porches have been redesigned.

Students will soon study wetland plants and critters in the cabin, which will also be available to others. “The vision is that any school can visit,” Cole said. “Any school that doesn’t have a wetlands, I would love for them to be here.”

Flames leveled the original 600-square-foot cabin early Dec. 9, about two weeks after it had opened. Authorities never pinpointed the cause, “but I feel certain it wasn’t arson,” Cole said. Stored inside at the time were 1,500 Christmas gifts for a 28-year tradition at the school called the Secret Santa Shop.

Children obtained those inexpensive trinkets as Christmas presents for parents and other loved ones. Also destroyed were 10 disabled-accessible picnic tables built as an Eagle Scout project. School employees and the community quickly rebounded, raising money to replace the lost gifts and planning for the Lily Pad’s rebirth.

An insurance settlement covered the building replacement costs, and Citadel Construction of Sevierville won the $140,990 project. Subcontractor Hearthstone Homes of Dandridge upgraded at no charge to its top-of-the-line logs, Cole said.

The origin of the first Lily Pad, built largely by volunteers, is as quirky as its name. After Cole and area science educator John Byrd teamed up to have the wetlands area created, they stood next to it, admiring the handiwork, Cole said. “He (Byrd) said, ‘It’s a shame you didn’t build me a little research lab. That would have been great,’ ” Cole recalled. “It was just kind of a big dream.”

Knoxville New Sentinel Article Link