This Williamstown, Kentucky Cabin Is a Riverside Paradise

History stays alive and well at this cabin on the banks of the Ohio River.
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Angie Smith isn’t quite sure how or why the log cabin got from Williamstown, Kentucky, to her riverfront property. She’s still trying to piece together its history, from its construction in 1842 to where it is today, sitting hillside on the banks of the Ohio River, just 11 miles outside Union. 

Photograph courtesy Amanda Smith

What she does know is that it’s quiet in the summer, gorgeous in the snow, and it makes a hell of a rental property. “It’s beautiful—summer, winter, fall,” she says. “I just love the water. It’s peaceful.” 

Smith, who works as a medical assistant by day, was newly single when her mother saw an advertisement for the cabin—on cable television, of all places. “I always knew I wanted a log cabin,” she says. “So we came out and looked at it. And I bought it right then.” 

Photograph courtesy Amanda Smith

Her dream was to turn the historic cabin into a bed and breakfast (although she wasn’t particularly keen on the whole breakfast part). So she got to work, renovating almost exclusively on the weekends with the help of her children and daughter-in-law to restore and refresh the cabin, which had been used as a summer home after it was disassembled and moved from Williamstown around 40 years ago. In May, she opened it up as an Airbnb, billing the cabin as an “unplugged” getaway for families and couples.

Today, it’s a blend of contemporary farmhouse and irreplaceable rustic charm, with original log cabin walls that bleed into a more modern extension of the original home, where a kitchen, full bathroom (complete with a clawfoot tub), and loft bedroom await. 

The cabin is a haven in the winter, with a working wood stove ready for those cold Kentucky nights, but it’s in the warmer weather that it truly shines. From the front porch, you can easily spend a summer day lounging in a rocking chair alongside Smokey and Bandit (the property’s unofficial feline welcome party), enjoying the silence and watching the Ohio River snaking lazily along.

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