Stephen and Bea Epstein had heard about a teacher and her husband living in a log cabin not far from Green Acres School, which one of their daughters attended. One Sunday, they decided to go on a family outing to the cabin, which is tucked at the end of a long drive in Rockville.
“We thought, ‘Whoa, this is amazing,’ ” Bea Epstein said. “It was a romance. We fell in love with it. We’ve got to try and get it,” the Epsteins decided. “This will be wonderful, and then we’ll figure out how the five of us and the dogs will move in.”
The couple living there were renting the log cabin and about to move. The owners, who had moved out of state, were interested in selling. So, in 1971, the Epsteins became the third owners of the home.
According to the Epsteins, Martin Leatherman built the cabin in 1934. Leatherman, a chemist who lived in Washington, wanted a cabin for weekend getaways. He hired log cabin builders from Tennessee who used materials from the surroundings to construct the home. Poplar trees were preserved using an unusual process that maintained their beautiful, patterned bark. Stones from the two streams that ran through the property were used for the foundation and the fireplace.
Leatherman apparently didn’t take to country life; he sold the cabin not long after he had it built. When the Epsteins bought the cabin, they took down the interior walls to create one large open space for living, dining and kitchen areas. Now, the rough stone fireplace is the focal point. Wood beams stretch across the ceiling. Pine floors add warmth. An island with a butcher block countertop separates the kitchen from the dining area.
The addition, connected to the log cabin by a small hallway, became the bedroom wing. Because the Epsteins knew they wouldn’t be able to replicate the look of the logs, they chose cedar to maintain the rustic feel. One of the rooms in the addition was turned into a home office with a separate entrance. Large panes of glass and clerestory windows fill the space with natural light.
A spacious wood deck offers a place to relax and enjoy the abundant wildlife: owls, cardinals, sparrows, doves, woodpeckers and beavers that have been known to build dams in the streams.
“One of our daughters said the house is a character in our family’s history,” Bea Epstein said. “It really is a member of the family.”
Nestled into 5.86 acres of woodland, the four-bedroom, three-bathroom, 2,602-square-foot log cabin is listed at $2.2 million. An open house is scheduled for Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.
Listing: 11700 Danville Dr., Rockville, Md.
Listing agent: Christy Bakaly, Wydler Brothers
Previous House of the Week