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Wooded getaway

Cabin Falls provides
the perfect hideaway in Madison

By Ruth Wright
Staff Writer

MADISON, Ind. (December 2002) – Tucked into a wooded hillside just a few miles from downtown Madison, Ind., is Cabin Falls.
Named for the waterfall that flows several feet below the rear deck, the rustic log cabin is a cozy spot for a weekend getaway or week-long retreat. The cabin was designed and constructed by Cincinnati entrepreneur Jim Macke. Macke said that he had always wanted to build an authentic log cabin and thought historic Madison provided the perfect backdrop.

Cabin Falls - outside

Although the cabin was built in 1990, most of the materials used and the construction style are remnants of the past. Macke said that he started collecting architectural salvage items several years before beginning the project. Hand-hewn logs salvaged from three barns dating to the 1830s were used in construction, adding to the authentic feel.
Some of the interior molding and door frames came from homes built in the 1850s and 1860s. The wide archway leading from the kitchen to the living room and an old-fashioned safe were removed from the house of A.B. Ashman, one of Cincinnati’s first bankers.
The large and unusually framed picture window off the living room was originally found in an old Lexington, Ky., farmhouse.
Some of the wood used in construction was cut and processed on the property. Sassafras, poplar and cedar are just a few of the varieties indigenous to the area that can be found throughout the interior of the home. The stone foundation was hand-laid using rocks gathered from the creek, which runs through the property.
The interior of the cabin is spacious with a living room, eat-in kitchen, bath and two loft bedrooms. The bedrooms each have two beds.
The bathroom contains a large jacuzzi tub. The kitchen has a full-size stove and refrigerator, and is fully equipped. Macke said that the refrigerator can also be stocked in advance if requested.
The cabin’s furnishings beckon guests to a by-gone age. Every item in the home has a story behind it, said Macke. Antiques can be found throughout the home, as well as a number of animals skins, such as the steerhide rug in front of the fireplace. A baby grand piano sits in the living room. A collection of old and rare books can be found in a bedroom bookcase.
“One thing I’ve always strived to do with this cabin is to give people the opportunity to step back in time,” said Macke. For example, the fireplace in the living room has an old-fashioned swing arm for hanging heavy cooking pots, allowing food to be prepared over an open flame for those who want to do it the “old fashioned” way.

Cabin Falls inside

The cabin is situated on more than 60 wooded acres with plenty of room to roam. Guest can take in scenery while hiking through the woods or delight in a horse-drawn carriage ride through the countryside. Macke also owns Elegant Carriages and said that he can arrange carriage rides from the cabin to a number of scenic locations in the area, including those in downtown Madison and nearby Manville, Ind.
Elegant Carriages is one of the Midwest’s largest carriage companies, with locations in Covington, Ky., Newport, Ky., Cincinnati and Madison. In addition to city carriage tours, Elegant Carriages can accommodate up to 100 people for group carriages rides.
Macke said that many people who rent the cabin are return guests. Professional photographer Len Kaltman of West Chester, Ohio, said that he has stayed at the cabin as many as six times in one year. Kaltman, who travels to exotic locations, including Mexico and the Caribbean for photo shoots, said that he has used the cabin and grounds for as a backdrop for many pictures.
“It’s just a wonderful place. Jim did a beautiful job with the decorating,” said Kaltman. Kaltman said he also enjoys the relaxing atmosphere of the cabin and the quaint allure of nearby Madison.
Rental rate for the cabin varies by season and package. Special packages can be tailored for the occasion with a variety of extras, including private dinner for two at the cabin, romantic carriage rides, dinner at area restaurants and romantic welcome baskets.

• For more information, call (859) 491-7655 or visit the website www.elegantcarriage.com.

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