Article and photos by Patricia Stimmel
“I’m very proud of what I created for Plummer owners and the joy I saw when I turned over their cabin. I hope they continue to be delighted, enjoy their home and continue to find peace and happiness.” – Dick Plummer, Plummer Builder, 2016.
I bought my Plummer in 2011, after pilgrimaging to Big Canoe for 15 years visiting a family living in a Plummer cabin on Sanderlin Mountain. I fell in love with the charm, wildlife, coziness and escape to mountainside splendor at every visit. It reminded me of the little Pennsylvania town where I was born; I just knew one day I would be living in Big Canoe.
Big Canoe has the most interesting history and yet, very little was ever written or known about the 115 homes built in the mid-70s by Dick Plummer and Paul Schmidt. As I settled in and began to socialize, opening dialogue with new friends quickly led with “Where do you live?” I proudly said where and followed with “I live in a Plummer cabin.”
The expression that greeted me clearly asked, “Huh?” Once a lady commented “Oh you’re that lady, but you don’t look like a plumber.” That did it! Someone had to do something to introduce Plummer cabin history to Big Canoe.
With the help of my Sanderlin Plummer family, beginning in 2016 we created the Big Canoe Plummer Cabin Owners’ Group on Facebook, designed a beautiful brass medallion to further recognize a Plummer cabin and held social “drop ins” and “fall crawls” for owners and friends to visit other cabins, get decorating ideas and remodeling suggestions. I sincerely hope those events will return one day soon when COVID 19 is controlled.
In the mid ‘70s, Dick built a house at Lake Lanier on creosoted poles anchored in concrete which enabled construction without disturbing the surrounding topography and vegetation. Tom Cousins, developer of Big Canoe, noticed the house because it was built without impact to the environment.
Dick recalls an early phone conversation with Tom and the rest is history. Dick created plans that fit the North Georgia “country look” with tin roof porches, Tennessee stone chimneys and fireplaces, 1”x12” wide plank pine floors secured with cut nails/square nail heads to add charm, and cedar sided rooms throughout. The creosoted poles/concrete seemed a simple way to build on severe terrain. It was fun and a challenge for Dick the builder; it took three months at most to build a cabin. Site visits in winter with no leaves on the trees revealed the topography best for construction. Down hill slopes were always easier for cars to handle so spec cabins by Dick Plummer were always down slope.
Our lovely Plummer cabins have stood the test of time, are not like any other home construction in the community and tender loving care is a rite of passage. Surrounded by our mountain beauty and vistas, it’s a daily pleasure to be here. To learn more about Plummer cabins, visit our Facebook site for interesting stories, photos and points of history. My family and I consider it a pleasure to have introduced a little bit of Big Canoe history.
If you are a lucky Plummer cabin owner, we invite you to become an active member of the site, publish your story, the history of your cabin, post pictures and tell of your experiences. We’d love to hear from you!