Antti Niilonpoika, a pioneer Finnish settler also known by the name of Anthony Neilson, built the oldest surviving log cabin in the US between 1638-1643.
For over a hundred years the cabin stayed in the same family. In 1968, it was purchased by Harry Rink who had visited the owners, his relatives, as a boy in the late 1940s and helped with chores and repairs.
Located in Greenwich Township, Southern New Jersey, Nothnagle Cabin was built of white oak, square-hewn logs with carefully fitted dovetail joints and trunnel pins (wooden dowels) requiring no nails. Originally the cabin, measuring 16 by 22 feet, had dirt floors, however, in 1730, when it was 100 years old, Loblolly pine floors were added. Also in 1730, they added stairs to the upper floor.
The cabin’s original logs are all intact but one, which had to be replaced due to damage from ivy. While living in a newer part of the structure that was built in the early 1900s, Harry and Doris Rink cared for the cabin and frequently gave free tours. Doris and Harry went out of their way to keep the cabin authentic. It is filled with artifacts and antiques from the 17th and 18th centuries. Harry did the repairs, using clay and mud to fill in the cracks of the oak logs up until his passing in December, 2018.