The first thing a Norwegian immigrant had to do after staking his land claim was to build himself a shelter. Often the first home was a dugout in the side of the hill with close access to a stream and a woods. This sometimes became a family's home over the first winter. Once weather permitted and crops were planted, they turned their attention building a log cabin using the techniques they had used at home in Norway. A special ax cutting technique known as the Scandinavian Saddle Notch was used in constructing these buildings.. The corner notch system features precisely angled surfaces which achieve an excellent long term tolerance and creates an extremely effective water and air infiltration barrier and is still used in log home construction today.