The Revival

by Jonathan Morningstar

Let me introduce myself: My name is Jonathan Morningstar. I am an itinerant United Methodist pastor, which means that I can be moved to a new parish at any time. My wife Amanda and I are always one phone call from the bishop away from moving to a new town, which honestly can cause a little anxiety. The parishes that I serve provide my wife and I with a more than adequate parsonage, but we have always wanted a place to call our own!

We started looking at our options, and found the Tiny House Blog! It has been such a helpful resource in this process. We decided to locate our little cottage in a campground that my family has been attending for years. It is a century old revival type camp-meeting in central Pennsylvania. At this campground, there are many small cabins owned by families that have attended the meeting, often for generations.


My grandfather was a minister too, and his small cottage is just down the way from mine, now owned by my uncle. Through the bat and board siding, the sound of hymns and spiritual songs and spirited preaching comes wafting through the cabin in the humid late summer heat.

The Susquehanna river is just down the hill from the campground, where we often swim and fish. It’s a perfect place to relax. We lease a small tent pad, which our 10X16 cottage occupies. We had the cabin shell built by a local shed company, and delivered to the site. We then finished the interior. Four of the 16 feet is porch, but we decided to maximize space by locating a sleeping loft above the porch. This puts the interior at around 120 square feet, 160 if you count the loft. We’ve kept an open floor plan, having a corner for the “kitchen” and “office,” a sitting area, as well as a centrally located pot-bellied stove that provides heat. The stove is quite small, I found it at a local antique shop. The bolt holes on the legs have always left me wondering if it in fact started life in a railroad caboose.


A small secretary desk provides a valuable workspace; much of what I do as a pastor involves writing and reflecting, and this quiet location is a great place to focus on this task. Most of the furniture is reclaimed, or heirloom. The heavy oak love seat, rocking chair, and chair are from my great aunt, and were used at the campground 50 years ago. My mother has had them for as long as I can remember, but a few years ago gave them to me. They are now back home!


The antique brass lamp was my grandmothers. We’ve decided not to insulate the cabin, and instead have left the walls open, you can see the inside of the bat and board siding from the interior. Only being a three season cabin, we didn’t feel the need to insulate, the little wood stove easily heats the place during cooler spring and fall days.

desk and light

The other reason we left the interior unfinished, other than to save a little money, is because leaving it “breathable” just feels more like the mood of the camp. Not too long ago, the campground was full of canvas tents, I slept in one as a kid. The canvas tents have been gone for a while now, and I believe the loss of the old wall tents takes a great deal away from the rustic feel of the camp. Our goal with our cabin was to make a space that was faithful to this “feel.”


Hope you enjoy our little cabin, which we’ve nicknamed “the revival.”

the cabin

Amish Meadow Lark Cottages

I’m always on the lookout for pre-fabricated structures that can potentially become tiny houses, and the Amish Meadow Lark company in Pennsylvania caught my eye for their simple, but beautiful construction of various sheds, two of which could be the start of a tiny house.


Currently, Meadow Lark has five different models of portable buildings to choose from: Mini Barns, Cottages, Quaker Sheds, Hi-Wall Barns and Garages. The Cottages and Quaker Sheds can be ordered in over 15 different sizes. The Cottages cost from $1,120 to $1,480 for an 8×8 foot structure to $4,195 to $5,120 for a 12×32 foot structure. The Quaker Sheds range in cost from $1,285 to $1,610 for an 8×8 foot structure to $4,760 to $5,770 for a 12×32 foot structure. Continue reading

The Eclipse Gypsy Caravan

Okay last Craigslist ad for today. I did not want you to miss these so rushed to get them up before they are pulled down. This one is located in Pennsylvania. Back to normal posting tomorrow.

Gypsy Caravan – Tiny House on Wheels – $9600 (Ligonier, PA)

A weekend get-away home, an artist’s studio, writer’s retreat, private office, a unique guest house, or the coolest child’s playhouse you’ve ever seen . . . its use is only limited by your imagination. The frame, roof, insulation, wiring, hardwood flooring, and windows are all in. It’s up to you to define the interior space and give shape to your dream.

This “tiny house” inspired (See or gypsy caravan style design was initially conceived in the art community of Eclipse, Ohio, as a project to reduce the owner’s carbon footprint. A demanding work schedule creates a situation such that the project will need to be completed by its next owner.

Built on a standard 8 X 16 foot trailer frame, it generally needs no building permit (but check your local codes to confirm). To complete the caravan in the style of the tiny house movement, add indoor plumbing with a graywater system, or how about a compost toilet and a water holding tank for a small kitchen area? Add solar panels and you could have a self-sufficient mini-house that can be placed wherever you have land to park it. Alternatively, install a built-in desk and office furniture for the most unique detached workspace imaginable.

Wired with a 30 amp panel and 12-2 steel jacketed romex, there are 5 grounded outlets and switched track lighting and front porch light. The electrical service meets or exceeds code for new home construction and requires only a standard heavy duty extension cord for power. Other features include 2 thermal Andersen vinyl windows, cherry hardwood flooring, tongue and groove cedar ceiling, skylight area, unique curved roof design, front porch, solar roof vent, and curved rear custom windows.

If you are creative, handy with tools, serious about reducing your carbon footprint – or are simply looking for a unique detached structure, this tiny house on wheels offers a way to put that creativity to work to complete a comfortable living or working environment in a very small amount of space. Email