Local Landmark: Log Cabin Mercantile, Co.
The Log Cabin Mercantile Co. was one of the first structures built in the Chatsworth community in the early 1900s. The site was originally built as a real estate office and general store for the early settlers of the Chatsworth Lake area. Located at 23300 Valley Circle Blvd, it is surrounded by neighboring historic properties such as the Chatsworth Lake Community Church, Chatsworth Lake Market, The Silver Dollar Saloon, Lenny’s Smokehouse, and Fire Station 75.
Floyd and Essie Berry owned Chatsworth Lake Properties (now the Log Cabin Mercantile), running their business from the cabin. Their home was built behind the cabin, with stonework done by Essie’s father, Frank Bell. Later, stonework was added to the property by neighborhood stone mason, Mike Knapp. Essie Berry owned the cabin and the home until her passing in 1967.
In 1968, Joe and Margaret Foreman, along with their daughter Susie, purchased the cabin. The family started the Log Cabin Mercantile, a historical structure boutique, as a family business. Susie and her family took care of the community and contributed to the preservation and well-being of the neighborhood. In the 1980s, Joe helped raise funds for to save the church and surrounding areas from development. Much of his contributed funds were pennies, giving him the nickname, “Penny Joe.”
Now owned by the mother-daughter team for more than 50 years, Susie Foreman-O’ Dea and Cherokee-Lar O’ Dea, this historic site is a community hub and store offering a diverse mix of items—from locally sourced coffee to iron artifacts, indoor and outdoor décor and antique—all handmade locally. In December, the property turns into a beautiful Christmas Tree lot, with lights illuminating the Cabin.
Cherie Currie, lead singer of the Runaways with Joan Jett, started her chainsaw carving career here in the early 1990s. Along with other chainsaw artists, she had a Chainsaw Gallery at the Log Cabin.
Susie and Cherokee host many local performances of different spoken word and musical artists. They have also hosted other community events such as art events, and chainsaw carving lessons. They work with local non-profits and city officials to promote and maintain community safety as well as preserving the historical structures of their neighborhood.
“My roots in Lake Manor are 5 generations and counting, please #ShopLocal and encourage our youth to pass on legacy in our communities,” shares Cherokee on their businesses Yelp page.
Stop by for some coffee, conversation, and visit one of oldest structures in the West San Fernando Valley. Do not forget to follow them on social media at @LALogCabin!