- Tech entrepreneur Zach Klein, founder of Vimeo and former boy scout, always dreamed of living in the wild
- In 2010, he decided to invest his fortune in land in Sullivan County, upstate New York, to live the simple life
- 50 acres of forest with one cabin has grown into commune for hundreds of people to get off the grid
- People pay $500-a-week to learn how to build their own cabin like those immortalized on ‘Cabin Porn’ Instagram
People pay millions to live in the thick of it.
But it seems having it all is not everyone’s American Dream.
Hidden at the heart of 50 acres of woodland in rural (WiFi-less) Sullivan County, New York, lies Beaver Brook: a collection of simple cabins.
The retreat is the brainchild of tech entrepreneur Zach Klein, who rocketed to fortune after founding Vimeo and always dreamed of the simple life.
And, he discovered, he is not alone: the site has captured the fascination of thousands of people around the world thanks to Klein’s Instagram page, ‘Cabin Porn‘.
Cabin fever: Tech entrepreneur Zach Klein (pictured at Beaver Brook) poured his earnings into a 50-acre isolated retreat in New York
The simple life: His vision has attracted thousands of people a year yearning to get off the grid and build cabins like him
Since 2010, the retreat has grown and there are now cabins of all shapes and sizes and styles, which are now famed on Klein’s Instagram
‘Porn suggests a kind of superficiality, or fantasy,’ Klein told the Guardian. ‘But the reality is that we founded the blog as a collection of inspiration for very real projects. The name has helped because people find it funny – we have a wide readership because people get a chuckle out of it. I’m not sure I’d rename it if I had the chance. It’s turned out pretty well.’
While his peers snap up estates with all the bells and whistles, former boy scout Klein has poured his earnings into the disconnected wilderness.
It started in 2010, when Klein was looking to buy land and discovered a cabin built and designed by Scott Newkirk, a fashion stylist and interior designer.
He snapped up the property – and the acres of forest around it – and invited seven friends, including his now-wife Courtney, for a weekend of ‘bonfires, contemplation and wood chopping,’ according to the New York Times.
Klein (left) and his wife Courtney (right) considered living at Beaver Brook permanently but decided to just do prolonged stints
Their own American Dream: The Kleins hope to turn the space into an artist residency and folk school for people to leave the thick of it
Here, Courtney can be seen working on building a stone fire oven for people to cook their camping meals when they come to stay
Idyllic: The couple now have a child and enjoy spending their time in the wilderness between everyday life and work on the West Coast
Five years later, cabins in all styles, shapes and sizes have been built – and thousands flock every year for a taste of the wild.
Klein plans to fashion the space into an ‘artist residency and folk school,’ the Times’ profile explains.
A former boy scout, he has commissioned woodwork expert Tom Bomanici to run $500-a-week carpentry workshops for a handful of students each summer to learn how to make their own cabin.
During the year, people can pay $150-a-month for a spot in the specially-designed Bunkhouse, or $75-a-month to camp.
Though Klein initially hoped to move there permanently, he, his wife Courtney, and their child are now based on the West Coast where they run DIY, and regularly return to Beaver Brook to get off the grid for weeks at a time.
For more information, visit cabinporn.com.
Instagram fame: Klein started the Cabin Porn Instagram page a few years ago and has amassed thousands of fans
The retreat now runs a yearly carpentry workshop for a handful of students who pay $500-a-week to learn how to build cabins
Hands on: Klein, who was in the Eagle Scouts as a boy, enjoys catching his own food and building things when he leaves the city