Rocky Comfort Cabins got off the ground in 2013 when we bought property from our good friends at Blue Sky Vineyard. We both have known the family for decades and Ed even built the owner's home 40 years ago.

When we first acquired the property, it was a flow of forest, prairie, and crop beans. Some of the most gorgeous property in the area was to become home to three very unique cabins.

We sited our first cabin, the beautiful French Colonial Creole Cabin, at the highest point on the property, which is why it has those spectacular views.

Our two earthen shelters cabins followed, making sure each cabin was far apart from the others, and sited on the property for premium privacy.

Nancy Russell-Trude and Edward Cook at home.

About Us

Ed's Story

Inspired by teachings and philosophy of R Buckminster Fuller and aided by the GI Bill along with the Illinois State Veterans Scholarship, Ed, a Vietnam veteran, enrolled in the Design Department at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. His studies in design, architecture, and appropriate technology (solar, wind, biomass, etc.) of that era evolved into a career of contracting, with a focus on environmentally friendly materials and energy conservation.

Ed settled near Panther's Den, a truly beautiful place here in southern Illinois. In the late '80’s the poorly drafted Shawnee National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan), that would affect the management of the Shawnee National Forest for years prompted him to join the Sierra Club in their efforts in to overturn some of the most egregious parts of the management plan. The Sierra Club and other environmental organizations were able to lobby congress, with the support of then Congressman Glenn Poshard,┬áto pass a bill that would designate seven areas of the Shawnee National Forest as permanently protected Wilderness. In 1990, President George H W Bush signed that bill into law. As for Panther’s Den and other areas of the Shawnee National Forest, this meant there was to be no more timber harvesting and motorized use, but instead environmental preservation.

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Nancy's Story

Nancy was born and raised in southern Illinois. Her parents came here from Michigan in 1960. Her father, Bill Russell, took a job with IDOT as a Civil Engineer. The attraction to the area was the beautiful Shawnee National Forest, and the ability to be able to fish, hunt, and explore no matter what time of the year.

Graduating from SIU Carbondale with a degree in journalism/English, Nancy started her career as a Sales Assistant/Creative Director at WCIL-FM. She then moved on to DxR Development Group as a graphic artist for almost 20 years before giving Rocky Comfort Cabins her full attention.

Ione Russell, Nancy's mom, took up ice skating later in life, and is also an accomplished artist. Some of Ione's art can be found in each of the Rocky Comfort Cabins. Ione lives in Carbondale, just a mile away from Nancy and Ed.

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  • Our Story
Nancy, Sydney, and Ed