Wednesday, December 30, 2009
VERNACULAR ONE-PEN LOG CABINS -- AGED AND WORN
On this day I hesitated to walk on the open private land. I always feel one needs to obtain permission. If one is granted they should ask if there is a vacated open well site or perhaps unfriendly dogs that might descend on them.
When I viewed the dwelling from the road it was difficult to decipher the construction details that usually give hints as to the possible date it was built.
So I used my photo I took of the place to determine some of the construction details. I could make-out that it had half-dovetailed notching and secondly that it did not have an outside chimney on the gable end. At least the gable end that could be seen from the road. . Perhaps it had one but was located out of my view. What I did see was a metal smoke stack poking out of the roof near the ridge line which meant that a metal stove had been used for heat. I believe this might be a log built around the late 1800s. Not sure. A close examination of the log would either dispel this assumption or verify it.
Historically Kentucky had large inventories of log buildings. Today log dwellings are sparse on the landscape. It seems that most house historians believe that these types of dwellings hay-day was from the late 1700s through the early 1900s. This would put most of those still extant on the land in Kentucky about 100 years of age or older.
Information source for this post: Kentucky Folk Architecture, Montell and Morse.