Tuesday, July 28, 2009



Fifty years ago Gene built the above home for his new bride and himself to live in and start a family. Built in the rural hills of Madison County, Kentucky, it was a beautiful place to start a life together.

Gene was young and was just getting into the tree servicing business. He built the home himself out of recycled old wood that belonged to his father. His father was a builder but on occasion tore down old buildings and recycled the wood. Gene selected mostly white oak from his father's stockpile to build his home.

Gene learned how to build a Box type house from his father. His father was a local builder of homes in the Box type of construction. A local term that Gene and his father used rather than Box was "boxed." Click here for construction techniques.

Another type similar to the Box type of construction is the Box and Strip construction type. With the latter, one uses one by three or one by four vertical strips and are nailed over the cracks of the vertical exterior boards.


Basically the Box construction method is to establish a square wooden foundation with floor joists then covered with wooden flooring. The walls are nailed vertically to the sides of the foundation and a ceiling plate is nailed to secure the top of the vertical boards. There are no studs. A roof is usually a gable constructed type.

This type of construction can be traced back to the continent. It is an easy and efficient way to establish housing.

Gene and his family lived in this house for 13 years. The first two years they did not have electricity nor water. Water was available from two springs further up the hill so they walked up the hill constantly to get their water. Sometimes Gene hauled it in from other sources. It was a double pen house at first -- two rooms wide and one deep. Later, Gene added an addition to the back of the house which has since been torn down.

They had six children in this house when Gene built a large ranch house on his property. He stills lives in the ranch house and is still active in a successful tree servicing business after being in it for 51 years.

Post Photos by barbara, FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK

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