|OLD ROCKERS IN THE 1800s PULASKI LOG CABIN WINDOW|
I spotted this log cabin on a rural piece of property in Rockcastle County last weekend. The owner of the cabin was just pulling away and I was able to speak with him for a few minutes before he had to be on his way.
He gave me permission to take photos of the place and told me that he and his son have been in the process of rebuilding it for the past ten years. They had taken the old log home apart in Somerset County and moved it piece by piece to its present location in Rockcastle County. When it arrived in Rockcastle they began the slow process of putting it back together. They plan to make it a livable place again.
|SOUTHWEST VIEW OF LOG CABIN|
FRONT FACADE HAS MIDDLE DOOR
I was delighted to be able to examine the cabin up close. Its planked logs were full of history. It was built in the latter 1800s. Its construction was a story-and-a-half single-pen home with a recently added new partial loft over the interior room (pen). The roof appeared new also. . The word pen designates a log dwelling unit consisting of four walls, notched at the corner, generally forming one room. Usually one room pens are referred to as cabins.
|HALF-DOVETAIL ON 20' PLANKED LOG |
ADZE MARKS ALONG LOG-- SOUTH SIDE
Usually, I have a tape measure in my field bag but had forgotten to pack it. So I did the next best thing -- I used my feet to step it off. I found it to be about twenty feet square. That makes the planked logs twenty feet long. The close-up photo above shows a half-dovetail notch and adze marks all along the planked board. An adze is a hand cutting tool with an arching blade used to shape logs.
|NE CORNER OF HALF-DOVETAILED NOTCHING --DOOR IN BACK SIDE|
According to Terry G. Jordan author of Texas Log Buildings: A Folk Architecture, a foremost expert on log architecture, the half-dovetail notching probably evolved from the Pennsylvania full-dovetail notching giving us a hint of where the original builder might be from.
There are several different forms of folk log architecture. Examples are smokehouses, barns, crib barns, churches, cabins, and more. This particular log had white oak construction which was a prevalent wood used in early Kentucky structures.
Its like a puzzle -- dissecting the forms of older houses. Some exhibit one period while others have additions from later periods making it more puzzling to the observer.