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Saturday, May 14, 2011

STRIPPING DOWN TO THE LOG BONES: NATIONAL PRESERVATION MONTH


OLD HOME BEING STRIPPED DOWN TO ITS LOG BONES.
ROCKCASTLE COUNTY, KENTUCKY 

Above is a home that dates back to the early 1800s. It's initial construction was of large hand hewn logs. Over time, layers of assorted materials were laid over the logs to give it an updated look. Here we find the first layer over the logs was wood weather-boards. Then in recent times vinyl siding.

This month is National Preservation Month celebrating our national treasures such as houses, farms, commercial buildings and all other symbols that stand as a reminder to our passing landscape.

I choose this log home as a reminder that we can often save the old and live in it as the new. A few tweaks and we have modern amenities yet the beauty of the place remains -- if done right.

Back of the log  two-story home with  single story attachment called an ell
ROCKCASTLE COUNTY, KENTUCKY

Restoring this house to its original log construction seems to be a work in progress. I do not know the persons doing the work, however, I can say it is an ongoing process that is valuing its former self. 

Close up showing layers.
Original log material bottom left hand side
1st layer over logs is weather-board on the top left of house
Vinyl is second layer and is shown a small bit  at the upper chimney side
Original quarried limestone chimney

FRONT WING OF ROCKCASTLE COUNTY HOUSE
Log construction in front of house with yet to be removed vinyl above it

Photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS)
Woodford County, Kentuky

Above is a photo taken years ago of a log home in Woodford, County, Kentucky  that slowly evolved in form over time. Its original home construction is very similar to the house featured in Rockcastle, County at the beginning of this post. 

Two additions were built onto the Woodford original home. The middle section is the original home with the double decker porch and is dated in the 1820s. A  large home was built onto the original home (only the end showing on the left) at a later date. Also a small one story on the far right was added after the 1820 house was built.

Interior OF OLD LOG HOME OF WOODFORD COUNTY -- HABS PHOTO ABOVE

I'm glad the owners of the home are being sensitive in their restoration. It will keep the feeling of time on the land.


The National Trust for Historic Preservation declares May as National Preservation Month

22 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful story. Imagine all those beautiful logs covered up with layers of newer materials. Bet it will be awesome when it's finished. Hope we'll get to see more photos as the work progresses. Have a great weekend!

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  2. Fabulous!!!! I love old houses and I love the idea of restoring them! We have a whole neighborhood of old Tudor and Victorian homes designated as 'historic' where most of the residents have chosen to restore to their glory.
    I wish I could afford to buy one.

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  3. MamaBug -- I have been told by some of the KY natives that many old KY houses that are covered with types of siding are really old log houses. I would love to live in one as they have such integrity.
    Hopefully, I'll get back into that area and be able to photograph the finished product. Thanks -- barbara

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  4. Kay -- I always feel that pre-1960 homes have such great bones. By bones I mean the structural qualities. Both my daughters live in historic homes -- bungalow and Tudor. I think they got their yearning for an older home from me as I used to live in a great rural farmhouse that I completely returned to its original condition except elec. water and those types of amenities. Now I live in a 1960s home and do miss the old house.

    Don't give up hope on having an older home. They do pop up at a fairly reasonable price once in a while.

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  5. Intriguing photos. . . love to see the old restored.

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  6. Wonderful to imagine what lies beneath some of the vinyl siding on the older houses in our area. Thanks for the pictures, Barbara!

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  7. Sharon -- Thanks for stopping by. Perhaps if I get that way again some day I will be able to take the finished photos. -- barbara

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  8. Vicki -- the one good thing about the siding is that the house stays in good shape and then are possible candidates for log preservation -- barbara

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  9. Ya, someone certainly did some damage to this homestead. Onward with the restoration, I say. I bet, in it's time, it was a beauty.

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  10. May is my favorite month. My birthday falls in May, and I am 100 % for historic preservation of old things. Thank you for the wonderful information about a lovely old building undergoing a facelift. Or, should we call it a "log lift"?

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  11. What a big undertaking! Should be beautiful.

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  12. I am always glad to see people intrested in restoration.

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  13. Birdman -- I imagine it is a labor of love. Great that folks want to put the time and effort to bring back its former self. --- barbara

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  14. Oh I like the expression log lift! Happy Birthday to you. May is a lovely month to have a birthday. Old things(especially bodies) should be kept in good repair. --- barbara

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  15. Sheri -- It takes a strong mindset, time and money to undertake projects like this house. There are a few wonderful places here that are undergoing a revival to their bones. -- barbara

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  16. Farmchick -- I think that it would be wonderful if Kentucky had workshops to give folks tips on how to uncover the damage that has been done to some of the old houses in KY. -- barbara

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  17. I did something similar to this 30 years ago.
    Bought a ovr 100 year old farmhome and restored.
    Now I live in a small cottage on this property.
    Thank you for visiting my journal.
    We have a lot in common :)

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  18. How interesting! It is going to be a beauty when it is finished. There is a little house up the holler where I used to live that I found out my gr grandparents used to live in it and that it used to me made of logs. They say there are certain places inside of the small house that you can tell it used to be a log house.

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  19. One Woman's Journey -- How nice you have a small cottage. Perhaps someday I will also have a smaller home. When I visit the very small homes in this area I am drawn to their charm. One doesn't need all the "stuff" of a family home once they have raised a family. Just a place to store some cots in case the family arrives otherwise live cozy in a small charming setting. -- barbara

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  20. Janet -- Oh do visit the house and document your great-grandparents house. How wonderful that it is still there by you. Thanks for the comments -- barbara

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  21. When I think of Kentucky and Tennessee, I think of log homes. In fact, there is a museum in TN, right on the border of KY and TN. called the Museum of Appalachia that has a collection of log buildings that can be toured. Fantastic and well worth the trip when traveling that way.

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  22. Darcy -- Yes, that is a wonderful museum! It's about two hours from my home. If folks like country Appalachian culture that is the place to visit. -- barbara

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