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Historical Survey of Log Structures in Southern Appalachia: Page 4

An essay with 84 images that illustrate how environment can contribute to the formation of culture

Page 1  (Images 1-2)

Page 2  (Images 3-11)

Page 3  (Images 12-21)

Page 4  (Images 22-30)

Page 5  (Images 31-43)

Page 6  (Images 44-55)

Page 7 (Images 56-65)

Page 8 (Images 66-74)

Page 9 (Images 75-84)



The earliest chimneys in Appalachia were made with the "Wattle and daub" method, or clay over a stick framework. These chimneys often angled away from the house (22). Chimneys found in Appalachia today are almost always of fitted field stone, except in sections of eastern Tennessee where the proper clay for brick-making was found (23). The location of the fireplace varies. Corner chimneys are rare in the mountains and are associated with early Scandinavian buildings. The common gable-end chimneys show Scotch-Irish and English influence (24). Chimneys arising from the central portion of the house are characteristic of German construction (25).

Stone chimneys were usually held together with red clay, which bakes hard from the heat of the fires. One problem common to mud filling or "chinking" is wasps that riddle the chinking with their homes (26). Brick chimneys were often laid up with clay and handmade lime mortar (27). Lime makes the clay "set up" harder. Other additives to strengthen the clay were the chaff from grains, animal hair, chopped scraps of rope, and hog's blood.

Log barns and outbuildings were usually built in the rough, with the spaces between the logs left unchinked log (28). However, houses required chinking between the logs to protect against weather and insects. As with chimneys, the earliest log chinking was a simple mixture of clay and mud. Larger spaces were first filled with stones, or pieces of wood, then covered with the clay mixture. The Pennsylvania Germans introduced a more finished look by chinking first with stones and clay, then plastering this undercoat with white lime and sand mortar (29). The interiors of the walls were finished by nailing horizontal strips across the spaces between the logs to keep the chinking in place and add greater protection (30).

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Image 25