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Historical Survey of Log Structures in Southern Appalachia: Page 6

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

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Page 2  (Images 3-11)

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Page 4  (Images 22-30)

Page 5  (Images 31-43)

Page 6  (Images 44-55)

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Mountain homes frequently had framed rooms added to the original log portion of the house (44). These additions served as kitchens and were almost always made after the introduction of sash-saw milled lumber into the mountains. The sash saw preceded the circular saw at early mills and left distinctive vertical saw marks on early lumber. The placement of frame additions varied with the individual's taste, at times appearing in the rear (45), on a gable end, or set off in front in an "Ell" shape (46).

Two-story log homes were almost always built in the English "Hall and Parlor" form. These elegant structures consist of two rooms, separated by a central hall, and a stairway leading to a large room upstairs (47). A commonly found "Hall and Parlor" house in Appalachia is the I-House. This house type has the typical 3-room plan. It is one room deep and two stories high (48). The house usually has external gable-end chimneys and is frequently found with a long rear addition serving as a kitchen (49).

The log barn reached its peak of popularity in Appalachia in the early 19th century. Like houses, they are records of cultural influences (50). They also record for us the means and degree of prosperity achieved by the inhabitants of a region. The earliest log barns in America were built in Pennsylvania by German settlers. Their style of construction became known as the "Great Pennsylvania Barn". Spacious and graceful, they were built on a hillside. The front door access was a ramp, while the back had a cantilevered "forebay" over a lower level used for stabling (51). Similar barns were known as "Bank barns" in Appalachia. However, large ones proved uneconomical for the rugged mountainous regions of the Southern Highlands.

Appalachian barns commonly were simple in structure and small in size. Logs were usually left in the round, saddle notched and the spaces left unchinked (52). Like early cabins, they consisted of one room, often two levels high, called a "Single Crib". The lower level was usually divided into stalls for livestock and corn storage. When more room was required, sheds for stabling were added to the sides (53). The upper level was used to store hay.

The simplest barn to build for size and stability was the "Double Crib". Like the Dog-Trot house, the double-crib barn consists of two cribs separated by a bay or breezeway, and covered by a single roof (54). This is the most common form found in Appalachia. The doors may either face in toward the breezeway, or face front. The first story of Double-crib barns is used for stabling, with the driveway-breezeway frequently used for threshing grain. The mow, or loft, for hay and grain storage was overhead (55).

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