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The Log Cabin

Map location 31

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A log cabin, made of two rooms. Behind the cabin are large trees. To the left, the leaves are brownish red; to the right, they are green.
This small, two-room log cabin is typical of those built by early immigrants to America.

Many new arrivals lived in these types of dwellings for years, living frugally and saving carefully until they could build more spacious and permanent homes.

Preparing to build a log cabin took weeks of hard labour. It involved felling trees, clearing away brush and preparing the site; but with the help of neighbours, the cabin itself could be erected in a day.

Log cabins are made of logs cut to the correct length, notched to fit together at the corners. The crevices between logs are filled in with clay mixed with stones and animal hair. Doors are made from hewn wooden planks pegged together and hung on wooden or leather hinges.

This log cabin has two rooms and a loft. It has one outside door, two small windows and a wooden shingle roof. The floor is made from logs split in two and planed with an adze and the fireplace is in the centre of the house.

For many families, log cabins like this one became life-long homes. For the more ambitious, they were temporary dwellings until they saved enough money to build a more permanent home from brick or stone.

Cabins were often very cramped. They housed all the furniture and cooking equipment that whole families had brought with them.