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Pennsylvania Log Farmhouse

Map location 36

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A log farmhouse with two storeys sits amidst some trees. The logs are varyingly blue and grey, while the trim is red.
This is a replica of the house that Thomas Mellon and his family built four years after they had arrived in Pennsylvania. The original farmhouse still stands in the town of Export, Pennsylvania.

Thomas Mellon described his family’s early years in America as years of ‘all work and no play’, but within four years the hard work had paid off and the family had started to prosper. The log cabin which had given so ‘much satisfaction and contentment’ when they first settled in America had begun to seem too small and cramped, so in its place they built ‘as fine a six-roomed dwelling as the best of our neighbours’.

The construction is similar to the log cabin. However, to build this farmhouse, the logs are completely hewn or 'squared' and are tightly fitted to prevent rain from seeping in.

The greater size and more finished appearance of the farmhouse was a sign of the increasing prosperity of the Mellons. More and better household furnishings replaced the crude and largely homemade furniture of the cabin. The presence of even a few bought clothes and shoes was sign of a more comfortable lifestyle.

Daily life still entailed hard work. The tasks of ploughing, tending crops, looking after livestock, repairing fences and land clearance were time consuming and strenuous. Women noticed little change in their routine of baking, cooking, cleaning, sewing, spinning and weaving.

The downstairs of the farmhouse hosts a dining room, a separate area for preparing food, and a room for gathering. Each room has a fireplace. Upstairs are three bedrooms, two of which have their own large fireplaces.