Friday, June 28, 2019

This Old House: Cabins and Tents

An exhibit “This Old House:  residential architecture of Benton County” has opened in the upstairs gallery at the Benton County Historical Museum in Philomath.  It includes photos of some of the earliest residential structures:  log cabins and hewn log houses —the earliest residential structures. 
I like this photograph of an area log cabin because it shows the use of stones at the corners of the cabin and mud or moss to fill the spaces between the logs. The plank roof may have been placed over a sod roof.

But even log cabins were not the first residences of some early settlers.  Some lived in a more temporary structure – a tent—until they had time to build a cabin.
This photograph shows Odina Gravel with his wife and child, in front of the tent where they lived while Mr. Gravel worked as a carpenter on the Benton County Courthouse, 1887-1888.

I found this photograph especially interesting because my husband’s paternal grandparents also lived in a tent with a wooden floor when they first moved to Oregon in the early 1900s. They later built a frame house on the same property in Northeast Portland. 

By Martha Fraundorf, Volunteer for Benton County Historical Society, Philomath, Oregon  

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