Today we stepped back in time to the late 1800’s…
This cabin is similar to many others built during this time in Appalachia. I have always been fascinated at the construction use of available resources. This cabin actually used rough-sawn lumber to cover the outside, and had a more finished appearance than many log cabins.
Like all other families in the area the Brinegar’s raised their own food for consumption and trade. Their garden could have very well looked like this one with flax to make linsey-wooley and vegetables along with some medicinal plants that were sold to augment their income.
The flax was grown to be used in the loom for making cloth material for clothing. The addition of wool is what turned this into a very tough and long lasting material called linsey-wooley.
Along with pole beans, turnips, squash, corn, and some herbs there may have been gourds planted to make dippers and containers from.
If they couldn’t make it or grow it, chances are they did not own it.
That’s not to say they did not buy things much like you or I, they had incomes from things like the shoes Mr. Brinegar made. But notice on the plaque here it reads he sold these for a dollar more or less, and he could make a pair in about two weeks.
Many Appalachian homes did not have a spring house so close. Some dug root cellars into the hillside for the constant temperature that provided. And simply packed water from a spring or collected it in from the roof in a cistern.
The left side which was open is where they “drew water” from the spring. Then inside there was a storage area set up to deter animals from getting in to their foodstuffs being chilled. That’s why Layla could only find her way in to get a cool sip of water. The slat wall behind her separated the food storage area. I believe at one time this may have been rock lined as well. The rocks would act as a thermal mass to hold the cool temperature of the water passing through.
As much as I hate to leave this time in our American past, I must return to the present and “drive on” back to the future… (sorry, couldn’t help myself)
I will try and catch up some more posts tomorrow there are several things we discovered and want to share.
Until then be safe, get out, and go adventure.