Texas Log Cabins built by Walter Vaughn

Log cabins were a type of housing well-suited to the early Texas area.

Half-Scale Log Cabin.jpg (75174 bytes)This Half-Scale Log Cabin (Scale 1/2" = 1') is on loan to the Brazoria County Historical Museum in Angleton, Texas.
It is on display as a part of the award-winning Austin Colony Exhibit. This was the earliest type of log cabin on the Texas frontier between 1820 and 1830.



Half Scale Log Cabin Int. #2.jpg (28011 bytes)This one room cabin is made of hand-hewn , weathered timbers with Anglo-notched corners and contains a partial sleeping loft of puncheons which rests on porticed ceiling beams and is reached by a ladder. Some cabins had dirt floors, but this cabin's floor is puncheoned and elevated on piers for cooling and to eliminate ants and other climbing insects. Glass was seldom available in early Texas; these glassless windows have shutters with working wooden hinges. The board-and-batten door swings on wooden hinges also. A mud-and-stick chimney (also called a "catted chimney") is hooded to protect it from rain by a lathe-and-split-board roof with "one foot to the wind."


Half-Scale Log Cabin Int #1.jpg (62895 bytes) Since most chimneys contained no brick, a scotch-back firebox of handmade bricks gives this cabin a touch of affluence. This type of frontier cabin could be built by two "good men" in one week using only their axes and was pegged (meaning no nails were used in its construction). all materials except for the firebox bricks were obtained from the area immediately surrounding the cabin.







Inch Scale Log Cabin.jpg (64335 bytes)Another Log Cabin(Scale 1" = 1') made by Walter (now in a private collection). 

This Inch-Scale Log Cabin is circa 1836, a time period when more commercial goods had become available. To represent this fact, scale metal nails were used to fasten the clapboards on the gable of the cabin and to individually nail the floorboards.


Inch Scale Log Cabin Interior.jpg (87045 bytes)Made of individual, hand-hewn timbers, this cabin consists of one room below with an attic bedroom above, which is reached by a ladder.






Inch Scale Log Cabin Interior #2.jpg (72357 bytes)The fireplace has a carved wooden mantel, the firebox is of clay, and the exterior chimney is "catted" or made of clay and timber. Catted chimneys were used in areas of Texas where stone was not abundant. River clay was rapped around a stick and the resulting "cat" was packed together with others to form the chimney. Lying in their beds at night, occupants of the attic bedroom could look through the spaces between the shingles of the "turkey-feather" roof and count the stars. When it rained, the swelling of the web shingles closed the gaps and kept the attic dry. Unfortunately, snow did not affect the wood. When snowflakes dropped through the roof, they were collected on wagon sheets spread over the floor. The snow was then rolled up in the sheets and lowered through openings in the floor made by removing boards that were left unnailed for that purpose.

Dogtrot.jpg (42726 bytes)Texas Dogtrot by Walter Vaughn.  (Scale 1/2" = 1 Foot)

This Dogtrot design represents a later date in Texas history, when saw mills have made sawn lumber available.