Texas Log Cabins built by Walter Vaughn
Log cabins were a type of housing well-suited to the early Texas area.
This Half-Scale Log Cabin (Scale 1/2" = 1') is on loan to the
Brazoria County Historical Museum in
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."
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.
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.
Made of individual, hand-hewn timbers, this cabin consists of one room below with an attic bedroom above, which is reached by a ladder.
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.
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.