Early Cave Dwellings

The settlers first lived in temporary shelters, on a site near a good water source, and consisted of either half-faced camps or caves. The half faced was a lean-to erected between trees with the walls formed by lashing branches and saplings together, with one side open toward the fire.  The caves were not natural caves but holes dug into the side of a hill, with the sides supported by sod and saplings.  the floors of both were packed earth.    Permanent homes were built as soon as possible, but were only started after barns for the stock, and pens and corrals were built. Then came the house....     The early homes were of log or fieldstone, and usually only 1 or 2 rooms, with a fireplace in one wall that was used for heat and cooking.  As the farm prospered these structures were added onto as the family needed the room, and the early structures are hard to date, for the residents didn't carve dates on the first buildings.  The datestones seen today are generally on additions, not the original building.

This page updated on January 2, 2011