Log Cabins

Time Frame: Mid 1800's

In the mid 1800s settlers in parts of Iowa where trees were found built log cabins.
“The Prairie Pioneers,” The Iowa Heritage: Program # 4, Iowa Public Television, 1977.

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However, in parts of the state where trees are plentiful settlers built log cabins. Four of the most experienced men would stand at the four corners of the cabin sight to haul up the logs and cut notches in the ends. Notches were cut so the logs would fit snuggly together. Gaps in the walls were chinked with thin strips of wood then sealed by a process called wattle and daubing—a mixture of mud and grass packed into open spaces. Shakes, spilt by hand from red oak or cedar, completed the roof of the pioneer log house. If there was a standard log cabin on the prairie, it would have measured 18 by 16 feet with its front facing south to catch the warmth of the sun.


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