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Kentucky Folk Architecture

Kentucky Folk Architecture

Copyright Date: 1976
Edition: 1
Pages: 120
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  • Book Info
    Kentucky Folk Architecture
    Book Description:

    A concise and amply illustrated introduction to Kentucky folk structures--log cabins, houses, cribs, and barns--that should be treasured as irreplaceable expressions of the cultural values of the Commonwealth's past.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4839-7
    Subjects: Architecture and Architectural History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface to Paperback Edition
    (pp. vii-xiv)
    (pp. 1-7)

    Recent field investigations by folklorists and cultural geographers demonstrate that early settlement patterns in much of the eastern United States are reflected in the older buildings of the major folk regions, and that already it is possible to generalize on certain traditional building practices in New England, the Middle Atlantic states, the Tidewater South, the Appalachian South, and so on. It follows logically, then, that one can learn more about regional rural life styles across the years by cataloging and classifying architectural forms and attendant embellishments, including older deserted buildings which are often in advanced stages of decay.

    In modern...

    (pp. 8-40)

    Many Americans of the late nineteenth century had personal memories of life in a little rustic log cabin which had been built as a new western frontier was invaded by land-hungry pioneers. Those people who could not testify personally to this sort of existence needed only to recall to mind the testimonies of parents and grandparents.

    The log cabin in America originated with the Swedish settlers in Delaware during the first half of the seventeenth century. This form of building was also picked up by the Germans and Scotch-Irish and was disseminated all along the expanding western frontier. It was...

    (pp. 41-51)

    Numerous family traditions recount the days when early Kentucky dwellings had no floors save the bare earth. This was especially true of the kitchen if the cabin home contained more than one room, which allowed the privilege of a separate room for cooking.

    In those initial years on the frontier before sawmills were introduced, the most common floors were made out of split logs, dressed and arranged to fit rather snugly with the flat or split side exposed. These were called puncheon floors. Floors of thick wooden slabs, which were smoothed with the foot adze, replaced puncheon floors.

    As early...

    (pp. 52-86)

    Unlike houses, which display various traditional structural motifs and embellishments, and songs, tales and beliefs, which have wide popular appeal, there is not generally a great deal about a barn to whet the aesthetic appetite, although some of us have a deep appreciation for their rugged and weatherworn appearance. If a barn type stands the test of time and enters the realm of the traditional, it is because the function served by this particular type has remained a constant factor in the geographical area where the bam enjoyed its greatest acceptance. An overspecialized function might even lead to a brief...

  8. Epilogue
    (pp. 87-88)

    Folk houses, house construction, cribs, and barns comprise only a portion of the broader field of folk architecture. For example, no mention was made in this study of the smaller outbuildings that are components of the totality of the farmstead, such as cellars, ice houses, smokehouses, and privies.

    There is an entire new field of study known to folklorists as folklife or folk material culture studies. This field is concerned with the visible and artifactual aspects of folk behavior that existed prior to and concurrently with mechanized industry. Folklife studies are concerned with the skills, techniques, and traditional formulas transmitted...

  9. House and Barn Plans
    (pp. 89-100)
  10. Notes to the Reader
    (pp. 101-105)