Anyone interested in log cabin construction should make haste to New Castle, Kentucky, in the next several days. One of the town’s three surviving early cabins has recently been stripped of its weatherboarding in preparation for various repairs before it is covered again. While the exterior of the logs is exposed to view, a rare if not unique construction technique can be seen. The cabin, said to date from the late 18th century, appears to have been constructed at two times. The portion to the north or left in the photograph, appears to have been constructed first. All its corners have traditionally notched logs. The portion to the south or right appears to be a later addition. The remarkable thing is the vertically placed log which was attached to the chimney end of the older section. The logs of the addition are mortised into this vertical log and pinned. The same technique was used on the rear of the building as well. The south corners of the newer section are notched in the traditional manner. Seeing is believing and you won’t be able to see it very long because it will soon be covered in new poplar siding milled in Henry County.
While in New Caste, look around. The commercial district has just been added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Historic Architecture of Shelby County, Kentucky 1792-1915 arrived from the printer just in time for the Shelby County Historical Society’s annual picnic held at Stockdale on Sunday afternoon, September 11. The host and hostess, Lawrence and Sherry Jelsma who beautifully restored their fine federal house in the 1980s, were kind enough to set up a table from which I am delighted to report that I sold 22 copies of the brand new book.
Not a bad result for an event attended by about 50 people. Stockdale, the finest Federal house surviving in Shelby County and probably the finest ever built there, is featured in the book with a special photograph of the dining room showing a portrait of one of Isaac Shelby’s granddaughters who was born there.