Friday, January 3, 2014

New Years Day 2014 - Part Two - New Old stuff. . . .

When I drive up on a scene like this,. . .

I get excited.
Old barns.
Old house.
Log cabin potential.

 And as you come around the barn, this is how you see the main house. This would have been the front.

And as you look at the mismatched roof line, the top of the walls that don't quite line up, and the odd twist and shape of the structure, you can almost guarantee at least part to the building is log.

And I was correct.
 This would be an incredible study for any student of rural architecture, especially buildings done with logs and old farmsteads.

The far left section and the far right part are both built out of log.
The center, where the door is, is not.
This is called dog-trot style. The center was probably left open for many years, allowing for a shady place to work and rest. Or, if you prefer, the dog to sleep.
One end would have been built and used while the other, maybe several years later would be added.
The original siding, which may have been added several years after the cabin was in use.

One of the small sheds in the back ground.
 You can see, where the siding is coming away, the logs of the main structure. That would be near the top log, for the window is not cut into the log.

All the exterior lower windows, six-over-six. Old.

And if you look real close (clic on this or any image to make it bigger) you can see the split wood between the logs, instead of stone, to hold the mud chinking in. Yes, mud chinking. Which probably means it was sided before it ever needed chink repair.

 The back of the main structure would have at one time probably been an open porch, but is now all closed in.

This end, the larger of the two cabins was last used as a bed room.
You can also see here that the back was sided after the front of the house.

The whole back porch was last used as the kitchen.
This is the door I was able to go in.
This end of the porch seemed to have been closed in earlier than the other (note the stone foundation under the porch). And had been used as the kitchen earlier then the other end.
Access to this end of the upstairs was also gained from the porch.
While at the other end, access to upstairs was gained by an indoor stair way. (Which turned out to be interesting in that the outside entrance lead to the nicer upstairs.) Note the kitchen chimney at this end of the porch also.

Well, eventually I braved checking out the inside. Sometimes it can be a bit scary and depressing to do so.
You can almost feel the karma as you go in. Some invite exploration and others seem to want to guard secrets or at the very least, seem reluctant. (Hey, that was some pretty good writing!) ("It was a cold dark night as the farm settled. . . ")
I once gave away a cabin that had bad karma for me from the people I had acquired it from. (But that's another story.)
I entered from the screen door at the end of the porch.

Through this door.

The porch had several fridge's and freezers. A good place to keep them I guess.

One of the treats of this old structure was how much original stuff was still present. Most of the old doors were still intact, as you can see below. And this was the case throughout the house.
Even the front door, although now covered with a metal screen door, the front entrance also had it's original wood door.

At the far end of the porch, the kitchen end, was an old Hoosier cabinet. Also just in front of it an old gas stove.
Against the back wall you can see an old chimney cabinet, which was usually built below the chimney for the kitchen stove. You can see that a newer stove in front of it had been pulled out and a new chimney hole was poked through the ceiling.

Below is the stairway the led upstairs from the porch.
Blocked by cobwebs and covered in raccoon dropping (as was most of the interior.)
To the left is the log structure, to the right an interior wall of the dog-trot section.
At the very top you can just see going of to the left another set of steps and a small white door.

Just inside the door leading upstairs was this old match holder.
Note the white washed chinking between the logs.
White washing was the first step in making an interior look better for a while, before it was covered, usually with bead-board.

So up I went.

And found this room through a small door.
You couldn't actually just walk in to the room.
It was a half door opening over a couple of the upper logs. (The small white door.)
At one time a girls bedroom. Toys and dolls on the floor. Covering on the bed.

I did not go any further into the room.
To the left you can see a couple of doors leading to, probably, a small closet over the crawl space above the kitchen.
At the far end, the chimney from downstairs.
It is rare to see this, what would have been a really nice room, on the second floor of an old cabin.

 Back down stairs. But first a little history.
This is an old farm. The road it is on is paved and named after the family who owns the farm.
Unfortunately the farmer who lives on site now (in a newer mobile home, which to give him credit he added for his at the time ageing mother) is sixty and never married. So he has no family to keep the old place up for.
Well anyway. As you can see it looked like one day they just walked out and left everything. Or maybe he lived between the new mobile home and this place for a while. There is a 2002 calendar in the kitchen.
But now it is just storage for things I guess he didn't need.
I was surprised to find the electric still on and lights working.

But scattered throughout were pieces from long ago to not so long ago. Note the 1970's small TV in the back, right next to the nice old cabinet.
On the left, look at the old sewing machine.
 Yea, this cabinet.
 Filled with some nice things. The only things not dirty or dusty in the whole house.
 Old photos and a not real old bible (guessing the 1960's) a top the heating stove. Man did those stoves put out a lot of really dry heat.
More photos on another old TV.

These lower rooms were very depressing, like lives just walked away from. Things scattered and trodden on. Yet pictures still upright.

 Access to the second story at the other end of the house was from the neat little closet and stairs in the dog-trot room.
Both stairways accessed upstairs from the dog-trot, one from inside the room, one from outside.

(Look how the door opens and closes to the shape of the stairs.)

At this point I did not know the electricity was still on and I was using my flash to find my way around. (It was cloudy outside.)
The stairway going up. Note again the whitewash, and on one wall complete plaster and white wash. Again, trying to make the interior look less primitive.
Upstairs in this part of the house.
Much less finished. Actually, not finished at all. Probably storage or the boys room.
Note no insulation at the gable ends.
Also note the log roof rafters, and if you could take a close look, split shingles above, which is now under the tin roof.
Hornet heaven in the summer.
 The logs top right are interior (now) logs on one of the dog-trot walls leading across the top of the dog-trot over to the pink room mentioned earlier.

Again, white wash on the chinking, and some of the interior chinking looked like it had been redone over time with cement.
All the log work was very well done. 'V' notching.

This cabin is available if someone is interested in it.
The farm would love to see it moved and reused to keep the family farmstead name alive in the old building.
Several logs on one end and near the ground would need replacing. But the roof is intact, which saves many problems.
Lots of work would be required.

If I had a group of history students interested in old Missouri farm building, this would be a treat to explore as it was coming down.
So much could be learned about old building ways.

It is sad the farmer, not much older than me, does not have family interested in the old place. The family name is old in St Charles and it is an interesting part of the county's history.

Part three tomorrow or soon. That's right, the day was not over yet.


  1. Looking at the surroundings, it’s breathtaking. It’s really good for a family farm house to have a place where kids can run freely while the mom is cooking delicious meal from the kitchen. It’s just disappointing to see how the structure has been damaged over the years. But once it has been sold and re-construction starts, it will regain its beauty. Thanks for sharing.

    Soo @

  2. You are so welcome. I hope I can find someone to save it/