Day 2 of our trip to Pocahontas County was a flurry of activity, much like the day before. We drove all over the northern and central part of Pocahontas County, and it was gorgeous!
We started our tour in Minnehaha Springs to see the Herold Barn. The barn is all that remains of the original homestead, but the owners told us that the old cabin used to sit nearby and that a slave graveyard was located in the forest across the road. The barn had steeple notching and decently large logs that were in excellent condition. All signs point to the barn being rather old indeed.
While the logs appear to be pine, rumor has it they may be hemlock! That would be pretty neat, as we have yet to see a structure built of hemlock in this region. To be determined...
From the oral and written history, it is believed that the barn was part of the original Herold property purchased by the White family after the Civil War, so it's likely older than the 1860s. Of course the steeple notching suggests it may be much older than that, but only tree-ring dating will tell! We really liked this barn and have added it to our project. Can't wait to find out the date!
Our next stop was about an hour away in Green Bank. Neither Shawn nor I have seen the satellite at Green Bank so we stopped by real quick for a tour of the Green Bank Science Center and National Radio Astronomy Observatory. We got to see the satellite (from a distance), but we mostly played in the tour hall and gift shop. We like science!
Maybe a little too much....
Shawn ran into an old friend while we were there too!
Ok, so all of this happened in like 10 minutes. We had work to do, so we got in, had fun, and got out.
Our next stop was the Wooddell Smokehouse just outside of Green Bank proper. The only original structures to the Wooddell property that still stand are the smokehouse and the cellar (no logs, sorry). It is believed that the smokehouse was built in 1802, which agrees with the steeple notching style. The structure was built of pine and all logs are original except the sill logs.
Though the Wooddell smokehouse doesn't have many logs, it has just enough to be dated using tree-rings. This will be the HTP's first smokehouse! We have added it to the project and look forward to seeing if the historical records are correct!
Just to be clear, the real name of this cabin is not "fish cabin", but because it is the centerpiece of Pocahontas Fish and Game Adventures, a fishing retreat, we started calling it fish cabin and the name stuck. This cabin is the quintessential log cabin nestled in the forest. The written history places this cabin in the 1840s, which sounds about right because of the half-dovetail notching.
The logs are pretty massive. And in great condition. There was plenty of bark exposed on both floors of the cabin. Rumor has it these logs are American black cherry, which has a pretty telltale ring structure.
We have added this cabin to our project and look forward to seeing what species these monstrous logs are and what the date of construction is!
Our last visit of the day was not to see a cabin. Or a barn. Or a smokehouse. We headed up the mountain to visit someone with trees. Yes, trees. Old trees. The property we visited was once an old homestead, but none of the original structures still stand. But - the old sheep grazing pasture, now a forest, still has some of the original oak trees that once stood in the fields. Shawn calls them "cow trees", because the cows liked to lay under them. So the owner took us all over his property to see these old trees, now hiding in the forest. "Why?" you ask. Because old trees like these help us figure out how old log structures are! We always like to hear about old trees in the areas we work in. Thanks for the tip John!
That concluded our tour of structures in Pocahontas County. The next time we return we'll have the drills with us! Thank you to everyone who contacted us about their structures. We are so excited to work in this area with you all. And keep sending us emails if you know of a log structure. Who knows, we might be in your county next!