After coffee and movie hour, we got down to business. Jack's great great great great grandfather (Jack, did I get that right?), Patrick Sinnett, moved to Pendleton County from Ireland and settled in Sugar Grove. His son, Henry Sinnett, also settled in the area and even fought in the battle of Yorktown. The Sinnetts owned a large tract of land in the mid-to-late 1700s and built a number of houses and barns along the property, but the documented history of these log structures was sparse, so the family has no idea when any of them were actually built. It is assumed that one house and one barn were the original Sinnett structures and the others followed over time. But the real mystery here is which house and which barn were from the original Sinnett homestead. Of course, this is where we come in...
Jack and Cindy weren't able to go with us to the structures, but they pointed out where everything was (generally) and let us explore on our own. The first structure we visited was a double crib barn that is still currently in use. Because there are a lot of unnamed houses and barns on this property, I will refer to them using numbers. This is Barn 1. It is the furthest log structure from the houses and so is not believed to be the oldest barn, but it could still be of considerable age. Fortunately, Barn 1 had a lot of bark - almost every log had full bark still attached thanks to the sheltering overhang.
Jack and Cindy decided to take us back there themselves and show us this house. So, we walked back in (we took the way that doesn't cross a stream - smart) and Jack and Cindy walked us right up to the dilapidated barn.....yep! Sure enough, just inside of the boring, sided barn, there were beautiful logs. I could have kicked myself. So this was House 2 - believed to be the original house, and masquerading as a boring dilapidated barn these days. What a trickster!
We are excited to return to the Sinnett property and place these log structures in time!
Thanks to Jack and Cindy Bowers for feeding us coffee, showing us the documentary, sharing their family history with us, pointing us in the right direction while we toured structures, and then finally escorting us directly to the Sinnett house/barn when our log house-hunting skills failed us.