house-raisingbeing an occasion for entertainment as well as work.
Log houses were unknown to Native Americans, and the first English settlers did not build them. They are known in some countries of Europe, especially Scandinavia, Germany, and Switzerland, and it is a generally accepted hypothesis that they were introduced in America by Swedish settlers on the Delaware in 1638. The log cabin was later adopted by the other settlers in America, and by the end of the 18th cent. at the latest the log house was the typical backwoods dwelling. It was universally used by settlers in the West until they reached the Great Plains, when the sod house appeared as the customary dwelling. Reappearing in the Rockies, the log house became a symbol of the frontier. In the late 20th cent. the log house experienced a minor resurgence in the United States, but the contemporary
log home bears little resemblance to its colonial and frontier predecessors. The modern version is typically constructed from a kit that contains machine-notched and preservative-treated log-shaped lumber using contemporary building techiques and materials.
See H. R. Shurtleff, The Log Cabin Myth (1939, repr. 1967) C. A. Weslager, Log Cabin in America (1969).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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