This is the best way I’ve found so far to clean the interior side of the original (extremely hard) white oak hand hewn logs. This is the Northwest second floor corner. Since this was eventually turned into a formal entry way, long before the plaster was installed over the logs, they were given various coats of whitewash white paint, in order to make the walls look like they were plaster, rather than logs. Such was the trend, since there was nothing glamorous about having a log plantation house.
When you travel in our southern mountains, one of the first things that will strike you is that about every fourth or fifth farmer has a tiny tub-mill of his own. Tiny is indeed the word, for there are few of these mills that can grind more than a bushel or two of corn in a day; some have a capacity of only half a bushel in ten hours of stead grinding. Red grains of corn being harder than white ones, it is a humorous saying in the mountains that “a red grain in the gryste (grist) will stop the mill.”
This is an old log cabin located in the vicinity of Pickaway, Monroe County, West Virginia, on the site of what is believed to have been called “Thompson’s Fort,” on an early large plantation. This is on the “Pickaway Plains” of the Greenbrier Valley – so named by the 18th century frontiersmen who fought in …
It’s not easy restoring old log cabins. Fortunately, we only have the inside to deal with, since the outside got to keep its board and baten siding, and it now mostly finished. Once the old pre-Civil War plaster comes down off the walls inside, it’s a big mess. Even after it’s cleaned up, it’s still a mess.
This impressive log cabin was built 1770-1772 by Col. James Graham. It was the site of a bloody attack in 1777. This special structure is one of the few other surviving frontier blockhouses of the 18th century Virginia frontier, all of which lie within a fairly small radius of the Greenbrier Valley: the Graham Cabin, Byrnside’s Fort, and the Estill Blockhouse (the latter two being in modern day Monroe County on Indian Creek). The Graham cabin is on the Greenbrier River.
This log cabin has been used as a barn for a long, long time. But we believe it was a primitive 18th century log cabin dwelling originally. We have to move this structure of the current property, which sits very close to the site of the frontier fort known as Thompson’s Fort – somewhat of a fortified home, located in Pickaway, West Virginia.
Samuel Gwinn is believed to have settled on the Greenbrier River at the same time as his friend James Graham, building a log cabin across the Greenbrier River from Graham, circa 1770. The log cabin is now gone, unlike the Graham cabin, but I did track it down. And there is an old photo of it still standing. Originally this was in Greenbrier County. Then Monroe County…. and finally, Summers County.