Frontier

Dig Deeper: How would pioneers decide where to build their homes?

Most pioneers came to the state holding land grants or deeds to land they had purchased without ever seeing the land first. So when they arrived on their land, they would first walk or ride over it, figuring out which part looked best for farming. In early years, they would want the cabin near the land they were planning on farming.
 
Because cabins didn’t have running water, pioneers would have to haul water they used for cooking and cleaning from a the water source, like a spring or creek,  to the cabin. They would want to build the cabin close to water. Because of the potential of flooding during heavy rains, they would build on rising ground.
 
Finally most would build a cabin close to the roadway as a matter of convenience. Today homeowners don’t want to be right next to the roadway—they want privacy. On the frontier where the nearest neighbor might be miles away, privacy wasn’t as much of a concern.
 
As people became more prosperous, they built on to their one room log cabins and made them more comfortable. A group of missionaries visiting Middle Tennessee in 1799 wrote of visiting beautiful and comfortable log homes.



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