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Topic – Pioneer Life: Building a House

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Pioneer Life: Building a House

Choosing a Spot for a House

One of the first jobs of a pioneer family was to build a log house. They carefully chose the spot for their new home. They wanted to be near lots of trees they could use for wood. They also wanted to be near a river or stream, so it would be easy to get water. If their land was not near water, they had to dig a well.

A log house takes time to build. The family needed somewhere to live right away. Some families lived in a tent. Other families built a small home called a lean-to. The lean-to had three walls and was open on one side. Mosquitoes made it hard to sleep at night.

Building a Log House

The next job was to cut down trees to build a log house. Then the branches and bark were cut off the trees to make smooth logs. Once the logs were ready, it was time to start building. Other pioneers in the area came to help build the log house.

Inside a Log House

A family’s first log house was usually small and had just one room. A bigger house would take longer to build. The family wanted the house to be finished before winter came.

The most important part of the log house was the fireplace. The fire warmed the house and was used for cooking. Many log houses did not have many windows, so fire also provided light. Pioneer children had the job of keeping the fire going. They chopped wood so that the family’s wood box was always full.


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