Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The First House

Dr. Gazley’s approach to providing shelter for his family differed somewhat from that of many early settlers who simply threw up rustic sod roofed log huts. During his preparations for homesteading in the new frontier, he purchased a whipsaw which allowed him to fell trees from his property and fashion them into custom hewn plank lumber suited for specific purposes such as weatherboards and tapered roofing shingles.

His first home (coincidentally the first and only home in the new settlement he referred to as his hamlet) was a small one room affair. Rather than horizontal log cabin construction with notched joints at the corners, Gazley and Old Jack dug and drove cedar supporting posts vertically into the ground and then constructed a framework of sawn timbers which were then weatherproofed with custom clapboards and hand shaped shingles made for the purpose. He later enlarged the house to three rooms complete with glass panes. It was then described as a palatial frontier mansion. (Fortunately, it was not destroyed by the advancing Mexican Army during the Runaway Scrape episode of the Texas War of Independence.)

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