The first settlers in the Ghent area made log houses from trees cleared from virgin timber. IN 1863 over half of West Virginia was in virgin timber, a most practical home building material. The logs were left round, usually, and occasionally the spaces between the logs were chinked with mud. Machine made nails and hinges had gained popularity after 1790, and were used for doors and various types of windows.
Later logs were hewed square with broad axes and the corners dovetailed. When the logs began to deteriorate many were covered with clapboards. West Virginia sawmills started using the circular blade about 1820, making siding for houses more available.
The barns, too, were made of logs with cedar shingle roofing. The first floor was used for housing the cattle, oxen or horses, and the upper loft for the storage of hay.
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