Skip to content

Log cabins were the most popular and affordable type of home when immigrants first came to America

Log cabins weren’t just popular out west, but were one of the most common housing structures here in Yates County as well.

Scandinavian immigrants introduced log cabins to American culture in the 17th century.

The popularity stemmed from affordability and easy access to supplies.

First, they were the most common among Ulster Scots and Germans, while the English who lived in brick homes resisted them. Later on if the English moved, they did embrace log cabins.

The Public Universal Friend and followers built two log cabins in the area before their third home was solid frame. The homes would hold 15-20 followers until they branched out to start their own farms.

Most cabins were one room with a packed dirt floor and loft above to sleep in. Everything families did was done in the one room. It was also used as the parents bedroom. As time went on, some cabins started to have more than one room.

Cabins were common until the late 1800s and early 1900s when settlers began building modern homes as soon as they arrived to America. Most people in Yates county in the first part of the 19th century most likely lived in a log cabin.

Many log cabins did not last and have since deteriorated, but families also chose to modernize and upgrade their log cabins by putting in walling, flooring and stairs.

What was once seen as a marker of poverty is now a rustic, stylish aesthetic.