Our youngest daughter has wanted a playhouse. This summer, on Memorial Day and on July 4th, we built a log cabin playhouse as a “historic reproduction” example of the log cabins that used to populate the area around our farm. It is behind the red building where you pick up chickens and it sits beside an old road that probably dates back to 1787. Here is what the sign reads that Melody wrote and posted on the cabin:
This playhouse is like the log cabins that used to be along this old road years ago. This was a main road. To the north was a glass factory and a school, and to the south was another school, a kiln, and an iron furnace. The iron furnace used an acre of wood a day. In the 1800’s the ridge was stripped of trees. Both the glass factory and the iron furnace started in 1787.
They also blasted rock from big boulders for the C&O aqueduct over the Monocacy River and carted it away by a train that ran on a sturdy wooden track. There are also other old roads in the woods. On a walk through the woods along an old road, you might come to a stone wall that surrounded a field, or you might come to a foundation or a flat spot where a house used to stand, or even better, a rotting away house. By the early 1900’s the wood to power the iron furnace was gone; the people, business, and activity were gone and the ridge was covered in grassy fields where cattle roamed. Now everything is once more covered by trees, but evidence still remains that this used to be a very busy active place.
The log cabin playhouse. One of the unit studies that the children will have in our homeschool this year will be on historic preservation. Part of that will be learning how to put mortar between the logs, building a door, and installing the windows.
A small potbellied coal stove sits in one corner of the playhouse ready to cook many imaginary meals.