restricted access 8. The Whitaker-Waggoner Log House from Morgan County, Indiana
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8. The Whitaker-Waggoner Log House from Morgan County, Indiana Warren E. Roberts From early in the nineteenth century until the fall of 1966, a large sixroom log house stood west of the town of Paragon in Morgan County, Indiana. While it is true that its very size alone would keep it from being termed a "typical" southern Indiana log house, still it shares a number of features with many other log houses in this area. This fact, plus the fact that it was torn down to be reassembled as one of the buildings in the projected Indiana University Outdoor Museum of Folk Life, warrants a detailed description of the house. The study of log buildings in the United States must be said to be very little developed. We have available at the present time a rather small amount of information for comparative purposes. What is needed is a series ofarticles and monographs describing log buildings in detail. This article may be viewed as a contribution toward this goal. It will be essentially descriptive rather than comparative; that is, it will describe the building but will not make many comparisons between it and other buildings either in Indiana or elsewhere in the United States. Comparisons are best made in the context of a broad survey, and that survey will be made at another time. According to local tradition and a family history in the possession ofa descendant,1 the house was built in the 1820's by Grafton B. Whitaker. He was born in Kentucky in 1799 and moved to Indiana as a young man. He was a prominent person in the area, a trustee of the Samaria Baptist Church, organized in 1829, and a school trustee. He was also an officer of the Forty-fifth Regiment of the State Militia of Indiana, a captain in 1828 and a colonel in 1833. The house and land passed through a number of hands in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The present owner, Roscoe Waggoner, bought the farm in the 1930's. He repaired the log house, which had been vacant for some time, and lived in it until the 1950¡ s when he built a modern frame house nearby, using some materials from the log house. The log house stood vacant for several years until it was purchased by Dr. and Mrs. James Farr of Bloomington, Indiana, who, in turn, donated it to the Indiana University Foundation. It was disassembled in the fall of 1966 and hauled to Bloomington, where it is, as of this writing, stored on a tract of land adjoining the university campus, the proposed site of the Outdoor Museum . The house consists of two parts, which probably were constructed at different times since the logs in the two sections have corner notches of two different kinds (8.1). The main and, presumably, earliest part of the house has V-notched logs. It is thirty-six feet in width and eighteen feet six inches in depth, with two rooms of approximately equal size on the ground floor and two matching rooms above; a log partition separates the rooms (8.2). While this part of the house is not a full two stories in height, neither can it be called a one-and-a-half-story struc185 8.1 Floor plan as of 1966. (I would like to thank Thomas Kirkman for his assistance with this and other drawn illustrations.) 186 8.2 Whitaker-Waggoner log house, front and side views. 187 188 8.3 Rear wing, or ell, thirty-six by seventeen feet. 8.4 Sketch of foundation at southwest corner; sill, floor joist, and cross section of front wall. Note that the stones in the foundation indicate that the entire perimeter was laid at one time. The large stone in the second course at the corner is tied into the rest of the wall. The large sill projects inward beyond the log wall so that the ends of the floor joists can rest on it rather than on the foundation. 189 Warren E. Roberts ture. The walls on the second floor are about four feet in height along the eaves; that is, above the floor level are two and a half logs plus the plate before the roof starts. There is no hallway of any kind in the house and, as is common with log, frame, and masonry houses that do not have central hallways, there are two front doors, one for each room.2 The staircase...


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