Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor | Confused by column

In the CDT column about an early Potter Township log house, there are two mentions of a stone marker attesting to the structure’s historical significance, to be placed in front of the house, facing the road (“ Memorial marks Revolution-era tragedy at local log home,” Sept. 14, CDT) .

Later in the article we read of “a copper plaque by the road.”

You could sign me “confused.” But I’m not done yet.

A photograph accompanying the article shows the house unrestored in 1974. There is not a trace of a front porch. Yet another photograph of the house in its current “restored” state shows a wide porch supported by five or six posts resting on stone piers.

Are we to infer the house’s builder, so far out in the wilderness that his only neighbors were bears, panthers, bobcats, wolves and hostile Indians, had the inclination and time to construct a terribly labor-intensive porch?

Over a 50-year span, I have looked at hundreds of log structures in Huntingdon, Blair, and Centre counties as examples of Pennsylvania folk architecture. I don’t recall ever seeing one with a porch.

The major problem with this construct of an early log house as a wilderness mansion (aside from its absurdity) is that the porch blocks fully half of the building’s front logs from exposure to sun and air, which they need to keep from degrading. Put up markers of stone, copper, whatever: They’ll have to read “Here once stood…” unless you get rid of the porch.

Gordon M. Shedd