Log Cabin, a box-like dwelling made of small logs. The log cabins of the American pioneers were simple in construction because trees were their only building material, and the ax, adz, and auger were their only tools.

The log cabinThe log cabin became a symbol of frontier life.

The typical log cabin was a small, one-room hut with one door and perhaps one or more small windows. The spaces between the logs were packed with mud to keep out the wind and cold. Because there were no nails the logs were fastened with notched ends, or with wooden pegs. The roof was made of overlapping rows of short boards. The floor was hard-packed clay. The window openings were covered with oiled paper to let in a little light. The room was heated by an open fireplace that also served as the cookstove.

Log cabins were used widely in Europe, especially in Germany, Switzerland, and the Scandinavian countries. Swedish settlers built log cabins when they came to Delaware in 1638. Other colonists followed their example. When great numbers of settlers began to move westward after the Revolution, they found thick forests in Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Northwest Territory, and the log cabin became the typical home of the backwoodsman.

The log cabin gained fame during the political campaign of 1840. Small log cabins were used in parades to show that William Henry Harrison had the support of the frontier people. Probably the world's most famous log cabin is the one in which Abraham Lincoln was born. Many other Americans who rose to greatness spent their early years in log cabins.