The best sources agree that Dan
Lawson built this house around 1856 (pre-Civil War) on land he bought from his
father-in-law, Peter Cable. The older man may have shared in the work, since he was known
to have been a good carpenter. Lawson expanded the home from time to time, and acquired
additional properties. At one point he owned a solid strip of land from the state line on
the ridge behind the house, across the center of the Cove, to the top of the mountains in
Some of the better
blade work in the Park is in
this house. The inside faces of the logs were hewn smooth with an adze, and the ceiling
joists were dressed and beaded with a plane. Chinks are battened inside with beveled
poplar boards, and filled outside with brick and clay.
The brick chimney is unusual for the time and
place. A hole was dug in a nearby clay bank, and partially filled with water. The mixture
was worked to proper consistency and a hoe or paddle, then placed into molds to dry. The
brick were then stacked and fired. After cooling they were ready to use.
The small outbuildings were the family
pantry. The one closer to the house is the granary, and the other a smokehouse.
Granaries were fairly rare, as not much wheat was grown here. Corn, a far more widely used
crop, was stored in a corn crib, which is another kind of building. Meat was smoked and/or
salted to preserve it and stored in the smokehouse.