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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Log Structures of the Appalachians - Part III

The Earliest Chimneys -Part III

The earliest chimneys in Appalachia were made with the "Wattle and daub" method or clay over a stick framework. These chimneys often angled away from the house. Chimneys found in Appalachia today are almost always of fitted field stone, except in sections of eastern Tennessee where the proper clay for brick-making was found.

The location of the fireplace varies. Corner chimneys are rare in the mountains and are associated with early Scandinavian buildings. The common gable-end chimneys show Scotch-Irish and English influence. Chimneys arising from the central portion of the house are characteristic of German construction.

Stone chimneys were usually held together with red clay, which bakes hard from the heat of the fires. One problem common to mud filling or "chinking" is wasps that riddle the chinking with their homes. Brick chimneys were often laid up with clay and handmade lime mortar. Lime makes the clay "set up" harder. Other additives to strengthen the clay were the chaff from grains, animal hair, chopped scraps of rope, and hog's blood.

You can read, The First Settlers - Part I here.

and, The Log House - Part II here.


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