East Texas Log Cabin

Settlers in East Texas, where rainfall is plentiful (up to 58 inches per year), used the abundance of large trees to make their homes. The East Texas Pineywoods are located on the edge of the vast pine-hardwood forest that extends over the Southeastern United States. The size of the pines in East Texas often meant larger log homes than in other parts of the state.

This authentic hand-hewn post oak log cabin from Fayette County, built in the 1850s, sits at the lake’s edge. Its deeply shaded wraparound porch provided ample protected space for the daily needs of pioneer life. Inside, the house consists of one room with a fireplace and a high ceiling. Evidence of a loft remains. The house is accompanied by the barn, smokehouse, and wellhead from its original environs at Park, Texas, near LaGrange.

With no stores around the corner, pioneer homesteads like this one relied on the nearby kitchen garden to spice up meals of farm-raised pork or fresh game. Women were usually the ones to care for the small kitchen garden that provided fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruit for the family, while men tended farm crops of corn, cotton, and beans.

When moved to the Garden, the buildings were carefully indexed, dismantled, relocated, and reconstructed in an ecologically accurate setting to illustrate the early Texans’ dependence on native vegetation.