This history of early life in Logan County, West Virginia, was written by Howard and Daisy Adams. Howard (1906-1976) and Daisy (b.1915) were children of Major and Belle Dora Adams of Trace Fork of Harts Creek. Titled “The life of pioneers during the latter half of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the 19th century” and written in the late 1960s or early 1970s, their history marks the only known attempt by local people to reconstruct the story of pioneer life. This part of the history includes information regarding interior furnishings of log cabins.
For light they had candles and oil lamps which usually set on the, you guessed it, the dresser. Also the pills and bottles of medicine such as Samaraten oil, Turpentine, Iodine, Castor oil, Epsom salts, swamp root, Raymond’s pills, etc. all were setting on dresser. Some of these were put on a long board over the fire place. This board was called a fire board mantel. Now maybe a little table called a stand table and a trunk. This was about all the big house had in the way of furniture.
The people always had plenty of quilts and blankets and feather bed and shuck or straw mattresses, good big pillows. Boy, you sure could sleep soundly if it wasn’t for the big old clock striking so loud.
The kitchen had a table for eating with a long bench behind it next to the wall. Also a small table to set water and other things on. Yes, they had a cupboard safe to keep food and dishes, knives and forks, spoons, butcher knives, etc. in. And as to the way of cooking, some people cooked the old way over a big wood fire in the fireplace using what was known as a skillet and lid. Later they had stoves. A little stove with a step-up in the middle of it. They called it a step stove. The skillets, pots, pans and etc. were hung on the nails driven in the wall near the stove.
They had old time flat irons which were used to iron or press their linens and clothes with. Not too much pressing was done.
The kitchen had a small cellar under the floor. It was cribbed or boarded up and had shelves for storing canned vegetables and sweet potatoes.
To keep out the cold air the cracks between the logs of house were filled with clay. It was called chinking or daubing the house.