Monday, October 17, 2011


“According to a tradition, supported by descriptions in early deeds, the first dwellings, at least among the poorer class, were what were called cellars. These were so named, no doubt, because they were constructed in exactly the same way as the outdoor cellars used for a long time in all the colonies for the storage of vegetables, even after cellars in our modern sense of the word had been built under the houses. These cellars were made by digging a shallow pit in the ground, preferably in a bank, and then lining the sides of the excavation with stone walls carried above the ground enough to give a height of about seven feet, or by setting against these sides upright logs long enough to give the same height. These stone or wood walls were then banked high with earth on the outside, as is shown in Figure 2 (above) and were roofed over either with logs laid close together and plastered with clay, or with bark or thatch on poles. The probability is that the roofs were of considerable pitch and were thatched.”

Early Connecticut houses: an historical and architectural study

By Norman Morrison Isham, Albert Frederic Brown

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