Monday, January 26, 2015

Old Cabin

This picture features an old log cabin. The picture was taken in Alabama, and the house probably belonged to a sharecropper. The picture was taken in 1937. Notice that there are almost no windows.


  1. I believe that may have been an old slave cabin. There were many still standing at that time in the old South, and in fact there still are quite a few that have not been allowed to fall into complete ruin.

  2. It looks like there are enough large openings between the logs (no chinking) to let in light.

  3. This looks like a "shotgun" house. It's actually two houses with metal roofs joined by the shake roof. That inner hallway would have a door or two opening off each side, with one or two rooms on each side of the building. Those doors would provide some additional light, though not much. The shed in the far right of the building probably housed livestock, and it's not made of logs. Probably added later. Notice it's the only one with a visible window. This may originally have been two cabins, though I don't see a chimney on the end of the other cabin. That would mean the only fireplace would be where the woman is standing. So it would be the living room/kitchen, and the warmest room in the winter. I know it's Alabama, but some winters can get chilly.

    I have an acquaintance who was born the son of sharecroppers in Alabama in the 1920s, the 11th of 12 children. By age 8, the kids were working in the cotton fields, He says, "Sharecropping was another form of slavery," though his family was white. The kids couldn't start school in the fall until the cotton crop was harvested, always after Thanksgiving or later. Some years they never got any schooling. He was the only one in his family to finish the 8th grade--and went on to graduate from college. But he remembers his youth in a cabin like this one, and spends a lot of money as a philanthropist making life better for people who, through no fault of their own, live in situations of poverty he remembers only too well.


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