Photo, Print, Drawing Outbuildings on the Dickens property: saddle-notched log barn

About this Item

Outbuildings on the Dickens property: saddle-notched log barn
Contributor Names
Eiler, Lyntha Scott (Photographer)
Created / Published
September 29, 1995
Subject Headings
-  Fall
-  September
-  Vernacular architecture
-  Chestnut (Castanea dentata)
-  Cucumber tree (Magnolia acuminata)
-  Log barns
-  Oak (Quercus sp.)
-  Photographs
-  Ethnography
-  West Virginia -- Raleigh County -- Peachtree Creek
-  West Virginia -- Williams Branch
-  Event: Tour of Dennis and Ruby Dickens' Farm.
-  "Dennis Dickens lives on Williams' Branch of Peachtree Creek. Williams' Branch is named for Dennis Dickens' grandfather. William was the son of John Dickens, who was the son of Thomas Dickens, who obtained a deed for the land from the Commonwealth of Virginia in the 1820s. On his mother's side, he is descended from Jacob and Celia Pettry, who settled at the mouth of Hazy Creek in the mid-19th century (Bone, 1994). Like many men in his generation, Dickens combined work in the mines with the system of forest farming (Otto, Smith, Salstrom) practiced throughout southern West Virginia. The outbuildings on his property tell some of the story of that system of corn-woodland-pastureland farming, which entailed releasing livestock (cattle and hogs) into a forest commons for pasture, clearing "newground" for cultivating corn and beans, forest-fallowing exhausted newgrounds, and relying on a diverse forest to satisfy a variety of needs. "At one time here," said Dennis, "We had two houses for hogs, three corn cribs to store the corn in, a brooder house where we raised the chickens that were hatched, and a chicken house to keep other chickens at, and two barns, and my dad had three or four calves that he wanted to separate so he built a little house for them. I couldn't tell you how many buildings I did tear down because I just couldn't keep a roof on them." On our tour of Dickens' home and farm, the buildings and furniture shown in Lyntha Eiler's photos became touchstones for Dennis Dickens' deep knowledge of the forest and of the local ways that for generations have made the forest productive.
-  Log barn is made from oak, chestnut, and cucumber logs. The logs are saddle-notched."
35 mm Color Slide
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1999/008: CRF-LE-C024-19
Source Collection
Coal River Folklife Collection (AFC 1999/008)
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
Online Format
IIIF Presentation Manifest
Manifest (JSON/LD)

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Credit line

Coal River Folklife Project collection (AFC 1999/008), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Eiler, Lyntha Scott. Outbuildings on the Dickens property: saddle-notched log barn. Peachtree Creek Raleigh County West Virginia Williams Branch, 1995. Photograph.

APA citation style:

Eiler, L. S. (1995) Outbuildings on the Dickens property: saddle-notched log barn. Peachtree Creek Raleigh County West Virginia Williams Branch, 1995. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Eiler, Lyntha Scott. Outbuildings on the Dickens property: saddle-notched log barn. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.