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Home Life in Colonial Days

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By: (1851-1911)

CHAPTER I HOMES OF THE COLONISTS When the first settlers landed on American shores, the difficulties in finding or making shelter must have seemed ironical as well as almost unbearable. The colonists found a land magnificent with forest trees of every size and variety, but they had no sawmills, and few saws to cut boards; there was plenty of clay and ample limestone on every side, yet they could have no brick and no mortar; grand boulders of granite and rock were everywhere, yet there was not a single facility for cutting, drawing, or using stone. These homeless men, so sorely in need of immediate shelter, were baffled by pioneer conditions, and had to turn to many poor expedients, and be satisfied with rude covering. In Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, and, possibly, other states, some reverted to an ancient form of shelter: they became cave-dwellers; caves were dug ... (taken from first chapter of the book). Talk about starting from scratch!! Susan Morin

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Transcriber's Note:

This e text was prepared from the reprint edition published in 1974 by Berkshire Traveller Press. Copyrighted materials from that edition, including the modern preface and illustrations, are not included.


Written by ALICE MORSE EARLE in the year 1898

THE BERKSHIRE TRAVELLER PRESS Stockbridge, Massachusetts



The illustrations for this book are in every case from real articles and scenes, usually from those still in existence rare relics of past days. The pictures are the symbols of years of careful search, patient investigation, and constant watchfulness. Many a curious article as nameless and incomprehensible as the totem of an extinct Indian tribe has been studied, compared, inquired and written about, and finally triumphantly named and placed in the list of obsolete domestic appurtenances. From the lofts of woodsheds, under attic eaves, in dairy cellars, out of old trunks and sea chests from mouldering warehouses, have strangely shaped bits and combinations of wood, stuff, and metal been rescued and recognized... Continue reading book >>

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