Timber-peg construction

We had a really interesting old barn on our farm, which was built in 1876 by some Pennsylvania barn builders that came through North Texas at that time. It was a “timber-peg’ barn built without any nails. The timbers were hauled by wagon from Jefferson, Texas and the pegs were hand made on the job. A few square nails were used to build a door into the tack room and they too were hand made.


Outside of the barn


Our land was originally settled by a man named Daniel Jarvis Franklin who came toTexas in the 1850’s. When he was crossing the Red River near Fort Inglish (later called Bonham) the river was on rise and their wagon started floating off. It turned over and his wife drowned but Daniel and his nine year old son survived. Despite that tragedy, the two of them pushed on and settled the land we now own where they built a log cabin. It had no windows and the door was covered by a tarp or skin. The floor was hand hewn with an adz and was one inch thick in some places and three inches in others.


George at the cabin

I know all this about the cabin because it was perfectly preserved inside the barn that was built around it in 1876. The cabin was used as a corncrib after the barn was completed. When we bought the farm the barn’s outer skin was in poor shape but the framework was sound and as true some 100 years later as the day it was built.