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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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Cabin Boys: 1936

Cabin Boys: 1936

March 1936. "One-room house on Coalins Forest and Game Reservation between the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers in Kentucky." Medium format nitrate negative by Carl Mydans for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

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It may be humble but

That is some quality workmanship on that house. Those joints are perfect, it's all heavy timber, everything is plumb and level, and it's even set up on rocks so termites can't get it.

They look pretty well settled to me

I count at least three "rooms": the main square split-log structure, the loft, and the lean-to at the rear. I imagine there was a ladder from the main room to the attic loft, where the older children probably slept, most likely near the far end by the warm chimney in the winter and on the near end beside the open window to catch a summer breeze.

The cabin appears well-built and maintained. Note the roof; the shakes are even and tightly spaced. The logs are tightly chinked and the glass windows with sewn curtains are fully operable.

The lean-to at the rear might have been a kitchen, but the angle is wrong to see if there is a stove flue back there. It appears the family yard-birds reside beneath that room, which would be handy if they lay eggs beneath the kitchen floor.

The barn at the rear is solid and roofed. Looks like a root cellar door facing the lens. The yard is packed and clutter-free. The boys are shod and shorn. Their coveralls mended and shirts clean and fitted.

While I can't guess at the occupying family's state of contentment with their lot in life, I see few reasons to uproot them to "resettle" them in government housing like the nearby Cumberland Homesteads.

There are days I'd gladly trade the traffic and hum of 21st century urban/suburban life for a simpler existence as depicted here. Of course I'd be gladder if there were a brewpub, Thai takeout, clinic, pharmacy, and grocery a short mule ride away. See what I did there?

ALSO - note to Dave and Shorpy powers-that-be: I noticed I'm closing in on 9 years of Shorpitude. It continues to be a real pleasure to peruse your pages of national-treasure photos and to read the insightful (and sometimes inciting) comments posted here. Many, many thanks to all who make this site run.

Goober Pea

Love the foundation

"Son, yo'all seen the bucket of mud, I needs to patch a hole in the wall."

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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