Sunday Stories: Miles Snyder Log House

Excerpted from the McPherson County: Facts, Families, Fiction; Established in 1890. You'll find the story of Miles and Hollis Snyder previously posted here.

By Miles Snyder

Having decided, in the spring of 1935, to build a house, and not knowing what type of construction would be the most practical, money being very tight and hard to come by, my father suggested using pine logs, and spoke of the number of new log houses being constructed in the Black Hills, I thought I would give it a try.

I sent a letter to the clerk of Fall River County, South Dakota, asking for the name of a logger who could furnish logs of the lodgepole variety. If my memory serves me well, he referred to a man named Jenkins, near the town of Pringle, in the heart of the Black Hills, who agreed to furnish the logs at a cost of one hundred seventy dollars.

While in the Black Hills that summer on our honeymoon, also when transporting the logs, I studied the architecture used in constructing the walls and especially the method of locking the logs together at the corners, which were mostly simple dovetailed joints made by allowing the ends of the logs to extend beyond the line of the wall.

I did the excavating for the basement in the spring and poured the walls in the fall. Due to dipping cattle in the neighborhood and other extra work that fall, it was November before I could plan to haul the logs home.

I obtained the services of a trucker by the name of Dwight Kentral, who had a two-ton International truck and also a four wheel trailer. We juryrigged a heavy bolster on both the truck and the trailer beds.

We made two trips by way of Sidney, Alliance and Hot Springs, there being no road west of Tryon, over which such loads could be hauled. We unloaded the logs there.

In December, Reuel Conroy, and I made two trips each with a four horse hitch and wagons and trailers, hauling the logs to the ranch. Where they remained in a pile until the summer of 1936 when I finally found time to lay up the walls.

Our loads were so long that in places the center of the logs scraped the tops of the hills on the road between Tryon and the ranch.


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