We regret the loss of some of the virtues of the pioneer spirit where free-hearted hospitality made every settler's cabin an inn, where the weary traveler found entertainment without price. Gone is that community of spirit which made neighbors true neighbors, where simple, strong, upright, honest integrity was characteristic.
While the majority of settlers were poor, poverty carried with it no sense of degradation. They lived in a one room cabin but it was their own and was created by their labor. Their shelter and clothing were adequate and their food supply abundant. They sat down to eat at a crude table and ate from tin plates. Their meat, typically duck, turkey, quail or squirrel, was cooked by the fire in the fireplace and illustrated the skill of the hunter. If not fresh, their meat was preserved by smoking, drying, or salting. Their bread was made usually from corn or wheat. Hardtack or sea biscuits would store almost indefinitely.
A pioneer settler had to bring certain items, although some were expensive and heavy. One such item was the felling axe. This was use to cut down trees that would later be fashioned into a log cabin.
Before building the log cabin, immediate shelter was needed. This could in part be provided by the wagon used to reach their site for the cabin, but extra space could be provided by a lean-to using limbs and branches from felled trees.
Building a log cabin required some skill. Often cabins were in the vicinity of other settlers and it was typical that they assisted in the construction of new settlers' log cabin.
The cabin was typically one room from fourteen to sixteen feet square, and never larger than twenty feet, and very frequently built entirely without glass, nails, hinges or locks.