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Thomas Bird House (John Stalcop Log House)

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John Stalcop Log House
Possibly early 19th century
  • Thomas Bird House (HABS)

Fort Christina has been called the birthplace of the American log cabin, as Swedish and Finnish settlers built dwellings inside the fort, presumably of logs. None survives, but the Delaware State Archives brought one to the park to commemorate the important cultural achievement. The 18 × 20–foot “Swedish” log house had deliberately been spared destruction by the Fenimore family near Prices Corner, west of Wilmington. Log construction expert C. A. Weslager examined it just before the move, finding the oak logs mostly left in the round, although crudely hewn on front and back surfaces; both V and saddle notchings were used, not dovetailing. These are standard log house methods from all periods; and archaeology at the site suggested the building was no older than the 1820s. Its relocation to Fort Christina in 1962 saved it from demolition for a Shell gasoline station, but today it is boarded up.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


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W. Barksdale Maynard, "Thomas Bird House (John Stalcop Log House)", [Wilmington, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 88-88.

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