Pea Ridge Historical Society vice president Jerry Nichols has fond memories of helping his father build new buildings on the family farm. Because his father was already in debt, they supplied the lumber for their farm by cutting down the oak trees on their property. This was common practice for farmers at the time because of the prohibitive cost of hiring others to build for them. For the sake of efficiency, many of the buildings served a dual purpose. For example, the smokehouse was also used as a garage. Jerry finishes by mentioning his and his father’s similar habits of saving things like nuts and bolts, not throwing away anything that could be useful later.
- Farm houses generally have and require some outlying edifices, such as one of more barns, possibly a silo, a chicken coop, or tool shed, just to name some.
- In decades past, it was normal for farmers to develop woodsman and carpentry skills, by dint of having to cut their own wood and build their own furniture, devises and edifices, as required.
- Building was a cumbersome process, involving finding the right wood, cutting it down, hauling it to the saw mill, where it would have to be cut into specific lumber sizes, then hauled home.
“You basically needed to be able to build buildings yourself, because few farmers then could afford to pay somebody to build for them.”