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Title: Rural Architecture - Being a Complete Description of Farm Houses, Cottages, and Out Buildings
Author: Allen, Lewis Falley, 1800-1890
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Rural Architecture - Being a Complete Description of Farm Houses, Cottages, and Out Buildings" ***

Literature in Agriculture (CHLA), Cornell University)

  [Transcriber's Note:

  Typographical errors and inconsistencies are listed at the end of
  the text.]

       *       *       *       *       *


          Being A Complete Description
                 OUT BUILDINGS,


 Wood Houses, Workshops, Tool Houses, Carriage
and Wagon Houses, Stables, Smoke and Ash Houses,
Ice Houses, Apiary or Bee House, Poultry Houses,
  Rabbitry, Dovecote, Piggery, Barns and Sheds
           for Cattle, &c., &c., &c.

                 Together With

 Lawns, Pleasure Grounds and Parks; The Flower,
  Fruit and Vegetable Garden. Also, Useful and
        Country Resident, &c., &c., &c.

               The Best Method Of

               BY LEWIS F. ALLEN.

            Beautifully Illustrated.

                   New York:
                 C. M. SAXTON,
          Agricultural Book Publisher.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1852.
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the
Southern District of New York.

Stereotyped by
Buffalo, N.Y.


The writer of these pages ought, perhaps, to apologize for attempting a
work on a subject, of which he is not a _professional_ master, either in
design or execution. In the science of Farm buildings he claims no
better knowledge than a long practical observation has given him. The
thoughts herein submitted for the consideration of those interested in
the subject of Farm buildings are the result of that observation, added
to his experience in the use of such buildings, and a conviction of the
inconveniences attending many of those already planned and erected.

Nor is it intended, in the production of this work, to interfere with
the labors of the professional builder. To such builder all who may be
disposed to adopt any model or suggestion here presented, are referred,
for the various details, in their specifications, and estimates, that
may be required; presuming that the designs and descriptions of this
work will be sufficient for the guidance of any master builder, in their
erection and completion.

But for the solicitation of those who believe that the undersigned could
offer some improvements in the construction of Farm buildings for the
benefit of our landholders and practical farmers, these pages would
probably never have appeared. They are offered in the hope that they may
be useful in assisting to form the taste, and add to the comfort of
those who are the main instruments in embellishing the face of our
country in its most pleasing and agreeable features--the American


Black Rock, N.Y. 1851.

NOTE.--For throwing the Designs embraced in these pages into their
present artistic form, the writer is indebted to Messrs. Otis & Brown,
architects, of Buffalo, to whose skill and experience he takes a
pleasure in recommending such as may wish instruction in the plans,
drawings, specifications, or estimates relating to either of the designs
here submitted, or for others of any kind that may be adapted to their

L. F. A.


PREFATORY,                                                      9
INTRODUCTORY,                                                  13
General Suggestions,                                           19
Style of Building--Miscellaneous,                              23
Position of Farm Houses,                                       29
Home Embellishments,                                           32
Material for Farm Buildings,                                   37
Outside Color of Houses,                                       42
A Short Chapter on Taste,                                      48
The Construction of Cellars,                                   54
Ventilation of Houses,                                         56
Interior Accommodation of Houses,                              65
Chimney Tops,                                                  68
Preliminary to our Designs,                                    69
DESIGN I. A Farm House,                                        72
  Interior Arrangement,                                        75
  Ground Plan,                                                 76
  Chamber Plan,                                                77
  Miscellaneous,                                               80
    As a Tenant House,                                         81
DESIGN II. Description,                                        84
  Ground and Chamber Plans,                                    89
  Interior Arrangement,                                        90
Miscellaneous Details,                                         95
DESIGN III. Description,                                      101
  Ground and Chamber Plans,                                   105
  Interior Arrangement,                                       106
  Miscellaneous,                                              111
DESIGN IV. Description,                                       114
  Interior Arrangement,                                       118
  Ground Plan,                                                119
  Chamber Plan,                                               120
  Surrounding Plantations, Shrubbery, Walks, &c.,             125
  Tree Planting in the Highway,                               129
DESIGN V. Description,                                        133
  Interior Arrangement,                                       135
  Ground Plan,                                                136
  Chamber Plan,                                               142
  Construction, Cost of Building, &c.,                        147
  Grounds, Plantations, and Surroundings,                     149
DESIGN VI. A Southern, or Plantation House,                   154
  Interior Arrangement,                                       159
  Chamber Plan,                                               162
  Carriage House,                                             163
  Miscellaneous,                                              163
  Lawn and Park Surroundings,                                 166
    An Ancient New England Family,                            168
    An American Homestead of the Last Century,                169
    Estimate of Cost of Design VI,                            172
DESIGN VII. A Plantation House,                               175
  Interior Arrangement,                                       176
  Ground Plan,                                                177
  Chamber Plan,                                               178
  Miscellaneous,                                              179
LAWNS, GROUNDS, PARKS, AND WOODS,                             181
    The Forest Trees of America,                              183
    Influence of Trees and Forests on the Character of men,   184
    Hillhouse and Walter Scott as Tree Planters,              187
    Doctor Johnson, no Rural Taste,                           188
  Fruit Garden--Orchard,                                      194
  How to lay out a Kitchen Garden,                            197
  Flowers,                                                    202
    Wild Flowers of America,                                  203
    Succession of Home Flowers,                               206
FARM COTTAGES,                                                208
DESIGN I, and Ground Plan,                                    213
  Interior Arrangement                                        214
DESIGN II, and Ground Plan,                                   216
  Interior Arrangement,                                       216
DESIGN III, and Ground Plan,                                  220
  Interior Arrangement,                                       220
DESIGN IV, and Ground Plan,                                   226
  Interior Arrangement,                                       229
Cottage Outside Decoration,                                   231
    Cottages on the Skirts of Estates,                        233
House and Cottage Furniture,                                  235
APIARY, OR BEE HOUSE,                                         246
  View of Apiary and Ground Plan, and description,            249
    Mode of Taking the Honey,                                 252
AN ICE HOUSE,                                                 258
  Elevation and Ground Plan,                                  260
AN ASH HOUSE AND SMOKE HOUSE,                                 264
  Elevation and Ground Plan,                                  265
THE POULTRY HOUSE,                                            267
  Elevation and Ground Plan,                                  269
  Interior Arrangement,                                       271
THE DOVECOTE,                                                 275
    Different Varieties of Pigeons,                           278
A PIGGERY,                                                    279
  Elevation and Ground Plan,                                  281
  Interior Arrangement,                                       282
  Construction of Piggery--Cost,                              283
FARM BARNS,                                                   286
DESIGN I. Description,                                        291
  Interior Arrangement, and Main Floor Plan,                  293
  Underground Plan, and Yard,                                 295
DESIGN II. Description,                                       300
  Interior Arrangement,                                       303
  Floor Plan,                                                 304
BARN ATTACHMENTS,                                             308
RABBITS,                                                      311
    Mr. Rotch's Description of his Rabbits,                   313
    Rabbits and Hutch,                                        315
    Dutch, and English Rabbits,                               318
    Mode of Feeding,                                          319
  Mr. Rodman's Rabbitry, Elevation, and Floor Plan,           322
  Explanations,                                               323
  Loft or Garret, Explanation,                                324
  Cellar plan, Explanation,                                   325
  Front and Back of Hutches, and Explanation,                 326
DAIRY BUILDINGS,                                              330
  Cheese Dairy House,                                         330
  Elevation of Dairy House and Ground Plan,                   331
  Interior Arrangement,                                       333
  The Butter Dairy,                                           335
THE WATER RAM,                                                237
  Figure and Description,                                     338
GRANARY--Rat-proof,                                           343
IMPROVED DOMESTIC ANIMALS,                                    345
  Short Horn Bull,                                            349
  Short Horn Cow,                                             352
  Devon Cow and Bull,                                         355
  Southdown Ram and Ewe,                                      359
  Long-wooled Ram and Ewe,                                    362
  Common Sheep,                                               364
    Remarks,                                                  365
WATERFOWLS,                                                   370
    The African Goose,                                        370
  China Goose,                                                371
    Bremen Goose,                                             372
A WORD ABOUT DOGS,                                            374
  Smooth Terrier,                                             377
  Shepherd Dog,                                               381


This work owes its appearance to the absence of any cheap and popular
book on the subject of Rural Architecture, exclusively intended for the
farming or agricultural interest of the United States. Why it is, that
nothing of the kind has been heretofore attempted for the chief benefit
of so large and important a class of our community as our farmers
comprise, is not easy to say, unless it be that they themselves have
indicated but little wish for instruction in a branch of domestic
economy which is, in reality, one of great importance, not only to their
domestic enjoyment, but their pecuniary welfare. It is, too, perhaps,
among the category of neglects, and in the lack of fidelity to their own
interests which pervades the agricultural community of this country,
beyond those of any other profession--for we insist that agriculture,
in its true and extended sense, is as much a profession as any other
pursuit whatever. To the reality of such neglects they have but of late
awaked, and indeed are now far too slowly wheeling into line for more
active progress in the knowledge pertaining to their own advancement. As
an accessory to their labors in such advancement, the present work is

It is an opinion far too prevalent among those engaged in the more
active occupations of our people,--fortified indeed in such opinion,
by the too frequent example of the farmer himself--that everything
connected with agriculture and agricultural life is of a rustic and
uncouth character; that it is a profession in which ignorance, as they
understand the term, is entirely consistent, and one with which no
aspirations of a high or an elevated character should, or at least need
be connected. It is a reflection upon the integrity of the great
agricultural interest of the country, that any such opinion should
prevail; and discreditable to that interest, that its condition or
example should for a moment justify, or even tolerate it.

Without going into any extended course of remark, we shall find ample
reason for the indifference which has prevailed among our rural
population, on the subject of their own domestic architecture, in the
absence of familiar and practical works on the subject, by such as have
given any considerable degree of thought to it; and, what little thought
has been devoted to this branch of building, has been incidentally
rather than directly thrown off by those professionally engaged in the
finer architectural studies appertaining to luxury and taste, instead of
the every-day wants of a strictly agricultural population, and, of
consequence, understanding but imperfectly the wants and conveniences of
the farm house in its connection with the every-day labors and
necessities of farm life.

It is not intended, in these remarks, to depreciate the efforts of those
who have attempted to instruct our farmers in this interesting branch of
agricultural economy. We owe them a debt of gratitude for what they have
accomplished in the introduction of their designs to our notice; and
when it is remarked that they are insufficient for the purposes
intended, it may be also taken as an admission of our own neglect, that
we have so far disregarded the subject ourselves, as to force upon
others the duty of essaying to instruct us in a work of which we
ourselves should long ago have been the masters.

Why should a farmer, because he _is_ a farmer, only occupy an uncouth,
outlandish house, any more than a professional man, a merchant, or a
mechanic? Is it because he himself is so uncouth and outlandish in his
thoughts and manners, that he deserves no better? Is it because his
occupation is degrading, his intellect ignorant, his position in life
low, and his associations debasing? Surely not. Yet, in many of the
plans and designs got up for his accommodation, in the books and
publications of the day, all due convenience, to say nothing of the
respectability or the elegance of domestic life, is as entirely
disregarded as if such qualities had no connection with the farmer or
his occupation. We hold, that although many of the practical operations
of the farm may be rough, laborious, and untidy, yet they are not, and
need not be inconsistent with the knowledge and practice of neatness,
order, and even elegance and refinement within doors; and, that the due
accommodation of the various things appertaining to farm stock, farm
labor, and farm life, should have a tendency to elevate the social
position, the associations, thoughts, and entire condition of the
farmer. As the man himself--no matter what his occupation--be lodged and
fed, so influenced, in a degree, will be his practice in the daily
duties of his life. A squalid, miserable tenement, with which they who
inhabit it are content, can lead to no elevation of character, no
improvement in condition, either social or moral, of its occupants. But,
the family comfortably and tidily, although humbly provided in their
habitation and domestic arrangements, have usually a corresponding
character in their personal relations. A log cabin, even,--and I speak
of this primitive American structure with profound affection and regard,
as the shelter from which we have achieved the most of our prodigious
and rapid agricultural conquests,--may be so constructed as to speak an
air of neatness, intelligence, and even refinement in those who inhabit

Admitting, then, without further argument, that well conditioned
household accommodations are as important to the farmer, even to the
indulgence of luxury itself, when it can be afforded, as for those who
occupy other and more active pursuits, it is quite important that he be
equally well instructed in the art of planning and arranging these
accommodations, and in designing, also, the various other structures
which are necessary to his wants in their fullest extent. As a question
of economy, both in saving and accumulating, good and sufficient
buildings are of the first consequence, in a pecuniary light, and when
to this are added other considerations touching our social enjoyment,
our advancement in temporal condition, our associations, our position
and influence in life, and, not least, the decided item of national good
taste which the introduction of good buildings throughout our extended
agricultural country will give, we find abundant cause for effort in

It is not intended in our remarks to convey the impression that we
Americans, as a people, are destitute of comfortable, and, in many
cases, quite convenient household and farm arrangements. Numerous
farmeries in every section of the United States, particularly in the
older ones, demonstrate most fully, that where our farmers have taken
the trouble to _think_ on the subject, their ingenuity has been equal,
in the items of convenient and economical arrangement of their dwellings
and out-buildings, to their demands. But, we are forced to say, that
such buildings have been executed, in most cases, with great neglect of
_architectural_ system, taste, or effect; and, in many instances, to the
utter violation of all _propriety_ in appearance, or character, as
appertaining to the uses for which they are applied.

The character of the farm should be carried out so as to _express_
itself in everything which it contains. All should bear a consistent
relation with each other. The former himself is a plain man. His family
are plain people, although none the less worthy, useful, or exalted, on
that account. His structures, of every kind, should be plain, also, yet
substantial, where substance is required. All these detract nothing from
his respectability or his influence in the neighborhood, the town, the
county, or the state. A farmer has quite as much business in the field,
or about his ordinary occupations, with ragged garments, out at elbows,
and a crownless hat, as he has to occupy a leaky, wind-broken, and
dilapidated house. Neither is he any nearer the mark, with a ruffled
shirt, a fancy dress, or gloved hands, when following his plough behind
a pair of _fancy_ horses, than in living in a finical, pretending house,
such as we see stuck up in conspicuous places in many parts of the
country. All these are out of place in each extreme, and the one is as
absurd, so far as true propriety is concerned, as the other. A fitness
of things, or a correspondence of one thing with another, should always
be preserved upon the farm, as elsewhere; and there is not a single
reason why propriety and good keeping should not as well distinguish it.
Nor is there any good cause why the farmer himself should not be a man
of taste, in the arrangement and architecture of every building on his
place, as well as other men. It is only necessary that he devote a
little time to study, in order to give his mind a right direction in all
that appertains to this department. Or, if he prefer to employ the
ingenuity of others to do his planning,--which, by the way, is, in most
cases, the more natural and better course,--he certainly should possess
sufficient judgment to see that such plans be correct and will answer
his purposes.

The plans and directions submitted in this work are intended to be of
the most practical kind; plain, substantial, and applicable, throughout,
to the purposes intended, and such as are within the reach--each in
their kind--of every farmer in our country. These plans are chiefly
original; that is, they are not copied from any in the books, or from
any structures with which the writer is familiar. Yet they will
doubtless, on examination, be found in several cases to resemble
buildings, both in outward appearance and interior arrangement, with
which numerous readers may be acquainted. The object, in addition to our
own designs, has been to apply practical hints, gathered from other
structures in use, which have seemed appropriate for a work of the
limited extent here offered, and that may serve to improve the taste of
all such as, in building useful structures, desire to embellish their
farms and estates in an agreeable style of home architecture, at once
pleasant to the eye, and convenient in their arrangement.


The lover of country life who looks upon rural objects in the true
spirit, and, for the first time surveys the cultivated portions of the
United States, will be struck with the incongruous appearance and style
of our farm houses and their contiguous buildings; and, although, on
examination, he will find many, that in their interior accommodation,
and perhaps relative arrangement to each other, are tolerably suited to
the business and convenience of the husbandman, still, the feeling will
prevail that there is an absence of method, congruity, and correct taste
in the architectural structure of his buildings generally, by the
American farmer.

We may, in truth, be said to have no architecture at all, as exhibited
in our agricultural districts, so far as any correct system, or plan is
concerned, as the better taste in building, which a few years past has
introduced among us, has been chiefly confined to our cities and towns
of rapid growth. Even in the comparatively few buildings in the modern
style to be seen in our farming districts, from the various requirements
of those buildings being partially unknown to the architect and builder,
who had their planning--and upon whom, owing to their own inexperience
in such matters, their employers have relied--a majority of such
dwellings have turned out, if not absolute failures, certainly not what
the necessities of the farmer has demanded. Consequently, save in the
mere item of outward appearance--and that, not always--the farmer and
cottager have gained nothing, owing to the absurdity in style or
arrangement, and want of fitness to circumstances adopted for the

We have stated that our prevailing rural architecture is discordant in
appearance; it may be added, that it is also uncouth, out of keeping
with correct rules, and, ofttimes offensive to the eye of any lover of
rural harmony. Why it is so, no matter, beyond the apology already
given--that of an absence of cultivation, and thought upon the subject.
It may be asked, of what consequence is it that the farmer or small
property-holder should conform to given rules, or mode, in the style and
arrangement of his dwelling, or out-buildings, so that they be
reasonably convenient, and answer his purposes? For the same reason that
he requires symmetry, excellence of form or style, in his horses, his
cattle, or other farm stock, household furniture, or personal dress.
It is an arrangement of artificial objects, in harmony with natural
objects; a cultivation of the sympathies which every rational being
should have, more or less, with true taste; that costs little or nothing
in the attainment, and, when attained, is a source of gratification
through life. Every human being is bound, under ordinary circumstances,
to leave the world somewhat better, so far as his own acts or exertions
are concerned, than he found it, in the exercise of such faculties as
have been given him. Such duty, among thinking men, is conceded, so far
as the moral world is concerned; and why not in the artificial? So far
as the influence for good goes, in all practical use, from the building
of a temple, to the knocking together of a pig-stye--a labor of years,
or the work of a day--the exercise of a correct taste is important, in a

In the available physical features of a country, no land upon earth
exceeds North America. From scenery the most sublime, through the
several gradations of magnificence and grandeur, down to the simply
picturesque and beautiful, in all variety and shade; in compass vast, or
in area limited, we have an endless variety, and, with a pouring out of
God's harmonies in the creation, without a parallel, inviting every
intelligent mind to study their features and character, in adapting them
to his own uses, and, in so doing, to even embellish--if such a thing be
possible--such exquisite objects with his own most ingenious handiwork.
Indeed, it is a profanation to do otherwise; and when so to improve them
requires no extraordinary application of skill, or any extravagant
outlay in expense, not to plan and to build in conformity with good
taste, is an absolute barbarism, inexcusable in a land like ours, and
among a population claiming the intelligence we do, or making but a
share of the general progress which we exhibit.

It is the idea of some, that a house or building which the farmer or
planter occupies, should, in shape, style, and character, be like some
of the stored-up commodities of his farm or plantation. We cannot
subscribe to this suggestion. We know of no good reason why the walls of
a farm house should appear like a hay rick, or its roof like the
thatched covering to his wheat stacks, because such are the shapes best
adapted to preserve his crops, any more than the grocer's habitation
should be made to imitate a tea chest, or the shipping merchant's a rum
puncheon, or cotton bale. We have an idea that the farmer, or the
planter, according to his means and requirements, should be as well
housed and accommodated, and in as agreeable style, too, as any other
class of community; not in like character, in all things, to be sure,
but in his own proper way and manner. Nor do we know why a farm house
should assume a peculiarly primitive or uncultivated style of
architecture, from other sensible houses. That it be a _farm_ house, is
sufficiently apparent from its locality upon the farm itself; that its
interior arrangement be for the convenience of the in-door farm work,
and the proper accommodation of the farmer's family, should be quite as
apparent; but, that it should assume an uncouth or clownish aspect, is
as unnecessary as that the farmer himself should be a boor in his
manners, or a dolt in his intellect.

The farm, in its proper cultivation, is the foundation of all human
prosperity, and from it is derived the main wealth of the community.
From the farm chiefly springs that energetic class of men, who replace
the enervated and physically decaying multitude continually thrown off
in the waste-weir of our great commercial and manufacturing cities and
towns, whose population, without the infusion--and that continually--of
the strong, substantial, and vigorous life blood of the country, would
soon dwindle into insignificance and decrepitude. Why then should not
this first, primitive, health-enjoying and life-sustaining class of our
people be equally accommodated in all that gives to social and
substantial life, its due development? It is absurd to deny them by
others, or that they deny themselves, the least of such advantages, or
that any mark of _caste_ be attempted to separate them from any other
class or profession of equal wealth, means, or necessity. It is quite as
well to say that the farmer should worship on the Sabbath in a
_meeting-house_, built after the fashion of his barn, or that his
district school house should look like a stable, as that his dwelling
should not exhibit all that cheerfulness and respectability in form and
feature which belongs to the houses of any class of our population
whatever. Not that the farm house should be like the town or the village
house, in character, style, or architecture, but that it should, in its
own proper character, express all the comfort, repose, and quietude
which belong to the retired and thoughtful occupation of him who
inhabits it. Sheltered in its own secluded, yet independent domain, with
a cheerful, _intelligent_ exterior, it should exhibit all the
pains-taking in home embellishment and rural decoration that becomes its
position, and which would make it an object of attraction and regard.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


In ascertaining what is desirable to the conveniences, or the
necessities in our household arrangement, it may be not unprofitable to
look about us, and consider somewhat, the existing condition of the
structures too many of us now inhabit, and which, in the light of true
fitness for the objects designed, are inconvenient, absurd, and out of
all harmony of purpose; yet, under the guidance of a better skill, and a
moderate outlay, might be well adapted, in most cases, to our
convenience and comfort, and quite well, to a reasonable standard of
taste in architectural appearance.

At the threshold--not of the house, but of this treatise--it may be well
to remark that it is not here assumed that there has been neither skill,
ingenuity, nor occasional good taste exhibited, for many generations
back, in the United States, in the construction of farm and country
houses. On the contrary, there are found in the older states many farm
and country houses that are almost models, in their way, for convenience
in the main purposes required of structures of their kind, and such as
can hardly be altered for the better. Such, however, form the exception,
not the rule; yet instead of standing as objects for imitation, they
have been ruled out as antiquated, and unfit for modern builders to
consult, who have in the introduction of some real improvements, also
left out, or discarded much that is valuable, and, where true comfort is
concerned, indispensable to perfect housekeeping. Alteration is not
always improvement, and in the rage for innovation of all kinds, among
much that is valuable, a great deal in house-building has been
introduced that is absolutely pernicious. Take, for instance, some of
our ancient-looking country houses of the last century, which, in
America, we call old. See their ample dimensions; their heavy, massive
walls; their low, comfortable ceilings; their high gables; sharp roofs;
deep porches, and spreading eaves, and contrast them with the ambitious,
tall, proportionless, and card-sided things of a modern date, and draw
the comparison in true comfort, which the ancient mansion really
affords, by the side of the other. Bating its huge chimneys, its wide
fire-places, its heavy beams dropping below the ceiling overhead, and
the lack of some modern conveniences, which, to be added, would give all
that is desired, and every man possessed of a proper judgment will
concede the superiority to the house of the last century.

That American house-building of the last fifty years is out of joint,
requires no better proof than that the main improvements which have been
applied to our rural architecture, are in the English style of farm and
country houses of two or three centuries ago; so, in that particular, we
acknowledge the better taste and judgment of our ancestors. True, modern
luxury, and in some particulars, modern improvement has made obsolete,
if not absurd, many things considered indispensable in a ruder age. The
wide, rambling halls and rooms; the huge, deep fire-places in the
chimneys; the proximity of out-buildings, and the contiguity of stables,
ricks, and cattle-yards--all these are wisely contracted, dispensed
with, or thrown off to a proper distance; but instead of such style
being abandoned altogether, as has too often been done, the house itself
might better have been partially reformed, and the interior arrangement
adapted to modern convenience. Such changes have in some instances been
made; and when so, how often does the old mansion, with outward features
in good preservation, outspeak, in all the expression of home-bred
comforts, the flashy, gimcrack neighbor, which in its plenitude of
modern pretension looks so flauntingly down upon it!

We cannot, in the United States, consistently adopt the domestic
architecture of any other country, throughout, to our use. We are
different in our institutions, our habits, our agriculture, our
climates. Utility is our chief object, and coupled with that, the
indulgence of an agreeable taste may be permitted to every one who
creates a home for himself, or founds one for his family. The frequent
changes of estates incident to our laws, and the many inducements held
out to our people to change their locality or residence, in the hope of
bettering their condition, is a strong hindrance to the adoption of a
universally correct system in the construction of our buildings;
deadening, as the effect of such changes, that home feeling which should
be a prominent trait of agricultural character. An attachment to
locality is not a conspicuous trait of American character; and if there
be a people on earth boasting a high civilization and intelligence, who
are at the same time a roving race, the Americans are that people; and
we acknowledge it a blemish in our domestic and social constitution.

Such remark is not dropped invidiously, but as a reason why we have thus
far made so little progress in the arts of home embellishment, and in
clustering about our habitations those innumerable attractions which win
us to them sufficiently to repel the temptation so often presented to
our enterprise, our ambition, or love of gain--and these not always
successful--in seeking other and distant places of abode. If, then, this
tendency to change--a want of attachment to any one spot--is a reason
why we have been so indifferent to domestic architecture; and if the
study and practice of a better system of building tends to cultivate a
home feeling, why should it not be encouraged? Home attachment is a
virtue. Therefore let that virtue be cherished. And if any one study
tend to exalt our taste, and promote our enjoyment, let us cultivate
that study to the highest extent within our reach.


Diversified as are the features of our country in climate, soil,
surface, and position, no one style of rural architecture is properly
adapted to the whole; and it is a gratifying incident to the indulgence
in a variety of taste, that we possess the opportunity which we desire
in its display to almost any extent in mode and effect. The Swiss chalêt
may hang in the mountain pass; the pointed Gothic may shoot up among the
evergreens of the rugged hill-side; the Italian roof, with its
overlooking campanile, may command the wooded slope or the open plain;
or the quaint and shadowy style of the old English mansion, embosomed in
its vines and shrubbery, may nestle in the quiet, shaded valley, all
suited to their respective positions, and each in harmony with the
natural features by which it is surrounded. Nor does the effect which
such structures give to the landscape in an ornamental point of view,
require that they be more imposing in character than the necessities of
the occasion may demand. True economy demands a structure sufficiently
spacious to accommodate its occupants in the best manner, so far as
convenience and comfort are concerned in a dwelling; and its conformity
to just rules in architecture need not be additionally expensive or
troublesome. He who builds at all, if it be anything beyond a rude or
temporary shelter, may as easily and cheaply build in accordance with
correct rules of architecture, as against such rules; and it no more
requires an extravagance in cost or a wasteful occupation of room to
produce a given effect in a house suited to humble means, than in one of
profuse accommodation. Magnificence, or the attempt at magnificence in
building, is the great fault with Americans who aim to build out of the
common line; and the consequence of such attempt is too often a failure,
apparent, always, at a glance, and of course a perfect condemnation in
itself of the judgment as well as taste of him who undertakes it.

Holding our tenures as we do, with no privilege of entail to our
posterity, an eye to his own interest, or to that of his family who is
to succeed to his estate, should admonish the builder of a house to the
adoption of a plan which will, in case of the sale of the estate,
involve no serious loss. He should build such a house as will be no
detriment, in its expense, to the selling value of the land on which it
stands, and always fitted for the spot it occupies. Hence, an imitation
of the high, extended, castellated mansions of England, or the
Continent, although in miniature, are altogether unsuited to the
American farmer or planter, whose lands, instead of increasing in his
family, are continually subject to division, or to sale in mass, on his
own demise; and when the estate is encumbered with unnecessarily large
and expensive buildings, they become an absolute drawback to its value
in either event. An expensive house requires a corresponding expense to
maintain it, otherwise its effect is lost, and many a worthy owner of a
costly mansion has been driven to sell and abandon his estate
altogether, from his unwillingness or inability to support "the
establishment" which it entailed; when, if the dwelling were only such
as the estate required and could reasonably maintain, a contented and
happy home would have remained to himself and family. It behooves,
therefore, the American builder to examine well his premises, to
ascertain the actual requirements of his farm or plantation, in
convenience and accommodation, and build only to such extent, and at
such cost as shall not impoverish his means, nor cause him future

Another difficulty with us is, that we oftener build to gratify the eyes
of the public than our own, and fit up our dwellings to accommodate
"company" or visitors, rather than our own families; and in the
indulgence of this false notion, subject ourselves to perpetual
inconvenience for the gratification of occasional hospitality or
ostentation. This is all wrong. A house should be planned and
constructed for the use of the household, with _incidental_
accommodation for our immediate friends or guests--which can always be
done without sacrifice to the comfort or convenience of the regular
inmates. In this remark, a stinted and parsimonious spirit is not
suggested. A liberal appropriation of rooms in every department; a spare
chamber or two, or an additional room on the ground floor, looking to a
possible increase of family, and the indulgence of an easy hospitality,
should always govern the resident of the country in erecting his
dwelling. The enjoyments of society and the intercourse of friends,
sharing for the time, our own table and fireside, is a crowning pleasure
of country life; and all this may be done without extraordinary expense,
in a wise construction of the dwelling.

The farm house too, should comport in character and area with the extent
and capacity of the farm itself, and the main design for which it is
erected. To the farmer proper--he who lives from the income which the
farm produces--it is important to know the extent of accommodation
required for the economical management of his estate, and then to build
in accordance with it, as well as to suit his own position in life, and
the station which he and his family hold in society. The owner of a
hundred acre farm, living upon the income he receives from it, will
require less house room than he who tills equally well his farm of
three, six, or ten hundred acres. Yet the numbers in their respective
families, the relative position of each in society, or their taste for
social intercourse may demand a larger or smaller household arrangement,
regardless of the size of their estates; still, the dwellings on each
should bear, in extent and expense, a consistent relation to the land
itself, and the means of its owner. For instance: a farm of one hundred
acres may safely and economically erect and maintain a house costing
eight hundred to two thousand dollars, while one of five hundred to a
thousand acres may range in an expenditure of twenty-five hundred to
five thousand dollars in its dwelling, and all be consistent with a
proper economy in farm management.

Let it be understood, that the above sums are named as simply comporting
with a financial view of the subject, and such as the economical
management of the estate may warrant. To one who has no regard to such
consideration, this rule of expenditure will not apply. He may invest
any amount he so chooses in building beyond, if he only be content to
pocket the loss which he can never expect to be returned in an increased
value to the property, over and above the price of cheaper buildings. On
the other hand, he would do well to consider that a farm is frequently
worth less to an ordinary purchaser, with an extravagant house upon it,
than with an economical one, and in many cases will bring even less in
market, in proportion as the dwelling is expensive. _Fancy_ purchasers
are few, and fastidious, while he who buys only for a home and an
occupation, is governed solely by the profitable returns the estate will
afford upon the capital invested.

There is again a grand error which many fall into in building, looking
as they do only at the extent of wood and timber; or stone and mortar in
the structure, and paying no attention to the surroundings, which in
most cases contribute more to the effect of the establishment than the
structure itself, and which, if uncultivated or neglected, any amount of
expenditure in building will fail to give that completeness and
perfection of character which every homestead should command. Thus the
tawdry erections in imitation of a cast-off feudalism in Europe, or a
copying of the massive piles of more recent date abroad, although in
miniature, both in extent and cost, is the sheerest affectation, in
which no sensible man should ever indulge. It is out of all keeping, or
propriety with other things, as we in this country have them, and the
indulgence of all such fancies is sooner or later regretted. Substance,
convenience, purpose, harmony--all, perhaps, better summed up in the
term EXPRESSION--these are the objects which should govern the
construction of our dwellings and out-buildings, and in their observance
we can hardly err in the acquisition of what will promote the highest
enjoyment which a dwelling can bestow.


The site of a dwelling should be an important study with every country
builder; for on this depends much of its utility, and in addition to
that, a large share of the enjoyment which its occupation will afford.
Custom, in many parts of the United States, in the location of the farm
buildings, gives advantages which are denied in others. In the south,
and in the slave states generally, the planter builds, regardless of
roads, on the most convenient site his plantation presents; the farmer
of German descent, in Pennsylvania and some other states, does the same:
while the Yankee, be he settled where he will, either in the east,
north, or west, inexorably huddles himself immediately upon the highway,
whether his possessions embrace both sides of it or not, disregarding
the facilities of access to his fields, the convenience of tilling his
crops, or the character of the ground which his buildings may occupy,
seeming to have no other object than proximity to the road--as if his
chief business was upon that, instead of its being simply a convenience
to his occupation. To the last, but little choice is left; and so long
as a close connection with the thoroughfare is to control, he is obliged
to conform to accident in what should be a matter of deliberate choice
and judgment. Still, there are right and wrong positions for a house,
which it is necessary to discuss, regardless of conventional rules, and
they should be considered in the light of propriety alone.

A fitness to the purposes for which the dwelling is constructed should,
unquestionably, be the governing point in determining its position. The
site should be dry, and slightly declining, if possible, on every side;
but if the surface be level, or where water occasionally flows from
contiguous grounds, or on a soil naturally damp, it should be thoroughly
drained of all superfluous moisture. That is indispensable to the
preservation of the house itself, and the health of its inmates. The
house should so stand as to present an agreeable aspect from the main
points at which it is seen, or the thoroughfares by which it is
approached. It should be so arranged as to afford protection from wind
and storm, to that part most usually occupied, as well as be easy of
access to the out-buildings appended to it. It should have an
unmistakable front, sides, and rear; and the uses to which its various
parts are applied, should distinctly appear in its outward character.
It should combine all the advantages of soil, cultivation, water, shade,
and shelter, which the most liberal gratification, consistent with the
circumstances of the owner, may demand. If a site on the estate command
a prospect of singular beauty, other things equal, the dwelling should
embrace it; if the luxury of a stream, or a sheet of water in repose,
present itself, it should, if possible, be enjoyed; if the shade and
protection of a grove be near, its benefits should be included; in fine,
any object in itself desirable, and not embarrassing to the main
purposes of the dwelling and its appendages, should be turned to the
best account, and appropriated in such manner as to combine all that is
desirable both in beauty and effect, as well as in utility, to make up a
perfect whole in the family residence.

Attached to the building site should be considered the quality of the
soil, as affording cultivation and growth to shrubbery and trees,--at
once the ornament most effective to all domestic buildings, grateful to
the eye always, as objects of admiration and beauty--delightful in the
repose they offer in hours of lassitude or weariness; and to them, that
indispensable feature in a perfect arrangement, the garden, both fruit
and vegetable, should be added. Happily for the American, our soils are
so universally adapted to the growth of vegetation in all its varieties,
that hardly a farm of considerable size can be found which does not
afford tolerable facilities for the exercise of all the taste which one
may indulge in the cultivation of the garden as well as in the planting
and growth of trees and shrubbery; and a due appropriation of these to
an agreeable residence is equal in importance to the style and
arrangement of the house itself.

The site selected for the dwelling, and the character of the scenery and
objects immediately surrounding it, should have a controlling influence
upon the style in which the house is to be constructed. A fitness and
harmony in all these is indispensable to both expression and effect. And
in their determination, a single object should not control, but the
entire picture, as completed, should be embraced in the view; and that
style of building constituting the most agreeable whole, as filling the
eye with the most grateful sensations, should be the one selected with
which to fill up and complete the design.


A discussion of the objects by way of embellishment, which may be
required to give character and effect to a country residence, would
embrace a range too wide, in all its parts, for a simply practical
treatise like this; and general hints on the subject are all indeed,
that will be required, as no specific rules or directions can be given
which would be applicable, indiscriminately, to guide the builder in the
execution of his work. A dwelling house, no matter what the style,
standing alone, either on hill or plain, apart from other objects, would
hardly be an attractive sight. As a mere representation of a particular
style of architecture, or as a model of imitation, it might excite our
admiration, but it would not be an object on which the eye and the
imagination could repose with satisfaction. It would be incomplete
unless accompanied by such associates as the eye is accustomed to
embrace in the full gratification of the sensations to which that organ
is the conductor. But assemble around that dwelling subordinate
structures, trees, and shrubbery properly disposed, and it becomes an
object of exceeding interest and pleasure in the contemplation. It is
therefore, that the particular style or outward arrangement of the house
is but a part of what should constitute the general effect, and such
style is to be consulted only so far as it may in itself please the
taste, and give benefit or utility in the purposes for which it is
intended. Still, the architectural design should be in harmony with the
features of the surrounding scenery, and is thus important in completing
the effect sought, and which cannot be accomplished without it.

A farm with its buildings, or a simple country residence with the
grounds which enclose it, or a cottage with its door-yard and garden,
should be finished sections of the landscape of which it forms a part,
or attractive points within it; and of consequence, complete each within
itself, and not dependent upon distant accessories to support it--an
_imperium in imperio_, in classic phrase. A tower, a monument, a
steeple, or the indistinct outline of a distant town may form a striking
feature in a pictorial design and the associations connected with them,
or, the character in which they are contemplated may allow them to stand
naked and unadorned by other objects, and still permit them to fill up
in perfect harmony the picture. This idea will illustrate the importance
of embellishment, not only in the substitution of trees as necessary
appendages to a complete rural establishment, but in the erection of all
the buildings necessary for occupation in any manner, in form and
position, to give effect from any point of view in which the homestead
may be seen. General appearance should not be confined to one quarter
alone, but the house and its surroundings on every side should show
completeness in design and harmony in execution; and although humble,
and devoted to the meanest purposes, a portion of these erections may
be, yet the character of utility or necessity which they maintain, gives
them an air of dignity, if not of grace. Thus, a house and out-buildings
flanked with orchards, or a wood, on which they apparently fall back for
support, fills the eye at once with not only a beautiful group, in
themselves combined, but associate the idea of repose, of comfort, and
abundance--indispensable requisites to a perfect farm residence. They
also seem to connect the house and out-buildings with the fields beyond,
which are of necessity naked of trees, and gradually spread the view
abroad over the farm until it mingles with, or is lost in the general

These remarks may seem too refined, and as out of place here, and
trenching upon the subject of Landscape Gardening, which is not designed
to be a part, or but an incidental one of the present work, yet they are
important in connection with the subject under discussion. The proper
disposition of trees and shrubbery around, or in the vicinity of
buildings is far too little understood, although tree planting about our
dwellings is a practice pretty general throughout our country. Nothing
is more common than to see a man build a house, perhaps in most
elaborate and expensive style, and then plant a row of trees close upon
the front, which when grown will shut it almost entirely out of view;
while he leaves the rear as bald and unprotected as if it were a barn or
a horse-shed--as if in utter ignorance, as he probably is, that his
house is more effectively set off by a _flanking_ and _background_ of
tree and shrubbery, than in front. And this is called good taste! Let us
examine it. Trees near a dwelling are desirable for shade; _shelter_
they do not afford except in masses, which last is always better given
to the house itself by a veranda. Immediately adjoining, or within
touching distance of a house, trees create dampness, more or less
litter, and frequently vermin. They injure the walls and roofs by their
continual shade and dampness. They exclude the rays of the sun, and
prevent a free circulation of air. Therefore, _close_ to the house,
trees are absolutely pernicious, to say nothing of excluding all its
architectural effect from observation; when, if planted at proper
distances, they compose its finest ornaments.

If it be necessary to build in good taste at all, it is quite as
necessary that such good taste be kept in view throughout. A country
dwelling should always be a conspicuous object in its full character and
outline, from one or more prominent points of observation; consequently
all plantations of tree or shrubbery in its immediate vicinity should be
considered as aids to show off the house and its appendages, instead of
becoming the principal objects of attraction in themselves. Their
disposition should be such as to create a perfect and agreeable whole,
when seen in connection with the house itself. They should also be so
placed as to open the surrounding landscape to view in its most
attractive features, from the various parts of the dwelling. Much in the
effective disposition of trees around the dwelling will thus depend upon
the character of the country seen from it, and which should control to a
great extent their position. A single tree, of grand and stately
dimensions, will frequently give greater effect than the most studied
plantations. A ledge of rock, in the clefts of which wild vines may
nestle, or around which a mass of shrubbery may cluster, will add a
charm to the dwelling which an elaborate cultivation would fail to
bestow; and the most negligent apparel of nature in a thousand ways may
give a character which we might strive in vain to accomplish by our own
invention. In the efforts to embellish our dwellings or grounds, the
strong natural objects with which they are associated should be
consulted, always keeping in view an _expression_ of the chief character
to which the whole is applied.


In a country like ours, containing within its soils and upon its surface
such an abundance and variety of building material, the composition of
our farm erections must depend in most cases upon the ability or the
choice of the builder himself.

Stone is the most durable, in the long run the cheapest, and as a
consequence, the _best_ material which can be furnished for the walls of
a dwelling. With other farm buildings circumstances may govern
differently; still, in many sections of the United States, even stone
cannot be obtained, except at an expense and inconvenience altogether
forbidding its use. Yet it is a happy relief that where stone is
difficult, or not at all to be obtained, the best of clay for bricks,
is abundant; and in almost all parts of our country, even where building
timber is scarce, its transportation is so comparatively light, and the
facilities of removing it are so cheap, that wood is accessible to every
one. Hence we may indulge in almost every fitting style of architecture
and arrangement, to which either kind of these materials are best
adapted. We shall slightly discuss them as applicable to our purposes.

Stone is found either on the surface, or in quarries under ground.
On the surface they lie chiefly as bowlders of less or greater size,
usually of hard and durable kinds. Large bowlders may be either blasted,
or split with wedges into sufficiently available shapes to lay in walls
with mortar; or if small, they may with a little extra labor, be fitted
by the aid of good mortar into equally substantial wall as the larger
masses. In quarries they are thrown out, either by blasting or splitting
in layers, so as to form regular courses when laid up; and all their
varieties may, _unhammered_, except to strike off projecting points or
angles, be laid up with a sufficiently smooth face to give fine effect
to a building. Thus, when easily obtained, aside from the greater
advantages of their durability, stone is as cheap in the first instance
as lumber, excepting in new districts of country where good building
lumber is the chief article of production, and cheaper than brick in any
event. Stone requires no paint. Its color is a natural, therefore an
agreeable one, be it usually what it may, although some shades are more
grateful to the eye than others; yet it is always in harmony with
natural objects, and particularly so on the farm where everything ought
to wear the most substantial appearance. The outer walls of a stone
house should always be _firred_ off inside for _lathing_ and plastering,
to keep them thoroughly dry. Without that, the rooms are liable to
dampness, which would penetrate through the stone into the inside
plastering unless cut off by an open space of air between.

Bricks, where stone is not found, supply its place tolerably well. When
made of good clay, rightly tempered with sand, and well burned, they
will in a wall remain for centuries, and as far as material is
concerned, answer all purposes. Brick walls may be thinner than stone
walls, but they equally require "firring off" for inside plastering, and
in addition, they need the aid of paint quite as often as wood, to give
them an agreeable color--bricks themselves not usually being in the
category of desirable colors or shades.

Wood, when abundant and easily obtained, is worked with the greatest
facility, and on many accounts, is the cheapest material, _for the
time_, of which a building can be constructed. But it is perishable. It
requires every few years a coat of paint, and is always associated with
the idea of decay. Yet wood may be moulded into an infinite variety of
form to please the eye, in the indulgence of any peculiar taste or

We cannot, in the consideration of material for house-building
therefore, urge upon the farmer the adoption of either of the above
named materials to the preference of another, in any particular
structure he may require; but leave him to consult his own circumstances
in regard to them, as best he may. But this we will say: _If it be
possible_, never lay a _cellar_ or underground wall of perishable
material, such as wood or soft bricks; nor build with soft or _unburnt_
bricks in a wall exposed to the weather _anywhere;_ nor with stone which
is liable to crumble or disintegrate by the action of frost or water
upon it. We are aware that unburnt bricks have been strongly recommended
for house-building in America; but from observation, we are fully
persuaded that they are worthless for any _permanent_ structure, and if
used, will in the end prove a dead loss in their application. Cottages,
out-buildings, and other cheap erections on the farm, for the
accommodation of laborers, stock, or crops, may be made of wood, where
wood is the cheapest and most easily obtained; and, even taking its
perishable nature into account, it may be the most economical. In their
construction, it may be simply a matter of calculation with him who
needs them, to calculate the first cost of any material he has at hand,
or may obtain, and to that add the interest upon it, the annual wear and
tear, the insurance, and the period it may last, to determine this
matter to his entire satisfaction--always provided he have the means at
hand to do either. But other considerations generally control the
American farmer. His pocket is apt more often to be pinched, than his
choice is to be at fault; and this weighty argument compels him into the
"make shift" system, which perhaps in its results, provided the main
chance be attained, is quite as advantageous to his interests as the

As a general remark, all buildings should show for themselves, what they
are built of. Let stone be stone; bricks show on their own account; and
of all things, put no counterfeit by way of plaster, stucco, or other
false pretence other than paint, or a durable wash upon wood: it is a
miserable affectation always, and of no possible use whatever. All
counterfeit of any kind as little becomes the buildings of the farmer,
as the gilded _pinchbeck_ watch would fit the finished attire of a

Before submitting the several designs proposed for this work, it may be
remarked, that in addressing them to a climate strictly American, we
have in every instance adopted the wide, steeply-pitched roof, with
broad eaves, gables and cornices, as giving protection, shade, and
shelter to the walls; thus keeping them dry and in good preservation,
and giving that well housed, and comfortable expression, so different
from the stiff, pinched, and tucked-up look in which so many of the
haberdasher-built houses of the present day exult.

We give some examples of the hipped roof, because they are convenient
and cheap in their construction; and we also throw into the designs a
lateral direction to the roofs of the wings, or connecting parts of the
building. This is sometimes done for effect in architectural appearance,
and sometimes for the economy and advantage of the building itself.
Where roofs thus intersect or connect with a side wall, the connecting
gutters should be made of copper, zinc, lead, galvanized iron, or tin,
into which the shingles, if they be covered with that material, should
be laid so as to effectually prevent leakage. The _eave gutters_ should
be of copper, zinc, lead, galvanized iron or tin, also, and placed _at
least_ one foot back from the edge of the roof, and lead the water into
conductors down the wall into the cistern or elsewhere, as may be
required. If the water be not needed, and the roof be wide over the
walls, there is no objection to let it pass off naturally, if it be no
inconvenience to the ground below, and can run off, or be absorbed into
the ground without detriment to the cellar walls. All this must be
subject to the judgment of the proprietor himself.


We are not among those who cast off, and on a sudden condemn, as out of
all good taste, the time-honored white house with its green blinds,
often so tastefully gleaming out from beneath the shade of summer trees;
nor do we doggedly adhere to it, except when in keeping, by contrast or
otherwise, with everything around it. For a century past white has been
the chief color of our wooden houses, and often so of brick ones, in the
United States. This color has been supposed to be strong and durable,
being composed chiefly of white lead; and as it _reflected_ the rays of
the sun instead of _absorbing_ them, as some of the darker colors do, it
was thus considered a better preserver of the weather-boarding from the
cracks which the fervid heat of the sun is apt to make upon it, than the
darker colors. White, consequently, has always been considered, until
within a few years past, as a fitting and _tasteful_ color for
dwellings, both in town and country. A new school of _taste_ in colors
has risen, however, within a few years past, among us; about the same
time, too, that the recent gingerbread and beadwork style of country
building was introduced. And these were both, as all _new_ things are
apt to be, carried to extremes. Instead of _toning_ down the glare of
the white into some quiet, neutral shade, as a straw color; a drab of
different hues--always an agreeable and appropriate color for a
dwelling, particularly when the door and window casings are dressed with
a deeper or lighter shade, as those shades predominate in the main body
of the house; or a natural and soft _wood_ color, which also may be of
various shades; or even the warm russet hue of some of our rich
stones--quite appropriate, too, as applied to wood, or bricks--the
_fashion_ must be followed without either rhyme or reason, and hundreds
of our otherwise pretty and imposing country houses have been daubed
over with the dirtiest, gloomiest pigment imaginable, making every
habitation which it touched look more like a funeral appendage than a
cheerful, life-enjoying home. We candidly say that we have no sort of
affection for such sooty daubs. The fashion which dictates them is a
barbarous, false, and arbitrary fashion; void of all natural taste in
its inception; and to one who has a cheerful, life-loving spirit about
him, such colors have no more fitness on his dwelling or out-buildings,
than a tomb would have in his lawn or dooryard.

Locality, amplitude of the buildings, the purpose to which they are
applied--every consideration connected with them, in fact, should be
consulted, as to color. Stone will give its own color; which, by the
way, some prodigiously smart folks _paint_--quite as decorous or
essential, as to "paint the lily." Brick sometimes must be painted, but
it should be of a color in keeping with its character,--of substance and
dignity; not a counterfeit of stone, or to cheat him who looks upon it
into a belief that it may be marble, or other unfounded pretension.
A _warm_ russet is most appropriate for brick-work of any kind of
color--the color of a russet apple, or undressed leather--shades that
comport with Milton's beautiful idea of

  "_Russet_ lawns and fallows _gray_."

Red and yellow are both too glaring, and slate, or lead colors too
somber and cold. It is, in fact, a strong argument in favor of bricks in
building, where they can be had as cheap as stone or wood, that any
color can be given to them which the good taste of the builder may
require, in addition to their durability, which, when made of good
material, and properly burned, is quite equal to stone. In a wooden
structure one may play with his fancy in the way of color, minding in
the operation, that he does not play the mountebank, and like the clown
in the circus, make his tattooed tenement the derision of men of correct
taste, as the other does his burlesque visage the ridicule of his

A _wooden_ country house, together with its out-buildings, should always
be of a cheerful and softly-toned color--a color giving a feeling of
warmth and comfort; nothing glaring or flashy about it. And yet, such
buildings should not, in their color, any more than in their
architecture, appear as if _imitating_ either stone or brick. Wood, of
itself, is light. One cannot build a _heavy_ house of wood, as compared
with brick or stone. Therefore all imitation or device which may lead to
a belief that it may be other than what it really is, is nothing less
than a fraud--not criminal, we admit, but none the less a fraud upon
good taste and architectural truth.

It is true that in this country we cannot afford to place in stone and
brick buildings those ornate trimmings and appendages which, perhaps, if
economy were not to be consulted, might be more durably constructed of
stone, but at an expense too great to be borne by those of moderate
means. Yet it is not essential that such appendages should be of so
expensive material. The very purposes to which they are applied, as a
parapet, a railing, a balustrade, a portico, piazza, or porch; all these
may be of wood, even when the material of the house _proper_ is of the
most durable kind; and by being painted in keeping with the building
itself, produce a fine effect, and do no violence to good taste or the
most fastidious propriety. They may be even sanded to a color, and
grained, stained, or otherwise brought to an identity, almost, with the
material of the house, and be quite proper, because they simply are
_appendages_ of convenience, necessity, or luxury, to the building
itself, and may be taken away without injuring or without defacing the
main structure. They are not a _material_ part of the building itself,
but reared for purposes which may be dispensed with. It is a matter of
taste or preference, that they were either built there, or that they
remain permanently afterward, and of consequence, proper that they be of
wood. Yet they should not _imitate_ stone or brick. They should still
show that they _are_ of wood, but in color and outside preservation
denote that they are appendages to a _stone_ or _brick_ house, by
complying with the proper shades in color which predominate in the
building itself, and become their own subordinate character.

Not being a professional painter, or compounder of colors, we shall
offer no receipts or specifics for painting or washing buildings.
Climate affects the composition of both paints and washes, and those who
are competent in this line, are the proper persons to dictate their
various compositions; and we do but common justice to the skill and
intelligence of our numerous mechanics, when we recommend to those who
contemplate building, to apply forthwith to such as are masters of their
trade for all the information they require on the various subjects
connected with it. One who sets out to be his own architect, builder,
and painter, is akin to the lawyer in the proverb, who has a fool for
his client, when pleading his own case, and quite as apt to have quack
in them all. Hints, general outlines, and oftentimes matters of detail
in interior convenience, and many other minor affairs may be given by
the proprietor, when he is neither a professional architect, mechanic,
or even an amateur; but in all things affecting the _substantial_ and
important parts of his buildings, he should consult those who are
proficient and experienced in the department on which he consults them.
And it may perhaps be added that none _professing_ to be such, are
competent, unless well instructed, and whose labors have met the
approbation of those competent to judge.

There is one kind of color, prevailing to a great extent in many parts
of our country, particularly the northern and eastern, which, in its
effect upon any one having an eye to a fitness of things in country
buildings, is a monstrous perversion of good taste. That is the glaring
red, made up of Venetian red, ochre, or Spanish brown, with doors and
windows touched off with white. The only apology we have ever heard
given for such a barbarism was, that it is a good, strong, and lasting
color. We shall not go into an examination as to that fact, but simply
answer, that if it be so, there are other colors, not more expensive,
which are equally strong and durable, and infinitely more tasteful and
fitting. There can be nothing less comporting with the simplicity of
rural scenery, than a glaring red color on a building. It _connects_
with nothing natural about it; it neither _fades_ into any surrounding
shade of soil or vegetation, and must of necessity, stand out in its own
bold and unshrouded impudence, a perfect Ishmaelite in color, and a
perversion of every thing harmonious in the design. We eschew _red_,
therefore, from every thing in rural architecture.


The compound words, or terms _good-taste_ and _bad-taste_ have been used
in the preceding pages without, perhaps, sufficiently explaining what is
meant by the word _taste_, other than as giving vague and unsatisfactory
terms to the reader in measuring the subject in hand. _Taste_ is a term
universally applied in criticism of the fine-arts, such as painting,
sculpture, architecture, &c., &c., of which there are many schools--of
_taste_, we mean--some of them, perhaps natural, but chiefly
conventional, and all more or less arbitrary. The proverb, "there is no
accounting for taste," is as old as the aforesaid schools themselves,
and defines perfectly our own estimate of the common usage of the term.

As we have intended to use it, Webster defines the word _taste_ to be
"the faculty of discerning beauty, order, congruity, proportion,
symmetry, or whatever constitutes excellence; style; manner with respect
to what is pleasing." With this understanding, therefore; a fitness to
the purpose for which a thing is intended--got up in a manner agreeable
to the eye and the mind--preserving also a harmony between its various
parts and uses; pleasing to the eye, as addressed to the sense, and
satisfactory to the mind, as appropriate to the object for which it is
required;--these constitute _good-taste_, as the term is here

The term _style_, also, is "the _manner_ or _form_ of a thing."
When we say, "that is a stylish house," it should mean that it is in,
or approaches some particular style of building recognized by the
schools. It may or may not be in accordance with good taste, and is,
consequently, subject to the same capricious test in its government. Yet
_styles_ are subject to arrangement, and are classified in the several
schools of architecture, either as distinct specimens of acknowledged
orders, as the Doric, the Ionic, the Corinthian, in Grecian
architecture, or, the Tuscan and Composite, which are, more distinctly,
styles of Roman architecture. To these may be added the Egyptian, the
most massive of all; and either of them, in their proper character,
grand and imposing when applied to public buildings or extensive
structures, but altogether inapplicable, from their want of lightness
and convenience, to country or even city dwellings. Other styles--not
exactly orders--of architecture, such as the Italian, the Romanesque,
the Gothic, the Swiss, with their modifications--all of which admit of a
variety of departures from fixed rules, not allowed in the more rigid
orders--may be adapted in a variety of ways, to the most agreeable and
harmonious arrangement in architectural effect, for dwellings and
structures appurtenant to them.

The Italian style of architecture, modified somewhat in pretension and
extent, is admirably adapted to most parts of the United States. Its
general lightness, openness, and freedom gives a wide range of choice;
and its wings, verandas, and terraces, stretching off in any and almost
every direction desired, from the main building, make it exceedingly
appropriate for general use. The modern, or rural Gothic, branching off
sometimes into what is termed the English cottage style, and in many
instances blending so intimately with the Italian, as hardly to mark the
line of division, is also a beautiful _arrangement_ of building for
country dwellings. These, in ruder structures, may also be carried into
the Rustic--not a style proper, in itself--but so termed as
approximating in execution or pretension to either of the above; while
the Swiss, with its hanging roofs, and sheltering eaves may be
frequently brought in aid to show out the rustic form in more
completeness, and in greater harmony with surrounding objects, than
either of the others.

For farm houses, either of these _arrangements_ or departures from a
_set_ and _positive_ style, are better fitted than any which we have
noticed; and in some one or other of the modifications named, we have
applied them in the examples submitted in this work. They may not
therefore be viewed as _distinct_ delineations of an _order_ of
architecture, or style _proper_, even; but as a _mode_ appropriate to
the object required. And so long as they do not absolutely conflict with
true taste, or in their construction commit a barbarism upon any
acknowledged system of architecture, in any of its modifications, we
hazard no impropriety in introducing them for the imitation of country
builders. Congruity with the objects to which it is applied should be
the chief merit of any structure whatever; and so long as that object be
attained, good taste is not violated, and utility is fully subserved.

Intimately connected with this subject, in rural buildings, is the
_shape_ of the structure. Many of the designs recently introduced for
the imitation of builders, are full of angles and all sorts of zig-zag
lines, which, although they may add to the variety of style, or relieve
the monotony of straight and continuous lines, are carried to a needless
excess, expensive in their construction, and entail infinite trouble
upon the owner or occupant, in the repairs they subject him to, in the
leakages continually occurring, against which last, either of wind or
rain, it is almost impossible to guard. And what, let us ask, are the
benefits of a parcel of needless gables and peaked windows, running up
like owl's ears, above the eaves of a house, except to create expense,
and invite leakage and decay? If in appearance, they provoke an
association of that kind, they certainly are not in good taste; and a
foot or two of increased height in a wall, or a low window sufficient
for the purpose intended, would give a tone of dignity, of comfort, and
real utility, which a whole covey of such pretentious things could not.
All such trumpery should be scouted from the dwelling house of the
farmer, and left to the special indulgence of the town builder.

A _square_ form of house will afford more area within a given line of
wall than any other _sensible_ form which may be adopted. Yet a square
house is not so agreeable to the eye as an oblong. Thus, a house should
stand somewhat broader on one front than on another. It should also be
relieved from an appearance of monotony and tameness, by one or more
wings; and such wings should, at their junction with the main building,
retreat or advance a sufficient distance from a continuous line, as to
relieve it effectually from an appearance of stiffness, and show a
different character of occupation from that of the main structure. The
front of a house should be the most imposing and finished in its
architecture of any one of its parts; and unless some motive of greater
convenience control otherwise, its entrance the most highly wrought,
as indicating the luxury of the establishment--for even the humblest
habitations have their luxuries. The side rooms, or more usually
occupied apartments, require less pretension in both architectural
effect and finish, and should wear a more subdued appearance; while the
kitchen section, and from that, the several grades of apartments
stretching beyond it, should distinctly show that they are subservient
in their character, and wear a style and finish accordingly. Thus, each
part of the house speaks for itself. It is its own finger-board,
pointing the stranger to its various accommodation, as plainly as if
written on its walls, and saying as significantly as dumb walls can do,
that here dwells a well regulated family, who have a parlor for their
friends; a library, or sitting-room for their own leisure and comfort;
an ample bedroom and nursery, for the parents and the little ones; a
kitchen for the cooking; and a scullery and closets, and all the other
etceteras which belong to a perfect family homestead.

And so with the grounds. The lawn or "dooryard," should be the best kept
ground on the place. The most conspicuous part of the garden should show
its shrubbery and its flowers. The side or rear approach should be
separated from the lawn, and show its constant _business_ occupation,
and openly lead off to where men and farm stock meet on common ground,
devoted to every purpose which the farm requires. Such arrangement would
be complete in all its parts, satisfactory, and lasting. Tinsel
ornament, or gewgaw decoration should never be permitted on any building
where the sober enjoyment of agricultural life is designed. It can never
add consideration or dignity to the retired gentleman even, and least of
all should it be indulged in by the farmer, dwelling on his own
cultivated acres.


Every farm house and farm cottage, where a family of any size occupy the
latter, should have a good, substantial _stone_-walled cellar beneath
it. No room attached to the farm house is more profitable, in its
occupation, than the cellar. It is useful for storing numberless
articles which are necessary to be kept warm and dry in winter, as well
as cool in summer, of which the farmer is well aware. The walls of a
cellar should rise at least one, to two, or even three feet above the
level of the ground surrounding it, according to circumstances, and the
rooms in it well ventilated by _two_ or more sliding sash windows in
each, according to size, position, and the particular kind of storage
for which it is required, so that a draft of pure air can pass through,
and give it thorough ventilation at all times. It should also be at
least seven and a half feet high in the clear; and if it be even nine
feet, that is not too much. If the soil be compact, or such as will hold
water, it should be thoroughly drained from the lowest point or corner,
and the drain always kept open; (a stone drain is the best and most
durable,) and if floored with a coat of flat, or rubble stones, well set
in good hydraulic cement--or cement alone, when the stone cannot be
obtained--all the better. This last will make it _rat proof_. For the
purpose of avoiding these destructive creatures, the _foundation_ stones
in the wall should be brought to a joint, and project at least six
inches on each side, from the wall itself, when laid upon this bottom
course; as the usual manner of rats is to burrow in a nearly
perpendicular direction from the surface, by the side of the wall, when
intending to undermine it. On arriving at the bottom, if circumvented by
the projecting stones, they will usually abandon their work. Plank of
hard wood, or hard burnt bricks, may answer this purpose when stone
cannot be had.

All cellar walls should be laid in good lime mortar, or if that be not
practicable, they should be well pointed with it. This keeps them in
place, and renders them less liable to the ingress of water and vermin.
The thickness of wall should not be less than fifteen to eighteen
inches, in any event, when of stone; and if the house walls above be
built of stone or brick, two feet is better; and in all cases the cellar
wall should be full three inches thicker than the wall resting upon it.

In the cellar of every farm house there should be an outside door, with
a flight of steps by which to pass roots and other bulky or heavy
articles, to which a wagon or cart may approach, either to receive or
discharge them. This is indispensable.

Every out-building upon the farm, let it be devoted to what purpose it
may, having a wooden floor on the ground story, should be set up
sufficiently high from the surface to admit a cat or small terrier dog
beneath such floor, with openings for them to pass in and out, or these
hiding places will become so many rat warrens upon the premises, and
prove most destructive to the grain and poultry. Nothing can be more
annoying to the farmer than these vermin, and a trifling outlay in the
beginning, will exclude them from the foundations and walls of all
buildings. Care, therefore, should be taken to leave no haunt for their

With these suggestions the ingenuity of every builder will provide
sufficient guards against the protection of vermin beneath his


Pure air, and enough of it, is the cheapest blessing one can enjoy; and
to deny one's self so indispensable an element of good health, is little
short of criminal neglect, or the sheerest folly. Yet thousands who
build at much needless expense, for the protection of their health and
that of their families, as they allege, and no doubt suppose, by
neglecting the simplest of all contrivances, in the work of ventilation,
invite disease and infirmity, from the very pains they so unwittingly
take to ward off such afflictions.

A man, be he farmer or of other profession, finding himself prosperous
in life, sets about the very sensible business of building a house for
his own accommodation. Looking back, perhaps, to the days of his
boyhood, in a severe climate, he remembers the not very highly-finished
tenement of his father, and the wide, open fireplace which, with its
well piled logs, was scarcely able to warm the large living-room, where
the family were wont to huddle in winter. He possibly remembers, with
shivering sympathy, the sprinkling of snow which he was accustomed to
find upon his bed as he awaked in the morning, that had found its way
through the frail casing of his chamber window--but in the midst of all
which he grew up with a vigorous constitution, a strong arm, and a
determined spirit. He is resolved that _his_ children shall encounter no
such hardships, and that himself and his excellent helpmate shall suffer
no such inconvenience as his own parents had done, who now perhaps, are
enjoying a strong and serene old age, in their old-fashioned, yet to
them not uncomfortable tenement. He therefore determines to have a snug,
_close_ house, where the cold cannot penetrate. He employs all his
ingenuity to make every joint an air-tight fit; the doors must swing to
an air-tight joint; the windows set into air-tight frames; and to
perfect the catalogue of his comforts, an air-tight stove is introduced
into every occupied room which, perchance, if he can afford it, are
further warmed and poisoned by the heated flues of an air-tight furnace
in his air-tight cellar. In short, it is an air-tight concern
throughout. His family breathe an air-tight atmosphere; they eat their
food cooked in an "air-tight kitchen witch," of the latest "premium
pattern;" and thus they start, father, mother, children, all on the high
road--if persisted in--to a galloping consumption, which sooner or later
conducts them to an air-tight dwelling, not soon to be changed. If such
melancholy catastrophe be avoided, colds, catarrhs, headaches, and all
sorts of bodily afflictions shortly make their appearance, and they
wonder what is the matter! They live so snug! their house is so warm!
they sleep so comfortable! how can it be? True, in the morning the air
of their sleeping-rooms feels close, but then if a window is opened it
will chill the rooms, and that will give them colds. What _can_ be the
matter? The poor creatures never dream that they have been breathing,
for hour after hour, decomposed air, charged with poisonous gases, which
cannot escape through the tight walls, or over the tight windows, or
through the tight stoves; and thus they keep on in the sure course to
infirmity, disease, and premature death--all for the want of a little
ventilation! Better indeed, that instead of all this painstaking, a pane
were knocked out of every window, or a panel out of every door in the

We are not disposed to talk about cellar furnaces for heating a farmer's
house. They have little to do in the farmer's inventory of goods at all,
unless it be to give warmth to the hall--and even then a snug box stove,
with its pipe passing into the nearest chimney is, in most cases, the
better appendage. Fuel is usually abundant with the farmer; and where
so, its benefits are much better dispensed in open stoves or fireplaces,
than in heating furnaces or "air-tights."

We have slightly discussed this subject of firing in the farm house,
in a previous page, but while in the vein, must crave another word.
A farmer's house should _look_ hospitable as well as _be_ hospitable,
both outside and in; and the broadest, most cheerful look of hospitality
within doors, in cold weather, is an _open_ fire in the chimney
fireplace, with the blazing wood upon it. There is no _mistake_ about
it. It thaws you out, if cold; it stirs you up, if drooping; and is the
welcome, winning introduction to the good cheer that is to follow.

A short time ago we went to pay a former town friend a visit. He had
removed out to a snug little farm, where he could indulge his
agricultural and horticultural tastes, yet still attend to his town
engagements, and enjoy the quietude of the country. We rang the door
bell. A servant admitted us; and leaving overcoat and hat in the hall,
we entered a lone room, with an "air-tight" stove, looking as black and
solemn as a Turkish eunuch upon us, and giving out about the same degree
of genial warmth as the said eunuch would have expressed had he been
there--an emasculated warming machine truly! On the floor was a Wilton
carpet, too fine to stand on; around the room were mahogany sofas and
mahogany chairs, all too fine to sit on--at all events to _rest_ one
upon if he were fatigued. The blessed light of day was shut out by
crimson and white curtains, held up by gilded arrows; and upon the
mantle piece, and on the center and side tables were all sorts of
gimcracks, costly and worthless. In short, there was no _comfort_ about
the whole concern. Hearing our friend coming up from his dining-room
below, where too, was his _cellar kitchen_--that most abominable of all
appendages to a farm house, or to any other country house, for that
matter--we buttoned our coat up close and high, thrust our hands into
our pockets, and walked the room, as he entered. "Glad to see you--glad
to see you, my friend!" said he, in great joy; "but dear me, why so
buttoned up, as if you were going? What's the matter?" "My good sir," we
replied, "you asked us to come over and see you, 'a _plain farmer_,' and
'take a quiet family dinner with you.' We have done so; and here find
you with all your town nonsense about you. No fire to warm by; no seat
to rest in; no nothing like a farm or farmer about you; and it only
needs your charming better half, whom we always admired, when she lived
in town, to take down her enameled harp, and play

  'In fairy bowers by moonlight hours,'

to convince one that instead of ruralizing in the country, you had gone
a peg higher in town residence! No, no, we'll go down to farmer
Jocelyn's, our old schoolfellow, and take a dinner of bacon and cabbage
with him. If he does occupy a one-story house, he lives up in sunshine,
has an open fireplace, with a blazing wood fire on a chilly day, and his
'latch string is always out.'"

Our friend was petrified--astonished! We meant to go it rather strong
upon him, but still kept a frank, good-humored face, that showed him no
malice. He began to think he was not exactly in character, and essayed
to explain. We listened to his story. His good wife came in, and all
together, we had a long talk of their family and farming arrangements;
how they had furnished their house; and how they proposed to live; but
wound up with a sad story, that their good farming neighbors didn't call
on them the _second_ time--kind, civil people they appeared, too--and
while they were in, acted as though afraid to sit down, and afraid to
stand up;--in short, they were dreadfully embarrassed; for why, our
friends couldn't tell, but now began to understand it. "Well, my good
friends," said we, "you have altogether mistaken country life in the
outset. To live on a farm, it is neither necessary to be vulgar, nor
clownish, nor to affect ignorance. _Simplicity_ is all you require, in
manners, and equal simplicity in your furniture and appointments. Now
just turn all this nonsense in furniture and room dressing out of doors,
and let some of your town friends have it. Get some simple, comfortable,
cottage furniture, much better for all purposes, than this, and you will
settle down into quiet, natural country life before you are aware of it,
and all will go 'merry as a marriage bell' with you, in a little
time"--for they both loved the country, and were truly excellent people.
We continued, "I came to spend the day and the night, and I will stay;
and this evening we'll go down to your neighbor Jocelyn's; and you, Mrs.
N----, shall go with us; and we will see how quietly and comfortably he
and his family take the world in a farmer's way."

We did go; not in carriage and livery, but walked the pleasant half mile
that lay between them; the exercise of which gave us all activity and
good spirits. Jocelyn was right glad to see us, and Patty, his staid and
sober wife, with whom we had romped many an innocent hour in our
childhood days, was quite as glad as he. But they _looked_ a little
surprised that such "great folks" as their new neighbors, should drop in
so unceremoniously, and into their common "keeping room," too, to chat
away an evening. However, the embarrassment soon wore off. We talked of
farming; we talked of the late elections; we talked of the fruit trees
and the strawberry beds; and Mrs. Jocelyn, who was a pattern of good
housekeeping, told Mrs. N---- how _she_ made her apple jellies, and her
currant tarts, and cream cheeses; and before we left they had exchanged
ever so many engagements,--Mrs. Patty to learn her new friend to do half
a dozen nice little matters of household pickling and preserving; while
she, in turn, was to teach Nancy and Fanny, Patty's two rosy-cheeked
daughters, almost as pretty as their mother was at their own age, to
knit a bead bag and work a fancy chair seat! And then we had apples and
nuts, all of the very best--for Jocelyn was a rare hand at grafting and
managing his fruit trees, and knew the best apples all over the country.
We had, indeed, a capital time! To cut the story short, the next spring
our friend sent his _fancy_ furniture to auction, and provided his house
with simple cottage furnishings, at less than half the cost of the
other; which both he and his wife afterward declared was infinitely
better, for all house-keeping purposes. He also threw a neat wing on to
the cottage, for an upper kitchen and its offices, and they now live
like sensible country folks; and with their healthy, frolicksome
children, are worth the envy of all the dyspeptic, town-fed people in

A long digression, truly; but so true a story, and one so apt to our
subject can not well be omitted. But what has all this to do with
ventilation? We'll tell you. Jocelyn's house was _ventilated_ as it
should be;--for he was a methodical, thoughtful man, who planned and
built his house himself--not the mechanical work, but directed it
throughout, and saw that it was faithfully done; and that put us in mind
of the story.

To be perfect in its ventilation, every room in the house, even to the
closets, should be so arranged that a current of air _may_ pass through,
to keep it pure and dry. In living rooms, fresh air in sufficient
quantity may usually be admitted through the doors. In sleeping rooms
and closets, when doors may not be left open, one or more of the lower
panels of the door may be filled by a rolling blind, opening more or
less, at pleasure; or a square or oblong opening for that purpose, may
be left in the base board, at the floor, and covered by a wire netting.
And in all rooms, living apartments, as well as these, an opening of at
least sixty-four square inches should be made in the wall, near the
ceiling, and leading into an air flue, to pass into the garret. Such
opening may be filled by a rolling blind, or wire screen, as below, and
closed or kept open, at pleasure. Some builders prefer an air register
to be placed in the chimney, over the fireplace or stove, near the
ceiling; but the liability to annoyance, by smoke escaping through it
into the room, if not thoroughly done, is an objection to this latter
method, and the other may be made, in its construction, rather
ornamental than otherwise, in appearance. All such details as these
should be planned when the building is commenced, so that the several
flues may be provided as the building proceeds. In a stone or brick
house, a small space may be left in the walls, against which these air
registers may be required; and for inner rooms, or closets, they may
pass off into the openings of the partitions, and so up into the garret;
from which apertures of escape may be left, or made at the gables, under
the roof, or by a blind in a window.

For the admission of air to the first floor of the house, a special
opening through the walls, for that purpose, can hardly be necessary;
as the doors leading outside are usually opened often enough for such
object. One of the best ventilated houses we have ever seen, is that
owned and occupied by Samuel Cloon, Esq., of Cincinnati. It is situated
on his farm, three miles out of the city, and in its fine architectural
appearance and finished appointments, as a rural residence and
first-class farm house, is not often excelled. Every closet is
ventilated through rolling blinds in the door panels; and foul air,
either admitted or created within them, is passed off at once by flues
near the ceiling overhead, passing into conductors leading off through
the garret.

Where chambers are carried into the roof of a house, to any extent, they
are sometimes incommoded by the summer heat which penetrates them,
conducted by the chamber ceiling overhead. This heat can best be
obviated by inserting a small window at each opposite peak of the
garret, by which the outside air can circulate through, above the
chambers, and so pass off the heated air, which will continually ascend.
All this is a simple matter, for which any builder can provide, without
particular expense or trouble.


Ground, in the country, being the cheapest item which the farmer can
devote to building purposes, his object should be to _spread over_,
rather than to go deeply into it, or climb high in the air above it.
We repudiate cellar kitchens, or under-ground rooms for house work,
altogether, as being little better than a nuisance--dark, damp,
unhealthy, inconvenient, and expensive. The several rooms of a farm
dwelling house should be compact in arrangement, and contiguous as may
be to the principally-occupied apartments. Such arrangement is cheaper,
more convenient, and labor-saving; and in addition, more in accordance
with a good and correct taste in the outward appearance of the house

The general introduction of cooking stoves, and other stoves and
apparatus for warming houses, within the last twenty years, which we
acknowledge to be a great acquisition in comfort as well as in
convenience and economy, has been carried to an extreme, not only in
shutting up and shutting out the time-honored open fireplace and its
broad hearthstone, with their hallowed associations, but also in
prejudice to the health of those who so indiscriminately use them,
regardless of other arrangements which ought to go with them. A farm
house should never be built without an ample, open fireplace in its
kitchen, and other _principally_ occupied rooms; and in all rooms where
stoves are placed, and fires are daily required, the _open_ Franklin
should take place of the close or air-tight stove, unless extraordinary
ventilation to such rooms be adopted also. The great charm of the
farmer's winter evening is the open fireside, with its cheerful blaze
and glowing embers; not wastefully expended, but giving out that genial
warmth and comfort which, to those who are accustomed to its enjoyment,
is a pleasure not made up by any invention whatever; and although the
cooking stove or range be required--which, in addition to the fireplace,
we would always recommend, to lighten female labor--it can be so
arranged as not to interfere with the enjoyment or convenience of the
open fire.

In the construction of the chimneys which appear in the plans submitted,
the great majority of them--particularly those for northern
latitudes--are placed in the interior of the house. They are less liable
to communicate fire to the building, and assist greatly in warming the
rooms through which they pass. In southern houses they are not so
necessary, fires being required for a much less period of the year. Yet
even there they may be oftentimes properly so placed. Where holes, for
the passage of stovepipes through floors, partitions, or into chimneys,
are made, stone, earthen, or iron thimbles should be inserted; and,
except in the chimneys, such holes should be at least one to two inches
larger than the pipe itself. The main flues of the chimney conducting
off the smoke of the different fires, should be built separate, and kept
apart by a partition of one brick in thickness, and carried out
independently, as in no other way will they rid the house of smoky


An illustration in point: Fifteen years ago we purchased and removed
into a most substantial and well-built stone house, the chimneys of
which were constructed with open fireplaces, and the flues carried up
separately to the top, where they all met upon the same level surface,
as chimneys in past times usually were built, thus. Every fireplace in
the house (and some of them had stoves in,) smoked intolerably; so much
so, that when the wind was in some quarters the fires had to be put out
in every room but the kitchen, which, as good luck would have it, smoked
less--although it did smoke there--than the others. After balancing the
matter in our own mind some time, whether we should pull down and
rebuild the chimneys altogether, or attempt an alteration; as we had
given but little thought to the subject of chimney draft, and to try an
experiment was the cheapest, we set to work a bricklayer, who, under our
direction, simply built over each discharge of the several flues a
separate top of fifteen inches high, in this wise: The remedy was
perfect. We have had no smoke in the house since, blow the wind as it
may, on any and all occasions. The chimneys _can't_ smoke; and the whole
expense for four chimneys, with their twelve flues, was not twenty
dollars! The remedy was in giving each outlet a _distinct_ current of
air all around, and on every side of it.



Nothing adds more to the outward expression of a dwelling, than the
style of its chimneys. We have just shown that independent chimney tops
pass off their smoke more perfectly, than when only partitioned inside
to the common point of outlet. Aside from the architectural beauty which
a group of chimney flues adds to the building, we have seen that they
are really useful, beyond the formal, square-sided piles so common
throughout the country. They denote good cheer, social firesides, and a
generous hospitality within--features which should always mark the
country dwelling; and more particularly that of the farmer.

The style and arrangement of these chimney groups may be various, as
comporting with the design of the house itself; and any good architect
can arrange them as fitted to such design. Our illustrations will show
them of different kinds, which are generally cheap in construction, and
simple, yet expressive in their arrangement.


We have discussed with tolerable fullness, the chief subjects connected
with farm buildings--sufficiently so, we trust, to make ourselves
understood as desiring to combine utility with commendable ornament in
all that pertains to them. The object has been, thus far, to give hints,
rather than models, in description. But as the point to which we have
endeavored to arrive will be but imperfectly understood without
illustration, we shall submit a few plans of houses and outbuildings,
as carrying out more fully our ideas.

We are quite aware that different forms or fashions of detail and
finish, to both outside and inside work, prevail among builders in
different sections of the United States. Some of these fashions are the
result of climate, some of conventional taste, and some of education.
With them we are not disposed to quarrel. In many cases they are
immaterial to the main objects of the work, and so long as they please
the taste or partialities of those adopting them, are of little
consequence. There are, however, certain matters of _principle_, both in
general construction and in the detail of finish, which should not be
disregarded; and these, in the designs submitted, and in the
explanations which follow, will be fully discussed, each in its place.
The particular form or style of work we have not directed, because, as
before remarked, we are no professional builder, and of course free from
the dogmas which are too apt to be inculcated in the professional
schools and workshops. We give a wide berth, and a free toleration in
all such matters, and are not disposed to raise a hornet's nest about
our ears by interfering in matters where every tyro of the drafting
board and work-bench assumes to be, and probably may be, our superior.
All minor subjects we are free to leave to the skill and ingenuity of
the builder--who, fortunately for the country, is found in almost every
village and hamlet of the land.

Modes and styles of finish, both inside and outside of buildings,
change; and that so frequently, that what is laid down as the reigning
fashion to-day, may be superseded by another fashion of
to-morrow--immaterial in themselves, only, and not affecting the shape,
arrangement, and accommodation of the building itself, which in these,
must ever maintain their relation with the use for which it is intended.
The northern dwelling, with its dependencies and appointments, requires
a more compact, snug, and connected arrangement than that of the south;
while one in the middle states may assume a style of arrangement between
them both, each fitted for their own climate and country, and in equally
good taste. The designs we are about to submit are intended to be such
as may be modified to any section of the country, although some of them
are made for extremes of north and south, and are so distinguished.
Another object we have had in view is, to give to every farmer and
country dweller of moderate means the opportunity of possessing a cheap
work which would guide him in the general objects which he wishes to
accomplish in building, that he may _have his own notions_ on the
subject, and not be subject to the caprice and government of such as
profess to exclusive knowledge in all that appertains to such subjects,
and in which, it need not be offensive to say, that although clever in
their way, they are sometimes apt to be mistaken.

Therefore, without assuming _to instruct_ the professional builder, our
plans will be submitted, not without the hope that he even, may find in
them something worthy of consideration; and we offer them to the owner
and future occupant of the buildings themselves, as models which he may
adopt, with the confidence that they will answer all his reasonable


We here present a farm house of the simplest and most unpretending kind,
suitable for a farm of twenty, fifty, or an hundred acres. Buildings
somewhat in this style are not unfrequently seen in the New England
States, and in New York; and the plan is in fact suggested, although not
copied, from some farm houses which we have known there, with
improvements and additions of our own.

  [Illustration: FARM HOUSE. Pages 73-74.]

This house may be built either of stone, brick, or wood. The style is
rather rustic than otherwise, and intended to be altogether plain, yet
agreeable in outward appearance, and of quite convenient arrangement.
The body of this house is 40×30 feet on the ground, and 12 feet high,
to the plates for the roof; the lower rooms nine feet high; the roof
intended for a pitch of 35°--but, by an error in the drawing, made
less--thus affording very tolerable chamber room in the roof story. The
L, or rear projection, containing the wash-room and wood-house, juts out
two feet from the side of the house to which it is attached, with posts
7½ feet high above the floor of the main house; the pitch of the roof
being the same. Beyond this is a building 32×24 feet, with 10 feet
posts, partitioned off into a swill-room, piggery, workshop, and
wagon-house, and a like roof with the others. A light, rustic porch,
12×8 feet, with lattice work, is placed on the front of the house, and
another at the side door, over which vines, by way of drapery, may run;
thus combining that sheltered, comfortable, and home-like expression so
desirable in a rural dwelling. The chimney is carried out in three
separate flues, sufficiently marked by the partitions above the roof.
The windows are hooded, or sheltered, to protect them from the weather,
and fitted with simple sliding sashes with 7×9 or 8×10 glass. Outer
blinds may be added, if required; but it is usually better to have these
_inside_, as they are no ornament to the outside of the building, are
liable to be driven back and forth by the wind, even if fastenings are
used, and in any event are little better than a continual annoyance.

  [Illustration: GROUND PLAN.]


The front door, over which is a single sash-light across, opens into a
hall or entry 9×7 feet, from which a door opens on either side into a
sitting-room and parlor, each 16×15 feet, lighted by a double, plain
window, at the ends, and a single two-sash window in front. Between the
entrance door and stove, are in each room a small pantry or closet for
dishes, or otherwise, as may be required. The chimney stands in the
center of the house, with a separate flue for each front room, into
which a thimble is inserted to receive the stovepipes by which they are
warmed; and from the inner side of these rooms each has a door passing
to the kitchen, or chief living room. This last apartment is 22×15 feet,
with a broad fireplace containing a crane, hooks, and trammel, if
required, and a spacious family oven--affording those homely and
primitive comforts still so dear to many of us who are not ready to
concede that all the virtues of the present day are combined in a
"perfection" cooking stove, and a "patent" heater; although there is a
chance for these last, if they should be adopted into the peaceful
atmosphere of this kitchen.

  [Illustration: CHAMBER PLAN.]

On one side of the kitchen, in rear of the stairs, is a bedroom, 9×8
feet, with a window in one corner. Adjoining that, is a buttery,
dairy-room, or closet, 9×6 feet, also having a window. At the inner end
of the stairway is the cellar passage; at the outer end is the chamber
passage, landing above, in the highest part of the roof story. Opposite
the chamber stairs is a door leading to the wash-room. Between the two
windows, on the rear side of the kitchen, is a sink, with a waste pipe
passing out through the wall. At the further corner a door opens into a
snug bedroom 9×8 feet, lighted by a window in rear; and adjoining this
is a side entry leading from the end door, 9×6 feet in area; thus making
every room in the house accessible at once from the kitchen, and giving
the greatest possible convenience in both living and house-work.

The roof story is partitioned into convenient-sized bedrooms; the
ceiling running down the pitch of the roof to within two feet of the
floor, unless they are cut short by inner partitions, as they are in the
largest chamber, to give closets. The open area in the center, at the
head of the stairs, is lighted by a small gable window inserted in the
roof, at the rear, and serves as a lumber room; or, if necessary, a bed
may occupy a part of it.

In rear of the main dwelling is a building 44×16 feet, occupied as a
wash-room and wood-house. The wash-room floor is let down eight inches
below the kitchen, and is 16×14 feet, in area, lighted by a window on
each side, with a chimney, in which is set a boiler, and fireplace, if
desired, and a sink in the corner adjoining. This room is 7½ feet in
height. A door passes from this wash-room into the wood-house, which is
30×16 feet, open in front, with a water-closet in the further corner.

The cellar is 7½ feet in height--and is the whole size of the house,
laid with good stone wall, in lime mortar, with a flight of steps
leading outside, in rear of the kitchen, and two or more sash-light
windows at the ends. If not in a loose, gravelly, or sandy soil, the
cellar should be kept dry by a drain leading out on to lower ground.

The building beyond, and adjoining the wood-house, contains a
swill-house 16×12 feet, with a window in one end; a chimney and boiler
in one corner, with storage for swill barrels, grain, meal, potatoes,
&c., for feeding the pigs, which are in the adjoining pen of same size,
with feeding trough, place for sleeping, &c., and having a window in one
end and a door in the rear, leading to a yard.

Adjoining these, in front, is a workshop and tool-house, 16×10 feet,
with a window at the end, and an entrance door near the wood house. In
this is a joiner's work-bench, a chest of working tools, such as saw,
hammer, augers, &c., &c., necessary for repairing implements, doing
little rough jobs, or other wood work, &c., which every farmer ought to
do for himself; and also storing his hoes, axes, shovels, hammers, and
other small farm implements. In this room he will find abundant
rainy-day employment in repairing his utensils of various kinds, making
his beehives, hencoops, &c., &c. Next to this is the wagon-house, 16×14
feet, with broad doors at the end, and harness pegs around the walls.

The posts of this building are 10 feet high; the rooms eight feet high,
and a low chamber overhead for storing lumber, grain, and other
articles, as may be required. Altogether, these several apartments make
a very complete and desirable accommodation to a man with the property
and occupation for which it is intended.

On one side and adjoining the house, should be the garden, the
clothes-yard, and the bee-house, which last should always stand in full
sight, and facing the most frequented room--say the kitchen--that they
can be seen daily during the swarming season, as those performing
household duties may keep them in view.


In regard to the surroundings, and approach to this dwelling, they
should be treated under the suggestions already given on these subjects.
This is an exceedingly _snug_ tenement, and everything around and about
it should be of the same character. No pretension or frippery whatever.
A neat garden, usefully, rather than ornamentally and profusely
supplied; a moderate court-yard in front; free access to the end door,
from the main every-day approach by vehicles--not on the highway, but on
the farm road or lane--the business entrance, in fact; which should also
lead to the barns and sheds beyond, not far distant. Every feature
should wear a most domestic look, and breathe an air of repose and
content. Trees should be near, but not so near as to cover the house.
A few shrubs of simple kind--some standing roses--a few climbing ones;
a syringa, a lilac, a snow ball, and a little patch or two of flowers
near the front porch, and the whole expression is given; just as one
would wish to look upon as a simple, unpretending habitation.

It is not here proposed to give working plans, or estimates, to a
nicety; or particular directions for building any design even, that we
present. The material for construction best suited to the circumstances
and locality of the proprietor must govern all those matters; and as
good builders are in most cases at hand, who are competent to give
estimates for the cost of any given plan, when the material for
construction is once settled, the question of expense is readily fixed.
The same sized house, with the same accommodation, may be made to cost
fifty to one hundred per cent. over an economical estimate, by the
increased style, or manner of its finish; or it may be kept within
bounds by a rigid adherence to the plan first adopted.

In western New York this house and attachments complete, the body of
stone, the wood-house, wagon-house, &c., of wood, may be built and well
finished in a plain way for $1,500. If built altogether of wood, with
grooved and matched vertical boarding, and battens, the whole may be
finished and painted for $800, to $1,200. For the lowest sum, the lumber
and work would be of a rough kind, with a cheap wash to color it; but
the latter amount would give good work, and a lasting coat of mineral
paint both outside and within.

As a _tenant_ house on a farm of three, four, or even five hundred
acres, where all who live in it are laborers in the field or household,
this design may be most conveniently adopted. The family inhabiting it
in winter may be well accommodated for sleeping under the main roof,
while they can at all seasons take their meals, and be made comfortable
in the several rooms. In the summer season, when a larger number of
laborers are employed, the lofts of the carriage or wagon-house and
work-shop may be occupied with beds, and thus a large share of the
expense of house building for a very considerable farm be saved. Luxury
is a quality more or less consulted by every one who builds for his
_own_ occupation on a farm, or elsewhere; and the tendency in building
is constantly to expand, to give a higher finish, and in fact, to
over-build. Indeed, if we were to draw the balance, on our _old_ farms,
between scantily-accommodated houses, and houses with needless room in
them, the latter would preponderate. Not that these latter houses either
are too good, or too convenient for the purpose for which they were
built, but they have _too much_ room, and that room badly appropriated
and arranged.

On a farm proper, the whole establishment is a _workshop_. The shop _out
of doors_, we acknowledge, is not always _dry_, nor always warm; but it
is exceedingly well aired and lighted, and a place where industrious
people dearly love to labor. Within doors it is a work-shop too. There
is always labor and occupation for the family, in the _general business_
of the farm; therefore but little room is wanted for either luxury or
leisure, and the farm house should be fully occupied, with the
exception, perhaps, of a single room on the main floor, (and that not a
large one,) for some regular business purpose. All these accommodated,
and the requirements of the house are ended. Owners of _rented_ farms
should reflect, too, that expensive houses on their estates entail
expensive repairs, and that continually. Many tenants are careless of
highly-finished houses. Not early accustomed to them, they
misappropriate, perhaps, the best rooms in the house, and pay little
attention to the purposes for which the owner designed them, or to the
_manner_ of using them. It is therefore a total waste of money to build
a house on a tenant estate anything beyond the mere comfortable wants of
the family occupying it, and to furnish the room necessary for the
accommodation of the crops, stock, and farm furniture, in the barns and
other out-buildings--all in a cheap, tidy, yet substantial way.

So, too, with the grounds for domestic purposes around the house. A
kitchen garden, sufficient to grow the family vegetables--a few plain
fruits--a _posey_ bed or two for the girls--and the story is told. Give
a larger space for these things--anything indeed, for elegance--and ten
to one, the plow is introduced, a corn or potato patch is _set out_,
field culture is adopted, and your choice grounds are torn up, defaced,
and sacrificed to the commonest uses.

Notwithstanding these drawbacks, a cheerful, home-expression may be
given, and should be given to the homestead, in the character and
construction of the buildings, be they ever so rough and homely. We can
call to mind many instances of primitive houses-_log_ cabins even--built
when none better could be had, that presented a most comfortable and
life-enjoying picture--residences once, indeed, of those who swayed "the
applause of listening senates," but under the hands of taste, and a
trifle of labor, made to look comfortable, happy, and sufficient. We
confess, therefore, to a profound veneration, if not affection, for the
humble farm house, as truly American in character; and which, with a
moderate display of skill, may be made equal to the main purposes of
life and enjoyment for all such as do not aspire to a high display, and
who are content to make the most of moderate means.


This is the plan of a house and out-buildings based chiefly on one which
we built of wood some years since on a farm of our own, and which, in
its occupation, has proved to be one of exceeding convenience to the
purposes intended. As a farm _business_ house, we have not known it
excelled; nor in the ease and facility of doing up the house-work within
it, do we know a better. It has a subdued, quiet, unpretending look; yet
will accommodate a family of a dozen workmen, besides the females
engaged in the household work, with perfect convenience; or if occupied
by a farmer with but his own family around him, ample room is afforded
them for a most comfortable mode of life, and sufficient for the
requirements of a farm of two, to three or four hundred acres.

  [Illustration: FARM HOUSE. Pages 85-86]

This house is, in the main body, 36×22 feet, one and a half stories
high, with a projection on the rear 34×16 feet, for the kitchen and its
offices; and a still further addition to that, of 26×18 feet, for
wash-room. The main body of the house is 14 feet high to the plates; the
lower rooms are 9 feet high; the roof has a pitch of 35° from a
horizontal line, giving partially-upright chambers in the main building,
and _roof_ lodging rooms in the rear. The rear, or kitchen part, is one
story high, with 10 feet posts, and such pitch of roof (which last runs
at right angles to the main body, and laps on to the main roof,) as will
carry the peak up to the same air line. This addition should retreat 6
inches from the line of the main building, on the side given in the
design, and 18 inches on the rear. The rooms on this kitchen floor are 8
feet high, leaving one foot above the upper floor, under the roof, as a
chamber garret, or lumber-room, as may be required. Beyond this, in the
rear, is the other extension spoken of, with posts 9 feet high, for a
buttery, closet, or dairy, or all three combined, and a wash-room; the
floor of which is on a level with the last, and the roof running in the
same direction, and of the same pitch. In front of this wash-room, where
not covered by the wood-house, is an open porch, 8 feet wide and 10 feet
long, the roof of which runs out at a less angle than the others--say
30° from a horizontal line. Attached to this is the wood-house, running
off by way of L, at right angles, 36×16 feet, of same height as the

Adjoining the wood-house, on the same front line, is a building 50×20
feet, with 12 feet posts, occupied as a workshop, wagon-house, stable,
and store-room, with a lean-to on the last of 15×10 feet, for a piggery.
The several rooms in this building are 8 feet high, affording a good
lumber room over the workshop, and hay storage over the wagon-house and
stable. Over the wagon-house is a gable, with a blind window swinging on
hinges, for receiving hay, thus relieving the long, uniform line of
roof, and affording ample accommodation on each side to a pigeon-house
or dovecote, if required.

The style of this establishment is of plain Italian, or bracketed, and
may be equally applied to stone, brick, or wood. The roofs are broad,
and protect the walls by their full projection over them, 2½ feet. The
small gable in the front roof of the main dwelling relieves it of its
otherwise straight uniformity, and affords a high door-window opening on
to the deck of the veranda, which latter should be 8 or 10 feet in
width. The shallow windows, also, over the wings of the veranda give it
a more cheerful expression. The lower _end_ windows of this part of the
house are hooded, or sheltered by a cheap roof, which gives them a snug
and most comfortable appearance. The veranda may appear more ornamental
than the plain character of the house requires; but any superfluous work
upon it may be omitted, and the style of finish conformed to the other.
The veranda roof is flatter than that of the house, but it may be made
perfectly tight by closer shingling, and paint; while the deck or
platform in the centre may be roofed with zinc, or tin, and a coat of
sanded paint laid upon it. The front chimney is plain, yet in keeping
with the general style of the house, and may be made of ordinary bricks.
The two parts of the chimney, as they appear in the front rooms, are
drawn together as they pass through the chamber above, and become one at
the roof. The kitchen chimneys pass up through the peaks of their
respective roofs, and should be in like character with the other.

  [Illustration: CHAMBER PLAN. GROUND PLAN.]


The front door of this house opens into a small entry or hall, 9×6 feet,
which is lighted by a low sash of glass over the front door. A door
leads into a room on each side; and at the inner end of the hall is a
recess between the two chimneys of the opposite rooms, in which may be
placed a table or broad shelf to receive hats and coats. On the left is
a parlor 22×15 feet, lighted on one side by a double window, and in
front by a single plain one. The fireplace is centrally placed on one
side of the room, in the middle of the house. On one side of the
fireplace is a closet, three feet deep, with shelves, and another closet
at the inner end of the room, near the kitchen door; or this closet may
be dispensed with for the use of this parlor, and given up to enlarge
the closet which is attached to the bedroom. Another door opens directly
into the kitchen. This parlor is 9 feet high between joints. The
sitting-room is opposite to the parlor, 19×15 feet, and lighted and
closeted in nearly the same manner, as will be seen by referring to the
floor plan.

The kitchen is the grand room of this house. It is 24×16 feet in area,
having an ample fireplace, with its hooks and trammels, and a spacious
oven by its side. It is lighted by a double window at one end, and a
single window near the fireplace. At one end of this kitchen is a most
comfortable and commodious family bedroom, 13×10 feet, with a large
closet in one corner, and lighted by a window in the side. Two windows
may be inserted if wanted. A passage leads by the side of the oven to a
sink-room, or recess, behind the chimney, with shelves to dry dishes on,
and lighted by the half of a double window, which accommodates with its
other half the dairy, or closet adjoining. A door also opens from this
recess into the closet and dairy, furnished with broad shelves, that
part of which, next the kitchen, is used for dishes, cold meat and bread
cupboards, &c.; while the part of it adjoining the window beyond, is
used for milk. This room is 14×6 feet, besides the L running up next to
the kitchen, of 6×4 feet. From the kitchen also opens a closet into the
front part of the house for any purpose needed. This adjoins the parlor,
and sitting-room, closets. In the passage to the sitting-room also opens
the stairway leading to the chambers, and beneath, at the other end of
it, next the outside wall, is a flight leading down cellar. The cellar
is excavated under the whole house, being 36×22, and 34×16 feet, with
glass windows, one light deep by four wide, of 8×10 glass; and an outer
door, and flight of steps outside, under either the sitting-room or
kitchen windows, as may be most convenient. A door opens, also, from the
kitchen, into a passage 4 feet wide and 12 feet long leading to the
wash-room, 18×16 feet, and by an outside door, through this passage to
the porch. In this passage may be a small window to give it light.

In the wash-room are two windows. A chimney at the far end accommodates
a boiler or two, and a fireplace, if required. A sink stands adjoining
the chimney. A flight of stairs, leading to a garret over head on one
side, and to the kitchen chamber on the other, stands next the dairy,
into which last a door also leads. In this wash-room may be located the
cooking stove in warm weather, leaving the main kitchen for a family and
eating room. A door also leads from the wash-room into the wood-house.

The wood-house stands lower than the floor of the wash-room, from which
it falls, by steps. This is large, because a plentiful store of wood is
needed for a dwelling of this character. If the room be not all wanted
for such purpose, a part of it may devoted to other necessary uses,
there seldom being too much shelter of this kind on a farm; through the
rear wall of this wood-house leads a door into the garden, or
clothes-yard, as the case may be; and at its extreme angle is a water
closet, 6×4 feet, by way of lean-to, with a hipped roof, 8 feet high,
running off from both the wood-house and workshop. This water-closet is
lighted by a sliding sash window.

On to the wood-house, in a continuous front line, joins the workshop, an
indispensable appendage to farm convenience. This has a flight of stairs
leading to the lumber-room above. For the furnishing of this apartment,
see description of Design I. Next to the work-house is the wagon and
tool-house, above which is the hay loft, also spread over the stable
adjoining; in which last are stalls for a pair of horses, which may be
required for uses other than the main labors of the farm--to run to
market, carry the family to church, or elsewhere. A pair of horses for
such purposes should always be kept near the house. The horse-stalls
occupy a space of 10×12 feet, with racks and feeding boxes. The plans of
these will be described hereafter. The door leading out from these
stalls is 5 feet wide, and faces the partition, so that each horse may
be led out or in at an easy angle from them. Beyond the stalls is a
passage 4 feet wide, leading to a store-room or area, from which a
flight of rough stairs leads to the hay loft above. Beyond this room,
in which is the oat bin for the horses, is a small piggery, for the
convenience of a pig or two, which are always required to consume the
daily wash and offal of the house; and not for the general _pork_ stock
of the farm; which, on one of this size, may be expected to require more
commodious quarters.

The chamber plan of this house is commodious, furnishing one large room
and three smaller ones. The small chamber leading to the deck over the
porch, may, or may not be occupied as a sleeping room. The small one
near the stairs may contain a single bed, or be occupied as a large
clothes-closet. Through this, a door leads into the kitchen chamber,
which may serve as one, or more laborers' bed-chambers. They may be
lighted by one or more windows in the rear gable.

If more convenient to the family, the parlor and sitting-room, already
described, may change their occupation, and one substituted for the

The main business approach to this house should be by a lane, or farm
road opening on the side next the stable and wagon-house. The yard, in
front of these last named buildings, should be separated from the lawn,
or front door-yard of the dwelling. The establishment should stand some
distance back from the traveled highway, and be decorated with such
trees, shrubbery, and cultivation, as the taste of the owner may direct.
No _general_ rules or directions can be applicable to this design beyond
what have already been given; and the subject must be treated as
circumstances may suggest. The unfrequented side of the house should,
however, be flanked with a garden, either ornamental, or fruit and
vegetable; as buildings of this character ought to command a
corresponding share of attention with the grounds by which they are

This house will appear equally well built of wood, brick, or stone. Its
cost, according to materials, or finish, may be $1,000 or $1,500. The
out-buildings attached, will add $400 to $600, with the same conditions
as to finish; but the whole may be substantially and well built of
either stone, brick, or wood, where each may be had at equal
convenience, for $2,000 in the interior of New York. Of course, it is
intended to do all the work plain, and in character for the occupation
to which it is intended.


At this point of our remarks a word or two may be offered on the general
subject of inside finish to farm houses, which may be applicable more or
less to any one, or all of the designs that may come under our
observation; therefore what is here said, may be applied at large.
Different sections of the United States have their own several _local_
notions, or preferences as to the mode of finish to their houses and
out-buildings, according to climate, education, or other circumstances.
In all these matters neither taste, fashion, nor climate should be
arbitrary. The manner of finish may be various, without any departure
from truth or propriety--always keeping in mind the object for which it
is intended. The _material_ for a country house should be _strong_, and
_durable_, and the work simple in its details, beyond that for either
town or suburban houses. It should be _strong_, for the reason that the
interior of the farm house is used for purposes of industry, in
finishing up and perfecting the labors of the farm; labors indispensable
too, and in amount beyond the ordinary housekeeping requirements of a
family who have little to do but merely to live, and make themselves
comfortable. The material should be _durable_, because the distance at
which the farm house is usually located from the residences of building
mechanics, renders it particularly troublesome and expensive to make
repairs, and alterations. The work should be _simple_, because cheaper
in the first place, in construction, and finish; quite as appropriate
and satisfactory in appearance; and demanding infinitely less labor and
pains to care for, and protect it afterward. Therefore all mouldings,
architraves, _chisel_-work, and gewgawgery in interior finish should be
let alone in the living and daily occupied rooms of the house. If, to a
single parlor, or _spare_ bedchamber a little _ornamental_ work be
permitted, let even that be in moderation, and just enough to teach the
active mistress and her daughters what a world of scrubbing and elbow
work they have saved themselves in the enjoyment of a plainly-finished
house, instead of one full of gingerbread work and finery. None but the
initiated can tell the affliction that _chiseled_ finishing entails on
housekeepers in the spider, fly, and other insect lodgment which it
invites--frequently the cause of more annoyance and _daily_ disquietude
in housekeeping, because unnecessary, than real griefs from which we may
not expect to escape. Bases, casings, sashes, doors--all should be
plain, and painted or stained a quiet _russet_ color--a color natural to
the woods used for the finish, if it can be, showing, in their wear, as
little of dust, soiling, and fly dirt as possible. There is no poetry
about common housekeeping. Cooking, house-cleaning, washing, scrubbing,
sweeping, are altogether matter-of-fact duties, and usually considered
_work_, not recreation; and these should all be made easy of
performance, and as seldom to be done as possible; although the first
item always was, and always _will_ be, and the last item _should_ be, an
every-day vocation for _somebody_; and the manner of inside finish to a
house has a great deal to do with all these labors.

In a stone, or brick house, the inside walls should be firred off for
plastering. This may be done either by "plugging," that is, driving a
plug of wood strongly into the mortar courses, into which the firring
should be nailed, or by laying a strip of thin board in the mortar
course, the entire length of each wall. This is better than _blocks_
laid in for such purpose, because it is effectually _bound_ by the
stone, or brick work; whereas, a block may get loose by shrinking, but
the nails which hold the firring to the plug, or to the thin strip of
board will split and _wedge_ it closer to the mason work of the outside
wall. This is an important item. It makes close work too, and leaves no
room for rats, mice, or other vermin; and as it admits a _space_--no
matter how thin--so that no outside damp from the walls can communicate
into, or through the inner plastering, it answers all purposes. The
inside, and partition walls should be of coarse, strong mortar, _floated
off_ as smoothly as may be, not a _hard finish_, which is fine, and
costly; and then papered throughout for the better rooms, and the
commonly-used rooms whitewashed. Paper gives a most comfortable look to
the rooms, more so than paint, and much less expensive, while nothing is
so sweet, tidy, and cheerful to the _working_ rooms of the house as a
_lime_ wash, either white, or softened down with some agreeable tint,
such as _light_ blue, green, drab, fawn, or russet, to give the shade
desired, and for which every _professional_ painter and whitewasher in
the vicinity, can furnish a proper recipe applicable to the place and
climate. On such subjects we choose to prescribe, rather than to play
the apothecary by giving any of the thousand and one recipes extant, for
the composition.

Our remarks upon the strength and durability of _material_ in
house-building do not apply exclusively to brick and stone. Wood is
included also; and of this, there is much difference in the kind. Sound
_white_ oak, is, perhaps the best material for the heavy frame-work of
any house or out-building, and when to be had at a moderate expense, we
would recommend it in preference to any other. If _white_ oak cannot be
had, the other varieties of oak, or chesnut are the next best. In
_light_ frame-timbers, such as studs, girts, joists, or rafters, oak is
inclined to spring and warp, and we would prefer hemlock, or chesnut,
which holds a nail equally as well, or, in its absence, pine, (which
holds a nail badly,) whitewood, or black walnut. The outside finish to a
wooden house, may be _lighter_ than in one of stone or brick. The wood
work on the outside of the latter should always be heavy, and in
character with the walls, giving an air of firmness and stability to the
whole structure. No elaborate carving, or beadwork should be permitted
on the outside work of a country house at all; and only a sufficient
quantity of ornamental _tracery_ of any kind, to break the monotony of a
plainness that would otherwise give it a formal, or uncouth expression,
and relieve it of what some would consider a pasteboard look. A farm
house, in fact, of any degree, either cheap or expensive, should wear
the same appearance as a well-dressed person of either sex; so that a
stranger, not looking at them for the purpose of inspecting their garb,
should, after an interview, be unable to tell what particular sort of
dress they wore, so perfectly in keeping was it with propriety.

In the design now under discussion, a cellar is made under the whole
body of the house; and this cellar is a _shallow_ one, so far as being
sunk into the ground is concerned, say 5½ feet, leaving 2½ feet of
cellar wall above ground--8 feet in all. A part of the wall above ground
should be covered by the excavated earth, and sloped off to a level with
the surrounding surface. A commodious, well-lighted, and well-ventilated
cellar is one of the most important apartments of the farm house. It
should, if the soil be compact, be well drained from some point or
corner within the walls into a lower level outside, to which point
within, the whole floor surface should incline, and the bottom be
floored with water-lime cement. This will make it hard, durable, and
dry. It may then be washed and scrubbed off as easily as an upper floor.
If the building site be high, and in a gravelly, or sandy soil, neither
drain nor flooring will be required. The cellar may be used for the
storage of root crops, apples, meats, and household vegetables. A
partitioned room will accommodate either a summer or a winter dairy, if
not otherwise provided, and a multitude of conveniences may be made of
it in all well arranged farmeries. But in all cases the cellar should be
well lighted, ventilated, and dry. Even the ash-house and smoke-house
may be made in it with perfect convenience, by brick or stone
partitions, and the smoke-house flue be carried up into one of the
chimney flues above, and thus make a more snug and compact arrangement
than to have separate buildings for those objects. A wash-room, in
which, also, the soap may be made, the tallow and lard tried up, and
other extraordinary labor when fire heat is to be used, may properly be
made in a cellar, particularly when on a sloping ground, and easy of
access to the ground level on one side. But, as a general rule, such
room is better on a level with the main floor of the dwelling, and there
are usually sufficient occupations for the cellar without them.

All cellar walls should be at least 18 inches thick, for even a wooden
house, and from that to 2 feet for a stone or brick one, and well laid
in strong lime-mortar. Unmortared cellar walls are frequently laid under
wooden buildings, and _pointed_ with lime-mortar inside; but this is
sometimes dug out by rats, and is apt to crumble and fall out otherwise.
A _complete_ cellar wall should be thoroughly laid in mortar.

  [Illustration: FARM HOUSE. Pages 101-102.]


We here present the reader with a substantial, plain, yet
highly-respectable stone or brick farm house, of the second class,
suitable for an estate of three, to five hundred acres, and
accommodation for a family of a dozen or more persons. The style is
mixed rural Gothic, Italian, and bracketed; yet in keeping with the
character of the farm, and the farmer's standing and occupation.

The main body of this house is 42×24 feet on the ground, and one and
three quarter stories high--the chambers running two or three feet into
the roof, as choice or convenience may direct. The roof has a pitch of
30 to 40° from a horizontal line, and broadly spread over the walls, say
two and a half feet, showing the ends of the rafters, bracket fashion.
The chimneys pass out through the peak of the roof, where the hips of
what would otherwise be the gables, connect with the long sides of the
roof covering the front and rear. On the long front is partly seen, in
the perspective, a portico, 16×10 feet--not the _chief_ entrance front,
but rather a side front, practically, which leads into a lawn or garden,
as may be most desirable, and from which the best view from the house is
commanded. Over this porch is a small gable running into the roof, to
break its monotony, in which is a door-window leading from the upper
hall on to the deck of the porch. This gable has the same finish as the
main roof, by brackets. The chamber windows are two-thirds or
three-quarters the size of the lower ones; thus showing the upper story
not full height below the plates, but running two to four feet into the
garret. The rear wing, containing the entrance or business front, is
24×32 feet, one and a half stories high, with a pitch of roof not less
than 35°, and spread over the walls both at the eaves and gable, in the
same proportion as the roof to the main body. In front of this is a
porch or veranda eight feet wide, with a low, hipped roof. In the front
and rear roofs of this wing is a dormer window, to light the chambers.
The gable to this wing is bold, and gives it character by the breadth of
its roof over the walls, and the strong brackets by which it is
supported. The chimney is thrown up strong and boldly at the point of
the roof, indicating the every-day uses of the fireplaces below, which,
although distinct and wide apart in their location on the ground floors,
are drawn together in the chambers, thus showing only one escape through
the roof.

The wood-house in the rear of the wing has a roof of the same character,
and connects with the long building in the rear, which has the same
description of roof, but hipped at one end. That end over the workshop,
and next the wood-house, shows a bold gable like the wing of the house,
and affords room and light to the lumber room over the shop, and also
gives variety and relief to the otherwise too great sameness of
roof-appearance on the further side of the establishment.

  [Illustration: GROUND PLAN. CHAMBER PLAN.]


As has been remarked, the main entrance front to this house is from the
wing veranda, from which a well finished and sizeable door leads into
the principal hall, 24×8 feet in area, and lighted by a full-sized
window at the front end. Opposite the entrance door is the door leading
into the parlor; and farther along is the staircase, under the upper
landing of which a door leads into a dining or sitting-room, as may be
determined. This hall is 10 feet high, as are all the rooms of this
lower main story. In the chimney, which adjoins the parlor side of this
hall, may be inserted a thimble for a hall stovepipe, if this method of
warming should be adopted. The parlor, into which a door leads from the
hall, is 18×16 feet, with two windows on the side, shown in perspective,
and one on the front facing the lawn, or garden. It has also a fireplace
near the hall door. At the further angle is a door leading to an entry
or passage on to the portico. E is the entry just mentioned, six feet
square, and lighted by a short sash, one light deep, over the outside
door. This portico may be made a pleasant summer afternoon and evening
resort for the family, by which the occupied rooms connect with the lawn
or garden, thus adding to its retired and private character.

Opposite the parlor, on the other side of this entry, a door leads into
a room 18×12 feet, which may be occupied as a family bedroom, library,
or small sitting-room. This is lighted by two windows, and has a closet
of 6×5 feet. A fireplace is on the inner side of this room; and near to
that, a door connects with a dining-room of the same size, having a
window in one end, and a fireplace, and closet of the same size as the
last. Through the rear wall is a door leading into a pantry, which also
communicates with the kitchen; and another door leads to the hall, and
from the hall, under the staircases, (which, at that point, are
sufficiently high for the purpose,) is a passage leading to the kitchen.

Under the wing veranda, near the point of intersection of the wing with
the main body of the house, is an _every-day_ outer door, leading into a
small entry, 6×5 feet, and lighted by a low, one-sash window over the
door. By another door, this leads to the kitchen, or family room, which
is lighted by three windows. An ample fireplace, with oven, &c.,
accommodates this room at the end. A closet, 7×5 feet, also stands next
to the entry; and beyond that, an open passage, to the left, leading out
under the front hall stairs to the rooms of the main building. A door
also leads from that passage into a _best_ pantry, for choice crockery,
sweetmeats, and tea-table comforts. Another door, near the last, leads
into a dairy or milk-room, 9×8 feet, beyond the passage; in which last,
also, may be placed a tier of narrow shelves. This milk, or dairy-room,
is lighted by a window in the end, and connects also, by a door in the
side, with the _outer_ kitchen, or wash-room. Next to this milk-room
door, in the front kitchen, is another door leading down cellar; and
through this door, passing by the upper, broad stair of the flight of
cellar steps, is another door into the wash-room. At the farther angle
of the kitchen is still another door, opening into a passage four feet
wide; and, in that passage, a door leading up a flight of stairs into
the wing chambers. This passage opens into the back kitchen, or
wash-room, 16×16 feet in area, and lighted by two windows, one of which
looks into the wood-house. In this wash-room is a chimney with boilers
and fireplace, as may be required. The cellar and chamber stairs, and
the milk-room are also accessible direct, by doors leading from this

The chamber plan will be readily understood, and requires no particular
description. The space over the wing may be partitioned off according to
the plan, or left more open for the accommodation of the "work folks,"
as occasion may demand. But, as this dwelling is intended for
substantial people, "well to do in the world," and who extend a generous
hospitality to their friends, a liberal provision of sleeping chambers
is given to the main body of the house. The parlor chamber, which is the
best, or _spare_ one, is 18×16 feet, with roomy side-closets. Besides
this, are other rooms for the daughters Sally, and Nancy, and Fanny, and
possibly Mary and Elizabeth--who want their own chambers, which they
keep so clean and tidy, with closets full of nice bedclothes, table
linen, towels, &c., &c., for certain events not yet whispered of, but
quite sure to come round. And then there are Frederick, and Robert, and
George, fine stalwart boys coming into manhood, intending to be
"somebody in the world," one day or another; they must have _their_
rooms--and good ones too; for, if any people are to be well lodged, why
not those who toil for it? All such accommodation every farm house of
this character should afford. And we need not go far, or look sharp, to
see the best men and the best women in our state and nation graduating
from the wholesome farm house thus tidily and amply provided. How
delightfully look the far-off mountains, or the nearer plains, or
prairies, from the lawn porch of this snug farm house! The distant lake;
the shining river, singing away through the valley; or the wimpling
brook, stealing through the meadow! Aye, enjoy them all, for they are
God's best, richest gifts, and we are made to love them.

The wood-house strikes off from the back kitchen, retreating two feet
from its gable wall, and is 36×14 feet in size. A bathing room may be
partitioned off 8×6 feet, on the rear corner next the wash-room, if
required, although not laid down in the plan. At the further end is the
water-closet, 6×4 feet. Or, if the size and convenience of the family
require it, a part of the wood-house may be partitioned off for a
wash-room, from which a chimney may pass up through the peak of the
roof. If so, carry it up so high that it will be above the eddy that the
wind may make in passing over the adjoining wing, not causing it to
smoke from that cause.

At the far end of the wood-house is the workshop and tool-house, 18×16
feet, lighted by two windows, and a door to enter it from beneath the
wood-house. Over this, is the lumber and store-room.

Next to this is the swill-room and pigsty for the house pigs, as
described in the last design; and over it a loft for farm seeds, small
grains, and any other storage required.

Adjoining this is the wagon and carriage-house; and above, the hayloft,
stretching, also, partly over the stable which stands next, with two
stalls, 12×5 feet each, with a flight of stairs leading to the loft, in
the passage next the door. In this loft are swinging windows, to let in
hay for the horses.

This completes the household establishment, and we leave the
surroundings to the correct judgment and good taste of the proprietor to
complete, as its position, and the variety of objects with which it may
be connected, requires.

Stone and brick we have mentioned as the proper materials for this
house; but it may be also built of wood, if more within the means and
limits of the builder. There should be no pinching in its proportions,
but every part carried out in its full breadth and effect.

The cost of the whole establishment may be from $2,000, to $3,000;
depending somewhat upon the material used, and the finish put upon it.
The first-named sum would build the whole in an economical and plain
manner, while the latter would complete it amply in its details.


It may be an objection in the minds of some persons to the various plans
here submitted, that we have connected the out-buildings _immediately_
with the offices of the dwelling itself. We are well aware that such is
not always usual; but many years observation have convinced us, that in
their use and occupation, such connection is altogether the most
convenient and economical. The only drawback is in the case of fire;
which, if it occur in any one building, the whole establishment is
liable to be consumed. This objection is conceded; but we take it, that
it is the business of every one not able to be his own insurer, to have
his buildings insured by others; and the additional cost of this
insurance is not a tithe of what the extra expense of time, labor, and
exposure is caused to the family by having the out-buildings
disconnected, and at a _fire-proof_ distance from each other. There has,
too, in the separation of these out-buildings, (we do not now speak of
barns, and houses for the stock, and the farmwork proper,) from the main
dwelling, crept into the construction of such dwellings, by modern
builders, _some_ things, which in a country establishment, particularly,
ought never to be there, such as privies, or _water-closets_, as they
are more _genteelly_ called. These last, in our estimation, have no
business _in_ a _farmer's_ house. They are an _effeminacy_, only, and
introduced by _city_ life. An _appendage_ they should be, but separated
to some distance from the living rooms, and accessible by sheltered
passages to them. The wood-house should adjoin the outer kitchen,
because the fuel should always be handy, and the outer kitchen, or
wash-room is a sort of _slop_-room, of necessity; and the night wood,
and that for the morning fires may be deposited in it for immediate use.
The workshop, and small tool-house naturally comes next to that, as
being chiefly used in stormy weather. Next to this last, would, more
conveniently, come the carriage or wagon-house, and of course a stable
for a horse or two for family use, always accessible at night, and
convenient at unseasonable hours for farm labor. In the same close
neighborhood, also, should be a small pigsty, to accommodate a pig or
two, to eat up the kitchen slops from the table, refuse vegetables,
parings, dishwater, &c., &c., which could not well be carried to the
main piggery of the farm, unless the old-fashioned filthy mode of
letting the hogs run in the road, and a trough set outside the door-yard
fence, as seen in some parts of the country, were adopted. A pig can
always be kept, and fatted in three or four months, from the wash of the
house, with a little grain, in any well-regulated farmer's family. A few
fowls may also be kept in a convenient hen-house, if desired, without
offence--all constituting a part of the _household_ economy of the

These out-buildings too, give a comfortable, domestic look to the whole
concern. Each one shelters and protects the other, and gives an air of
comfort and repose to the whole--a family expression all round. What so
naked and chilling to the feelings, as to see a country dwelling-house
all perked up, by itself, standing, literally, out of doors, without any
dependencies about it? No, no. First should stand the house, the chief
structure, in the foreground; appendant to that, the kitchen wing; next
in grade, the wood-house; covering in, also, the minor offices of the
house. Then by way of setting up, partially on their own account, should
come the workshop, carriage-house, and stable, as practically having a
separate character, but still subordinate to the house and its
requirements; and these too, may have their piggery and hen-house, by
way of tapering off to the adjoining fence, which encloses a kitchen
garden, or family orchard. Thus, each structure is appropriate in its
way--and together, they form a combination grateful to the sight, as a
complete rural picture. All objections, on account of filth or vermin,
to this connection, may be removed by a cleanly keeping of the
premises--a removal of all offal immediately as it is made, and daily or
weekly taking it on to the manure heaps of the barns, or depositing it
at once on the grounds where it is required. In point of health, nothing
is more congenial to sound physical condition than the occasional smell
of a stable, or the breath of a cow, not within the immediate contiguity
to the occupied rooms of the dwelling. On the score of neatness,
therefore, as we have placed them, no bar can be raised to their


This is perhaps a more ambitious house than either of the preceding,
although it may be adapted to a domain of the same extent and value. It
is plain and unpretending in appearance; yet, in its ample finish, and
deeply drawn, sheltering eaves, broad veranda, and spacious
out-buildings, may give accommodation to a larger family indulging a
more liberal style of living than the last.

By an error in the engraving, the main roof of the house is made to
appear like a double, or gambrel-roof, breaking at the intersection of
the gable, or hanging roof over the ends. This is not so intended. The
roofs on each side are a straight line of rafters. The Swiss, or hanging
style of gable-roof is designed to give a more sheltered effect to the
elevation than to run the end walls to a peak in the point of the roof.

By a defect in the drawing, the roof of the veranda is not sufficiently
thrown over the columns. This roof should project at least one foot
beyond them, so as to perfectly shelter the mouldings beneath from the
weather, and conform to the style of the main roof of the house.

  [Illustration: FARM HOUSE. Pages 115-116.]

The material of which it is built may be of either stone, brick, or
wood, as the taste or convenience of the proprietor may suggest. The
main building is 44×36 feet, on the ground. The cellar wall may show 18
to 24 inches above the ground, and be pierced by windows in each end, as
shown in the plan. The height of the main walls may be two full stories
below the roof plates, or the chambers may run a foot or two into the
garret, at the choice of the builder, either of which arrangements may
be permitted.

The front door opens from a veranda 28 feet long by 10 feet in depth,
dropping eight inches from the door-sill. This veranda has a hipped
roof, which juts over the columns in due proportion with the roof of the
house over its walls. These columns are plain, with brackets, or braces
from near their tops, sustaining the plate and finish of the roof above,
which may be covered either with tin or zinc, painted, or closely

The walls of the house may be 18 to 20 feet high below the plates; the
roof a pitch of 30 to 45°, which will afford an upper garret, or store,
or small sleeping rooms, if required; and the eaves should project two
to three feet, as climate may demand, over the walls. A plain
finish--that is, ceiled underneath--is shown in the design, but brackets
on the ends of the rafters, beaded and finished, may be shown, if
preferred. The gables are _Swiss-roofed_, or _truncated_, thus giving
them a most sheltered and comfortable appearance, particularly in a
northerly climate. The small gable in front relieves the roof of its
monotony, and affords light to the central garret. The chimneys are
carried out with partition flues, and may be topped with square caps,
as necessity or taste may demand.

Retreating three feet from the kitchen side of the house runs, at right
angles, a wing 30×18 feet, one and a half stories high, with a veranda
eight feet wide in front. Next in rear of this, continues a wood-house,
30×18 feet, one story high, with ten feet posts, and open in front, the
ground level of which is 18 inches below the floor of the wing to which
it is attached. The roof of these two is of like character with that of
the main building.

Adjoining this wood-house, and at right angles with it, is a building
68×18 feet, projecting two feet outside the line of wood-house and
kitchen. This building is one and a half stories high, with 12 feet
posts, and roof in the same style and of equal pitch as the others.

  [Illustration: GROUND PLAN.]


The front door from the veranda of the house opens into a hall, 18×8
feet, and 11 feet high, amply lighted by sash windows on the sides, and
over the door. From the rear of this hall runs a flight of easy stairs,
into the upper or chamber hall. On one side of the lower hall, a door
leads into a parlor, 18 feet square, and 11 feet high, lighted by three
windows, and warmed by an open stove, or fireplace, the pipe passing
into a chimney flue in the rear. A door passes from this parlor into a
rear passage, or entry, thus giving it access to the kitchen and rear
apartments. At the back end of the front hall, a door leads into the
rear passage and kitchen; and on the side opposite the parlor, a door
opens into the sitting or family room, 18×16 feet in area, having an
open fireplace, and three windows. On the hall side of this room, a door
passes into the kitchen, 22×16 feet, and which may, in case the
requirements of the family demand it, be made the chief family or living
room, and the last one described converted into a library. In this
kitchen, which is lighted by two windows, is a liberal open fireplace,
with an ample oven by its side, and a sink in the outer corner. A flight
of stairs, also, leads to the rear chambers above; and a corresponding
flight, under them, to the cellar below. A door at each end of these
stairs, leads into the back entry of the house, and thus to the other
interior rooms, or through the rear outer door to the back porch. This
back entry is lighted by a single sash window over the outside door
leading to the porch. Another door, opposite that leading down cellar,
opens into the passage through the wing. From the rear hall, which is
16×5 feet, the innermost passage leads into a family bedroom, or
nursery, 16×14 feet, lighted by a window in each outside wall, and
warmed by an open fireplace, or stove, at pleasure. Attached to this
bedroom is a clothes-closet, 8×4 feet, with shelves, and drawers. Next
the outer door, in rear end of the hall, is a small closet opening from
it, 6×4 feet in dimensions, convertible to any use which the mistress of
the house may direct.

  [Illustration: CHAMBER PLAN.]

Opening into the wing from the kitchen, first, is a large closet and
pantry, supplied with a table, drawers, and shelves, in which are stored
the dishes, table furniture, and edibles necessary to be kept at a
moment's access. This room is 14×8 feet, and well lighted by a window of
convenient size. If necessary, this room may have a partition, shutting
off a part from the everyday uses which the family requires. In this
room, so near to the kitchen, to the sink, to hot-water, and the other
little domestic accessories which good housewives know so well how to
arrange and appreciate, all the nice little table-comforts can be got
up, and perfected, and stored away, under lock and key, in drawer, tub,
or jar, at their discretion, and still their eyes not be away from their
subordinates in the other departments. Next to this, and connected by a
door, is the dairy, or milk-room, also 14×8 feet; which, if necessary,
may be sunk three or four feet into the ground, for additional coolness
in the summer season, and the floor reached by steps. In this are ample
shelves for the milkpans, conveniences of churning, &c., &c. But, if the
dairy be a prominent object of the farm, a separate establishment will
be required, and the excavation may not be necessary for ordinary
household uses. Out of this milk-room, a door leads into a wash-room,
18×14 feet. A passage from the kitchen also leads into this. The
wash-room is lighted by two windows in rear, and one in front. A sink is
between the two rear windows, with conductor leading outside, and a
closet beneath it, for the iron ware. In the chimney, at the end, are
boilers, and a fireplace, an oven, or anything else required, and a door
leading to a platform in the wood-house, and so into the yard. On the
other side of the chimney, a door leads into a bathing-room, 7×6 feet,
into which hot water is drawn from one of the boilers adjoining, and
cold water may be introduced, by a hand-pump, through a pipe leading
into the well or cistern.

As no more convenient opportunity may present itself, a word or two will
be suggested as to the location of the bath-room in a country house. In
city houses, or country houses designed for the summer occupancy of city
dwellers, the bathing-rooms are usually placed in the second or chamber
story, and the water for their supply is drawn from cisterns still above
_them_. This arrangement, in city houses, is made chiefly from the want
of room on the ground floor; and, also, thus arranged in the
city-country houses, _because_ they are so constructed in the city. In
the farm house, or in the country house proper, occupied by whom it may
be, such arrangement is unnecessary, expensive, and inconvenient.
Unnecessary, because there is no want of room on the ground; expensive,
because an upper cistern is always liable to leakages, and a consequent
wastage of water, wetting, and rotting out the floors, and all the
slopping and dripping which such accidents occasion; and inconvenient,
from the continual up-and-down-stair labor of those who occupy the bath,
to say nothing of the piercing the walls of the house, for the admission
of pipes to lead in and let out the water, and the thousand-and-one
vexations, by way of plumbers' bills, and expense of getting to and from
the house itself, always a distance of some miles from the mechanic.

The only defence for such location of the bath-room and cisterns is, the
convenience and privacy of access to them, by the females of the family.
This counts but little, if anything, over the place appropriated in
this, and the succeeding designs of this work. The access is almost, if
not quite as private as the other, and, in case of ill-health, as easily
approachable to invalids. And on the score of economy in construction,
repair, or accident, the plan here adopted is altogether preferable. In
this plan, the water is drawn from the boiler by the turning of a cock;
that from the cistern, by a minute's labor with the hand-pump. It is let
off by the drawing of a plug, and discharges, by a short pipe, into the
adjoining garden, or grassplat, to moisten and invigorate the trees and
plants which require it, and the whole affair is clean and sweet again.
A screen for the window gives all the privacy required, and the most
fastidious, shrinking female is as retired as in the shadiest nook of
her dressing-room.

So with water-closets. A fashion prevails of thrusting these noisome
things into the midst of sleeping chambers and living rooms--pandering
to effeminacy, and, at times, surcharging the house--for they cannot,
at _all_ times, and under _all_ circumstances, be kept perfectly
close--with their offensive odor. _Out_ of the house they belong; and if
they, by any means, find their way within its walls proper, the fault
will not be laid at our door.

To get back to our description. This bathing-room occupies a corner of
the wood-house.

A raised platform passes from the wash-room in, past the bath-room, to a
water-closet, which may be divided into two apartments, if desirable.
The vaults are accessible from the rear, for cleaning out, or
introducing lime, gypsum, powdered charcoal, or other deodorizing
material. At the extreme corner of the wood-house, a door opens into a
feed and swill-room, 20×8 feet, which is reached by steps, and stands
quite eighteen inches above the ground level, on a stone under-pinning,
or with a stone cellar beneath, for the storage of roots in winter. In
one corner of this is a boiler and chimney, for cooking food for the
pigs and chickens. A door leads from this room into the piggery, 20×12
feet, where half-a-dozen swine may be kept. A door leads from this pen
into a yard, in the rear, where they will be less offensive than if
confined within. If necessary, a flight of steps, leading to the loft
overhead, may be built, where corn can be stored for their feeding.

Next to this is the workshop and tool-house, 18×14 feet; and, in rear, a
snug, warm house for the family chickens, 18×6 feet. These chickens may
also have the run of the yard in rear, with the pigs, and apartments in
the loft overhead for roosting.

Adjoining the workshop is the carriage house, 18×18 feet, with a flight
of stairs to the hayloft above, in which is, also, a dovecote; and,
leading out of the carriage floor, is the stable, 18×12 feet, with
stalls for two or four horses, and a passage of four feet wide, from the
carriage-house into it; thus completing, and drawing under one
continuous roof, and at less exposure than if separated, the chief
every-day requirements of living, to a well-arranged and
highly-respectable family.

The chamber plan of the dwelling will be readily understood by reference
to its arrangement. There are a sufficiency of closets for all purposes,
and the whole are accessible from either flight of stairs. The rooms
over the wing, of course, should be devoted to the male domestics of the
family, work-people, &c.


After the general remarks made in the preceding pages, no _particular_
instructions can be given for the manner in which this residence should
be embellished in its trees and shrubbery. The large forest trees,
always grand, graceful, and appropriate, would become such a house,
throwing a protecting air around and over its quiet, unpretending roof.
Vines, or climbing roses, might throw their delicate spray around the
columns of the modest veranda, and a varied selection of familiar
shrubbery and ornamental plants checker the immediate front and sides of
the house looking out upon the lawn; through which a spacious walk, or
carriage-way should wind, from the high road, or chief approach.

There are, however, so many objects to be consulted in the various sites
of houses, that no one rule can be laid down for individual guidance.
The surface of the ground immediately adjoining the house must be
considered; the position of the house, as it is viewed from surrounding
objects; its altitude, or depression, as affected by the adjacent lands;
its command upon surrounding near, or distant objects, in the way of
prospect; the presence of water, either in stream, pond, or lake, far or
near, or the absence of water altogether--all these enter immediately
into the manner in which the lawn of a house should be laid out, and
worked, and planted. But as a rule, all _filagree_ work, such as
serpentine paths, and tortuous, unmeaning circles, artificial piles of
rock, and a multitude of small _ornaments_--so esteemed, by some--should
never be introduced into the lawn of a _farm_ house. It is unmeaning,
in the first place; expensive in its care, in the second place;
unsatisfactory and annoying altogether. Such things about a farm
establishment are neither dignified nor useful, and should be left to
town's-people, having but a stinted appreciation of what constitutes
_natural_ beauty, and wanting to make the most of the limited piece of
ground of which they are possessed.

Nor would we shut out, by these remarks, the beauty and odor of the
flower-borders, which are so appropriately the care of the good matron
of the household and her comely daughters. To them may be devoted a
well-dug plat beneath the windows, or in the garden. Enough, and to
spare, they should always have, of such cheerful, life-giving pleasures.
We only object to their being strewed all over the ground,--a tussoc of
plant here, a patch of posey there, and a scattering of both everywhere,
without either system or meaning. They lower the dignity and simplicity
of the country dwelling altogether.

The business approach to this house is, of course, toward the stables
and carriage-house, and from them should lead off the main farm-avenue.

The kitchen garden, if possible, should lie on the kitchen side of the
house, where, also, should be placed the bee-house, in full sight from
the windows, that their labors and swarming may be watched. In fact, the
entire economy of the farm house, and its appendages, should be brought
close under the eye of the household, to engage their care and
watchfulness, and to interest them in all the little associations and
endearments--and they are many, when properly studied out--which go to
make agricultural life one of the most agreeable pursuits, if not
altogether so, in which our lot in life may be cast.

A fruit-garden, too, should be a prominent object near this house. We
are now advancing somewhat into the _elegances_ of agricultural life;
and although fruit trees, and _good_ fruits too, should hold a strong
place in the surroundings of even the humblest of all country
places--sufficient, at least, for the ample use of the family--they have
not yet been noticed, to any extent, in those already described. It may
be remarked, that the fruit-_garden_--the _orchard_, for market
purposes, is not here intended--should be placed in near proximity to
the house. All the _small_ fruits, for household use, such as
strawberries, raspberries, currants, gooseberries, blackberries, grapes,
as well as apricots, plums, nectarines, peaches, pears, apples, quinces,
or whatever fruits may be cultivated, in different localities, should be
close by, for the convenience of collecting them, and to protect them
from destruction by vermin, birds, or the depredations of creatures
_called_ human.

A decided plan of arrangement for all the plantations and grounds,
should enter into the composition of the site for the dwelling,
out-houses, gardens, &c., as they are to appear when the whole
establishment is completed; and nothing left to accident, chance, or
after-thought, which can be disposed of at the commencement. By the
adoption of such a course, the entire composition is more easily
perfected, and with infinitely greater expression of character, than if
left to the chance designs, or accidental demands of the future.

Another feature should be strictly enforced, in the outward appointments
of the farm house,--and that is, the entire withdrawal of any use of the
highway, in its occupation by the stock of the farm, except in leading
them to and from its enclosures. Nothing looks more slovenly, and
nothing can be more unthrifty, in an _enclosed_ country, than the
running of farm stock in the highway. What so untidy as the approach to
a house, with a herd of filthy hogs rooting about the fences, basking
along the sidewalk, or feeding at a huge, uncouth, hollowed log, in the
road near the dwelling. It may be out of place here to speak of it, but
this disgusting spectacle has so often offended our sight, at the
approach of an otherwise pleasant farm establishment, that we cannot
forego the opportunity to speak of it. The road lying in front, or
between the different sections of the farm, should be as well, and as
cleanly kept as any portion of the enclosures, and it is equally a sin
against good taste and neighborhood-morality, to have it otherwise.


This is frequently recommended by writers on country embellishment, as
indispensable to a finished decoration of the farm. Such may, or may not
be the fact. Trees shade the roads, when planted on their sides, and so
they partially do the fields adjoining, making the first muddy, in bad
weather, by preventing the sun drying them, and shading the crops of the
last by their overhanging foliage, in the season of their growth. Thus
they are an evil, in moist and heavy soils. Yet, in light soils, their
shade is grateful to the highway traveler, and not, perhaps, injurious
to the crops of the adjoining field; and when of proper kinds, they add
grace and beauty to the domain in which they stand. We do not,
therefore, indiscriminately recommend them, but leave it to the
discretion of the farmer, to decide for himself, having seen estates
equally pleasant with, and without trees on the roadside. Nothing,
however, can be more beautiful than a clump of trees in a
pasture-ground, with a herd, or a flock beneath them, near the road; or
the grand and overshadowing branches of stately tree, in a rich meadow,
leaning, perhaps, over the highway fence, or flourishing in its solitary
grandeur, in the distance--each, and all, imposing features in the rural
landscape. All such should be preserved, with the greatest care and
solicitude, as among the highest and most attractive ornaments which the
farm can boast.

  [Illustration: FARM HOUSE. Pages 131-132.]


We here present a dwelling of a more ambitious and pretending character
than any one which we have, as yet, described, and calculated for a
large and wealthy farmer, who indulges in the elegances of country life,
dispenses a liberal hospitality, and is every way a country gentleman,
such as all our farmers of ample means should be. It will answer the
demands of the retired man of business as well; and is, perhaps, as full
in its various accommodation as an American farm or country house may
require. It claims no distinct style of architecture, but is a
composition agreeable in effect, and appropriate to almost any part of
the country, and its climate. Its site may be on either hill or
plain--with a view extensive, or restricted. It may look out over broad
savannas, cultivated fields, and shining waters; it may nestle amid its
own quiet woods and lawn in its own selected shade and retirement, or
lord it over an extensive park, ranged by herds and flocks, meandered by
its own stream, spreading anon into the placid lake, or rushing swiftly
over its own narrow bed--an independent, substantial, convenient, and
well-conditioned home, standing upon its own broad acres, and comporting
with the character and standing of its occupant, among his friends and

The main building is 50×40 feet in area upon the ground, two stories
high; the ground story 11 feet high, its floor elevated 2½ or 3 feet
above the level of the surrounding surface, as its position may demand;
the chambers 9 feet high, and running 2 feet into the roof. The rear
wing is one and a half stories high, 36×16 feet; the lower rooms 11 feet
high, with a one story lean-to range of closets, and small rooms on the
weather side, 8 feet in width and 9 feet high. In the rear of these is a
wood-house, 30×20 feet, with 10 feet posts, dropped to a level with the
ground. At the extremity of this is a building, by way of an L, 60×20
feet, one and a half stories high, with a lean-to, 12×30 feet, in the
rear. The ground rooms of this are elevated 1½ feet above the ground,
and 9 feet high. A broad roof covers the whole, standing at an angle of
40 or 45° above a horizontal line, and projecting widely over the walls,
2½ to 3 feet on the main building, and 2 feet on the others, to shelter
them perfectly from the storms and damps of the weather. A small cupola
stands out of the ridge of the rear building, which may serve as a
ventilator to the apartments and lofts below, and in it may be hung a
bell, to summon the household, or the field laborers, as the case may
be, to their duties or their meals.

The design, as here shown, is rather florid, and perhaps profusely
ornamental in its finish, as comporting with the taste of the day; but
the cut and moulded trimmings may be left off by those who prefer a
plain finish, and be no detriment to the general effect which the deep
friezes of the roofs, properly cased beneath, may give to it. Such,
indeed, is our own taste; but this full finish has been added, to
gratify such as wish the full ornament which this style of building may

  [Illustration: GROUND PLAN.]


The front of this house is accommodated by a porch, or veranda, 40 feet
long, and 10 feet wide, with a central, or entrance projection of 18
feet in length, and 12 feet in width, the floor of which is eight inches
below the main floor of the house. The wings, or sides of this veranda
may be so fitted up as to allow a pleasant conservatory on each side of
the entrance area in winter, by enclosing them with glass windows, and
the introduction of heat from a furnace under the main hall, in the
cellar of the house. This would add to its general effect in winter,
and, if continued through the summer, would not detract from its
expression of dignity and refinement. From the veranda, a door in the
center of the front, with two side windows, leads into the main hall,
which is 26×12 feet in area, two feet in the width of which is taken
from the rooms on the right of the main entrance. On the left of the
hall a door opens into a parlor or drawing-room, marked P, 20 feet
square, with a bay window on one side, containing three sashes, and
seats beneath. A single window lights the front opening on to the
veranda. On the opposite side to this is the fireplace, with blank walls
on each side. On the opposite side of the hall is a library, 18×16 feet,
with an end window, and a corresponding one to the parlor, in front,
looking out on the veranda. In case these portions of the veranda,
opposite the two front windows are occupied as conservatories, these
windows should open to the floor, to admit a walk immediately into them.
At the farther corner of the library a narrow door leads into an office,
or business apartment, 12×8 feet, and opening by a broad door, the upper
half of which is a lighted sash. This door leads from the office out on
a small porch, with a floor and two columns, 8×5 feet, and nine feet
high, with a gable and double roof of the same pitch as the house.
Between the chimney flues, in the rear of this room may be placed an
iron safe, or chest for the deposit of valuable papers; and, although
small, a table and chairs sufficient to accommodate the business
requirements of the occupant, may be kept in it. A chimney stands in the
center of the inner wall of the library, in which may be a fireplace, or
a flue to receive a stovepipe, whichever may be preferred for warming
the room.

Near the hall side of the library a door opens into a passage leading
into the family bedroom, or nursery. A portion of this passage may be
shelved and fitted up as a closet for any convenient purpose. The
nursery is 18×16 feet in size, lighted by two windows. It may have an
open fireplace, or a stove, as preferred, let into the chimney,
corresponding to that in the library. These two chimneys may either be
drawn together in the chambers immediately above, or carried up
separately into the garret, and pass out of the roof in one stack, or
they maybe built in one solid mass from the cellar bottom; but they are
so placed here, as saving room on the floors, and equally accommodating,
in their separate divisions, the stovepipes that may lead into them.
On the inner side of the nursery, a door leads into a large closet, or
child's sleeping-room, 9×8 feet; or it may be used as a dressing-room,
with a sash inserted in the door to light it. A door may also lead from
it into the small rear entry of the house, and thus pass directly out,
without communicating with the nursery. On the extreme left corner of
the nursery is a door leading into the back entry, by which it
communicates either with the rear porch, the dining-room, or the
kitchen. Such a room we consider indispensable to the proper
accommodation of a house in the country, as saving a world of
up-and-down-stairs' labor to her who is usually charged with the
domestic cares and supervision of the family.

On the right of the main hall an ample staircase leads into the upper
hall by a landing and broad stair at eight feet above the floor, and a
right-angled flight from that to the main floor above. Under this main
hall staircase, a door and stairs may lead into the cellar. Beyond the
turning flight below, a door leads into the back hall, or entry, already
mentioned, which is 13×4 feet in area, which also has a side passage of
8×4 feet, and a door leading to the rear porch, and another into the
kitchen at its farther side, near the outer one. Opposite the turning
flight of stairs, in the main hall, is also a door leading to the
dining-room, 20×16 feet. This is lighted by a large double window at the
end. A fireplace, or stove flue is in the center wall, and on each side
a closet for plate, or table furniture. These closets come out flush
with the chimney. At the extreme right corner a door leads into the rear
entry--or this may be omitted, at pleasure. Another door in the rear
wall leads into the kitchen, past the passage down into the cellar--or
this may be omitted, if thought best. Still another door to the left,
opens into a large dining closet of the back lean-to apartments, 8×8
feet. This closet is lighted by a window of proper architectural size,
and fitted up with a suite of drawers, shelves, table, and cupboards,
required for the preparation and deposit of the lighter family stores
and edibles. From this closet is also a door leading into the kitchen,
through which may be passed all the meats and cookery for the table,
either for safe-keeping, or immediate service. Here the thrifty and
careful housekeeper and her assistants may, shut apart, and by
themselves, get up, fabricate, and arrange all their table delicacies
with the greatest convenience and privacy, together with ease of access
either to the dining-room or kitchen--an apartment most necessary in a
liberally-arranged establishment.

From the rear entry opens a door to the kitchen, passing by the _rear_
chamber stairs. This flight of stairs may be entered directly from the
kitchen, leading either to the chamber, or under them, into the cellar,
without coming into the passage connecting with the entry or
dining-room, if preferred. In such case, a broad stair of thirty inches
in width should be next the door, on which to turn, as the door would be
at right angles with the stairs, either up or down.

The kitchen is 20×16 feet, and 11 feet high. It has an outer door
leading on the rear porch, and a window on each side of that door; also
a window, under which is a sink, on the opposite side, at the end of a
passage four feet wide, leading through the lean-to. It has also an open
fireplace, and an oven by the side of it--old fashion. It may be also
furnished with a cooking range, or stove--the smoke and fumes leading by
a pipe into a flue into the chimney. On the lean-to side is a milk or
dairy-room, 8×8 feet, lighted by a window. Here also the kitchen
furniture and meats may be stored in cupboards made for the purpose.
In rear of the kitchen, and leading from it by a door through a lighted
passage next the rear porch, is the wash-room, 16×16 feet, lighted by a
large window from the porch side. A door also leads out of the rear on
to a platform into the wood-house. Another door leads from the wash-room
into a bath-room in the lean-to 8×8 feet, into which warm water is drawn
by a pipe and pump from the boiler in the wash-room; or, if preferred,
the bath-room may be entered from the main kitchen, by the passage next
the sink. This bath-room is lighted by a window. Next to the bath-room
is a bedroom for a man servant who has charge of the fires, and heavy
house-work, wood, &c., &c. This bedroom is also 8×8 feet, and lighted by
a window in the lean-to. In front of this wash-room and kitchen is a
porch, eight inches below the floor, six feet wide, with a railing, or
not, as may be preferred. (The railing is made in the cut.) A platform,
three feet wide, leads from the back door of the wash-room to a
water-closet for the family _proper_. The wood-house is open in front,
with a single post supporting the center of the roof. At the extreme
outer angle is a water-closet for the domestics of the establishment.

Adjoining the wood-house, and opening from it into the L before
mentioned, is a workshop, and small-tool-house, 20×16 feet, lighted by a
large double window at one end. In this should be a carpenter's
work-bench and tool-chest, for the repairs of the farming utensils and
vehicles. Overhead is a store-room for lumber, or whatever else may be
necessary for use in that capacity. Next to this is a granary or
feed-room, 20×10 feet, with a small chimney in one corner, where may be
placed a boiler to cook food for pigs, poultry, &c., as the case may be.
Here may also be bins for storage of grain and meal. Leading out of this
is a flight of stairs passing to the chamber above, and a passage four
feet wide, through the rear, into a yard adjoining. At the further end
of the stairs a door opens into a poultry house, 16×10 feet, including
the stairs. The poultry room is lighted at the extreme left corner, by a
broad window. In this may be made roosts, and nesting places, and
feeding troughs. A low door under the window may be also made for the
fowls in passing to the rear yard. Adjoining the granary, and leading to
it by a door, is the carriage-house, 20×20 feet, at the gable end of
which are large doors for entrance. From the carriage-house is a broad
passage of six feet, into the stables, which are 12 feet wide, and
occupy the lean-to. This lean-to is eight feet high below the eaves,
with two double stalls for horses, and a door leading into the _side_
yard, with the doors of the carriage-house. A window also lights the
rear of the stables. A piggery 12 feet square occupies the remainder of
the lean-to in rear of the poultry-house, in which two or three pigs can
always be kept, and fatted on the offal of the house, for _small_ pork,
at any season, apart from the swine stock of the farm. A door leads out
of the piggery into the rear yard, where range also the poultry. As the
_shed_ roof shuts down on to the pigsty and stables, no loft above them
is necessary. In the loft over the granary, poultry, and carriage-house
is deposited the hay, put in there through the doors which appear in the

CHAMBER PLAN.--This is easily understood. At the head of the stairs,
over the main hall, is a large passage leading to the porch, and opening
by a door-window on the middle deck of the veranda, which is nearly
level, and tinned, or coppered, water-tight, as are also the two sides.
On either side of this upper hall is a door leading to the front
sleeping chambers, which are well closeted, and spacious. If it be
desirable to construct more sleeping-rooms, they can be partitioned
laterally from the hall, and doors made to enter them. A rear hall is
cut off from the front, lighted by a window over the lower rear porch,
and a door leads into a further passage in the wing, four feet wide,
which leads down a flight of stairs into the kitchen below. At the head
of this flight is a chamber 20×12 feet, for the female domestic's
sleeping-room, in which may be placed a stove, if necessary, passing its
pipe into the kitchen chimney which passes through it.

  [Illustration: CHAMBER PLAN.]

It is also lighted by a window over the lean-to, on the side. Back of
this, at the end of the passage, is the sleeping-room, 16 feet square,
for the "men-folks," lighted on both sides by a window. This may also be
warmed, if desired, by a stove, the pipe passing into the kitchen

The cellar may extend under the entire house and wing, as convenience or
necessity may require. If it be constructed under the main body only, an
offset should be excavated to accommodate the cellar stairs, three feet
in width, and walled in with the rest. A wide, _outer_ passage, with a
flight of steps should also be made under the rear nursery window, for
taking in and passing out bulky articles, with double doors to shut down
upon it; and partition walls should be built to support the partitions
of the large rooms above. Many minor items of detail might be mentioned,
all of which are already treated in the general remarks, under their
proper heads, in the body of the work, and which cannot here be
noticed--such as the mode of warming it, the construction of furnaces,

It may, by some builders, be considered a striking defect in the
interior accommodation of a house of this character, that the chief
entrance hall should not be extended through, from its front to the
rear, as is common in many of the large mansions of our country.
We object to the large, open hall for more than one reason, except,
possibly, in a house for _summer_ occupation only. In the first place it
is uncomfortable, in subjecting the house to an unnecessary draught of
air when it is not needed, in cold weather. Secondly, it cuts the house
into two distinct parts, making them inconvenient of access in crossing
its wide surface. Thirdly, it is uneconomical, in taking up valuable
room that can be better appropriated. For summer ventilation it is
unnecessary; that may be given by simply opening the front door and a
chamber window connected with the hall above, through which a current of
fresh air will always pass. Another thing, the hall belongs to the
front, or _dress_ part of the house, and should be _cut off_ from the
more domestic and common apartments by a partition, although accessible
to them, and not directly communicating with such apartments, which
cannot of necessity, be in keeping with its showy and pretending
character. It should contain only the _front_ flight of stairs, as a
part of its appointments, besides the doors leading to its best
apartments on the ground floor, which should be centrally placed--its
rear door being of a less pretending and subordinate character. Thus,
the hall, with its open doors, connecting the best rooms of the house on
each side, with its ample flight of stairs in the background, gives a
distinct expression of superiority in occupation to the other and
humbler portions of the dwelling.

In winter, too, how much more snug and comfortable is the house, shut in
from the prying winds and shivering cold of the outside air, which the
opposite outer doors of an open hall cannot, in their continual opening
and shutting, altogether exclude! Our own experience, and, we believe,
the experience of most housekeepers will readily concede its defects;
and after full reflection we have excluded it as both unnecessary and

Another objection has been avoided in the better class of houses here
presented, which has crept into very many of the designs of modern
builders; which is, that of using the living rooms of the family, more
or less, as passages from the kitchen apartments in passing to and from
the front hall, or chief entrance. Such we consider a decided objection,
and hence arose, probably, the older plans of by-gone years, of making
the main hall reach back to the kitchen itself. This is here obviated by
a cutting up of the rear section of the hall, by which a passage, in all
cases of the better kind of dwelling, is preserved, without encroaching
upon the occupied rooms in passing out and in. To be sure, the front
door is not the usual passage for the laborers or servants of the house,
but they are subject, any hour of the day, to be called there to admit
those who may come, and the continual opening of a private room for such
purposes is most annoying. Therefore, as matter of convenience, and as a
decided improvement on the designs above noticed, we have adhered
strictly to the separate rear passage.

The _garret_, also, as we have arranged our designs, is either
altogether left out, or made a quite unimportant part of the dwelling.
It is but a _lumber_ room, at best; and should be approached only by a
flight of steps from a rear chamber or passage, and used as a receptacle
for useless traps, or cast-off furniture, seldom wanted. It is hot in
summer, and cold in winter, unfit for decent lodging to any human being
in the house, and of little account any way. We much prefer running the
chambers partially into the roof, which we think gives them a more
comfortable expression, and admits of a better ventilation, by carrying
their ceilings higher without the expense of high _body_ walls to the
house, which would give them an otherwise naked look. If it be objected
that thus running the chambers above the plates of the roof prevents the
insertion of proper ties or beams to hold the roof plates together to
prevent their spreading, we answer, that he must be a poor mechanic who
cannot, in framing the chamber partitions so connect the opposite plates
as to insure them against all such difficulty. A _sheltered,
comfortable_ aspect is that which should distinguish every farm house,
and the _cottage_ chamber is one of its chiefest characteristics; and
this can only be had by running such apartments into the roof, as in our


A house of this kind must, according to its locality, and the material
of which it is built, be liable to wide differences of estimate in its
cost; and from our own experience in such matters, any estimate here
made we know cannot be reliable as a rule for other localities, where
the prices of material and labor are different from our own. Where
lumber, stone, and brick abound, and each are to be had at reasonable
prices, the cost of an establishment of this kind would not vary much in
the application of either one of these materials for the walls, if well
and substantially constructed. There should be no _sham_, nor slight, in
any part of the building. As already observed, the design shows a high
degree of finish, which, if building for ourself, we should not indulge
in. A plain style of cornice, and veranda finish, we should certainly
adopt. But the roof should not be contracted in its projecting breadth
over the walls, in any part of the structure--if anything, it should be
more extended. The bay-window is an appendage of luxury, only. Great
care should be had, in attaching its roof to the adjoining outer wall,
to prevent leakage of any kind. If the walls be of brick, or stone,
a beam or lintel of wood should be inserted in the wall over the
window-opening, quite two inches--three would be better--back from its
outer surface, to receive the casing of the window, that the drip of the
wall, and the driving of the storms may fall _over_ the connecting
joints of the window roof, beyond its point of junction with it. Such,
also, should be the case with the intersection of the veranda or porch
roof with the wall of the house, wherever a veranda, or porch is
adopted; as, simply joined on to a _flush_ surface, as such appendages
usually are--even if ever so well done--leakage and premature decay is

The style of finish must, of course, influence, in a considerable
degree, its cost. It may, with the plainest finish, be done for $4,000,
and from that, up to $6,000. Every one desirous to build, should apply
to the best mechanics of his neighborhood for information on that point,
as, in such matters, they are the best judges, and from experience in
their own particular profession, of what the cost of building must be.

The rules and customs of housekeeping vary, in different sections of the
United States, and the Canadas. These, also, enter into the estimates
for certain departments of building, and must be considered in the items
of expenditure.

The manner in which houses should be warmed, the ventilation,
accommodation for servants and laborers, the appropriations to
hospitality--all, will have a bearing on the expense, of which we cannot
be the proper judge.

A sufficient time should be given, to build a house of this character.
A house designed and built in a hurry, is never a satisfactory house in
its occupation. A year is little enough, and if two years be occupied in
its design and construction, the more acceptable will probably be its
finish, and the more comfort will be added in its enjoyment.


A house of this kind should never stand in vulgar and familiar contact
with the highway, but at a distance from it of one hundred to a thousand
yards; or even, if the estate on which it is built be extensive, a much
greater distance. Breadth of ground between the highway and the dwelling
adds dignity and character to its appearance. An ample lawn, or a
spreading park, well shaded with trees, should lay before it, through
which a well-kept avenue leads to its front, and most frequented side.
The various offices and buildings of the farm itself, should be at a
respectable distance from it, so as not to interfere with its proper
keeping as a genteel country residence. Its occupant is not to be
supposed as under the necessity of toiling with his daily laborers in
the fields, and therefore, although he may be strictly a man of
business, he has sufficient employment in planning his work, and
managing his estate through a foreman, in the various labor-occupations
of the estate. His horse may be at his door in the earliest morning
hours, that he may inspect his fields, and give timely directions to his
laborers, or view his herds, or his flocks, before his breakfast hour;
or an early walk may take him to his stables, his barns, or to see that
his previous directions are executed.

The various accommodation appurtenant to the dwelling, makes ample
provision for the household convenience of the family, and the main
business of the farm may be at some distance, without inconvenience to
the owner's every-day affairs. Consequently, the indulgence of a
considerable degree of ornament may be given, in the surroundings of his
dwelling, which the occupant of a less extensive estate would neither
require, nor his circumstances warrant. A natural forest of stately
trees, properly thinned out, is the most appropriate spot on which to
build a house of this character. But that not at hand, it should be set
off with plantations of forest trees, of the largest growth, as in
keeping with its own liberal dimensions. A capacious kitchen garden
should lead off from the rear apartments, well stocked with all the
family vegetables, and culinary fruits, in their proper seasons. A
luxuriant fruit-garden may flank the least frequented side of the house.
Neat and tasteful flower beds may lie beneath the windows of the rooms
appropriated to the leisure hours of the family, to which the smaller
varieties of shrubbery may be added, separated from the chief lawn, or
park, only by a wire fence, or a simple railing, such as not to cut up
and _checker_ its simple and dignified surface; and all these shut in on
the rear from the adjoining fields of the farm by belts of large
shrubbery closely planted, or the larger orchards, thus giving it a
style of its own, yet showing its connection with the pursuits of the
farm and its dependence upon it.

These various appointments, however, may be either carried out or
restricted, according to the requirements of the family occupying the
estate, and the prevailing local taste of the vicinity in which it is
situated; but no narrow or stingy spirit should be indicated in the
general plan or in its execution. Every appointment connected with it
should indicate a liberality of purpose in the founder, without which
its effect is painfully marred to the eye of the man of true taste and
judgment. Small yards, picketed in for small uses, have no business in
sight of the grounds in front, and all minor concerns should be thrown
into the rear, beyond observation from the main approach to the
dwelling. The trees that shade the entrance park, or lawn, should be
chiefly forest trees, as the oak, in its varieties, the elm, the maple,
the chestnut, walnut, butternut, hickory, or beech. If the soil be
favorable, a few weeping willows may throw their drooping spray around
the house; and if exotic, or foreign trees be permitted, they should
take their position in closer proximity to it than the natural forest
trees, as indicating the higher care and cultivation which attaches to
its presence. The Lombardy poplar, albeit a tree of disputed taste with
modern planters, we would now and then throw in, not in stiff and formal
rows, as guarding an avenue, but occasionally in the midst of a group of
others, above which it should rise like a church spire from amidst a
block of contiguous houses--a cheerful relief to the monotony of the
rounder-headed branches of the more spreading varieties. If a stream of
water meander the park, or spread into a little pond, trees which are
partial to moisture should shadow it at different points, and low, water
shrubs should hang over its border, or even run into its margin. Aquatic
herbs, too, may form a part of its ornaments, and a boat-house, if such
a thing be necessary, should, under the shade of a hanging tree of some
kind, be a conspicuous object in the picture. An overhanging rock, if
such a thing be native there, may be an object of great attraction to
its features, and its outlet may steal away and be hid in a dense mass
of tangled vines and brushwood. The predominating, _natural_ features of
the place should be _cultivated_, not rooted out, and metamorphosed into
something foreign and unfamiliar. It should, in short, be _nature_ with
her _hair combed_ out straight, flowing, and graceful, instead of
pinched, puffed, and curling--a thing of luxuriance and beauty under the
hand of a master.

The great difficulty with many Americans in getting up a new place of
any considerable extent is, that they seem to think whatever is common,
or natural in the features of the spot must be so changed as to show,
above all others, their own ingenuity and love of expense in fashioning
it to their peculiar tastes. Rocks must be sunk, or blasted, trees
felled, and bushes grubbed, crooked water-courses straightened--the
place gibbeted and put into stocks; in fact, that their own boasted
handiwork may rise superior to the wisdom of Him who fashioned it in his
own good pleasure; forgetting that a thousand points of natural beauty
upon the earth on which they breathe are

  "When unadorned, adorned the most;"

and our eye has been frequently shocked at finding the choicest gems of
nature sacrificed to a wanton display of expense in perverting, to the
indulgence of a mistaken fancy, that, which, with an eye to truth and
propriety, and at a trifling expense, might have become a spot of
abiding interest and contentment.


A SOUTHERN OR PLANTATION HOUSE.--The proprietor of a plantation in the
South, or South-west, requires altogether a different kind of residence
from the farmer of the Northern, or Middle States. He resides in the
midst of his own principality, surrounded by a retinue of dependents and
laborers, who dwell distant and apart from his own immediate family,
although composing a community requiring his daily care and
superintendence for a great share of his time. A portion of them are the
attachés of his household, yet so disconnected in their domestic
relations, as to require a separate accommodation, and yet be in
immediate contiguity with it, and of course, an arrangement of living
widely different from those who mingle in the same circle, and partake
at the same board.

  [Illustration: FARM HOUSE. Pages 155-156.]

The usual plan of house-building at the South, we are aware, is to have
_detached_ servants' rooms, and offices, and a space of some yards of
uncovered way intervene between the family rooms of the chief dwelling
and its immediate dependents. Such arrangement, however, we consider
both unnecessary and inconvenient; and we have devised a plan of
household accommodation which will bring the family of the planter
himself, and their servants, although under different roofs, into
convenient proximity with each other. A design of this kind is here

The style is mainly Italian, plain, substantial, yet, we think,
becoming. The broad veranda, stretching around three sides, including
the front, gives an air of sheltered repose to what might otherwise
appear an ambitious structure; and the connected apartments beyond, show
a quiet utility which divests it of an over attempt at display. Nothing
has been attempted for appearance, solely, beyond what is necessary and
proper in the dwelling of a planter of good estate, who wants his
domestic affairs well regulated, and his family, and servants duly
provided with convenient accommodation. The form of the main dwelling is
nearly square, upright, with two full stories, giving ample area of room
and ventilation, together with that appropriate indulgence to ease which
the enervating warmth of a southern climate renders necessary. The
servants' apartments, and kitchen offices are so disposed, that while
connected, to render them easy of access, they are sufficiently remote
to shut off the familiarity of association which would render them
obnoxious to the most fastidious--all, in fact, under one shelter, and
within the readiest call. Such should be the construction of a planter's
house in the United States, and such this design is intended to give.

A stable and carriage-house, in the same style, is near by, not
connected to any part of the dwelling, as in the previous designs--with
sufficient accommodation for coachman and grooms, and the number of
saddle and carriage horses that may be required for either business or
pleasure; and to it may be connected, in the rear, in the same style of
building, or plainer, and less expensive, further conveniences for such
domestic animals as may be required for family use.

The whole stands in open grounds, and may be separated from each other
by enclosures, as convenience or fancy may direct.

The roofs of all the buildings are broad and sweeping, well protecting
the walls from storm and frosts, as well as the glaring influences of
the sun, and combining that comfortable idea of shelter and repose so
grateful in a well-conditioned country house. It is true, that the
dwelling might be more extensive in room, and the purposes of luxury
enlarged; but the planter on five hundred, or five thousand acres of
land can here be sufficiently accommodated in all the reasonable
indulgences of family enjoyment, and a liberal, even an elegant and
prolonged hospitality, to which he is so generally inclined.

The chimneys of this house, different from those in the previous
designs, are placed next the outer walls, thus giving more space to the
interior, and not being required, as in the others, to promote
additional warmth than their fireplaces will give, to the rooms. A deck
on the roof affords a pleasant look-out for the family from its top,
guarded by a parapet, and giving a finish to its architectural
appearance, and yet making no ambitious attempt at expensive ornament.
It is, in fact, a plain, substantial, respectable mansion for a
gentleman of good estate, and nothing beyond it.

  [Illustration: GROUND PLAN.]


This house stands 50×40 feet on the ground. The front door opens from
the veranda into a hall, 24×14 feet, in which is a flight of stairs
leading to the chambers above. On the left a door leads into a library,
or business room, 17×17 feet, lighted by three windows. A fireplace is
inserted in the outer wall. Another door leads into a side hall, six
feet wide, which separates the library from the dining-room, which is
also 17×17 feet in area, lighted and accommodated with a fireplace like
the other, with a door leading into it from the side hall, and another
door at the further right hand corner leading into the rear hall, or

On the right of the chief entrance hall, opposite the library, a door
opens into the parlor or drawing-room, 23×19 feet in area, lighted by
three windows, and having a fireplace in the side wall. A door leads
from the rear side of the parlor into a commodious nursery, or family
bedroom, 19×16 feet in size, lighted by a window in each outer wall. A
fireplace is also inserted on the same line as in the parlor. From the
nursery a door leads into and through a large closet, 9×7 feet, into the
rear hall. This closet may also be used as a sleeping-room for the
children, or a confidential servant-maid, or nurse, or devoted to the
storage of bed-linen for family use. Further on, adjoining, is another
closet, 7×6 feet, opening from the rear hall, and lighted by a window.

Leading from the outer door of the rear hall is a covered passage six
feet wide, 16 feet long, and one and a half stories high, leading to the
kitchen offices, and lighted by a window on the left, with a door
opening in the same side beyond, on to the side front of the
establishment. On the right, opposite, a door leads on to the kitchen
porch, which is six feet wide, passing on to the bath-room and
water-closet, in the far rear. At the end of the connecting passage from
the main dwelling, a door opens into the kitchen, which is 24×18 feet in
size, accommodated with two windows looking on to the porch just
described. At one end is an open fireplace with a cooking range on one
side, and an oven on the other. At the left of the entrance door is a
large, commodious store-room and pantry, 12×9 feet, lighted by a window;
and adjoining it, (and may be connected with it by a door, if
necessary,) a kitchen closet of the same size, also connected by a
corresponding door from the opposite corner of the kitchen. Between
these doors is a flight of stairs leading to the sleeping-rooms above,
and a cellar passage beneath them. In the farther right corner of the
kitchen a door leads into a smaller closet, 8×6 feet, lighted by a small
window looking on to the rear porch at the end. A door at the rear of
the kitchen leads out into the porch of the wash-room beyond, which is
six feet wide, and another door into the wash-room itself, which is
20×16 feet, and furnished with a chimney and boilers. A window looks out
on the extreme right hand, and two windows on to the porch in front.
A door opens from its rear wall into the wood-house, 32×12 feet, which
stands open on two sides, supported by posts, and under the extended
roof of the wash-room and its porch just mentioned. A servants'
water-closet is attached to the extreme right corner of the wood-house,
by way of lean-to.

The bath-room is 10×6 feet in area, and supplied with water from the
kitchen boilers adjoining. The water-closet beyond is 6 feet square, and
architecturally, in its roof, may be made a fitting termination to that
of the porch leading to it.

  [Illustration: CHAMBER PLAN.]

The main flight of stairs in the entrance hall leads on to a broad
landing in the spacious upper hall, from which doors pass into the
several chambers, which may be duly accommodated with closets. The
passage connecting with the upper story of the servants' offices, opens
from the rear section of this upper hall, and by the flight of rear
stairs communicates with the kitchen and out-buildings. A garret flight
of steps may be made in the rear section of the main upper hall, by
which that apartment may be reached, and the upper deck of the roof

The sleeping-rooms of the kitchen may be divided off as convenience may
dictate, and the entire structure thus appropriated to every
accommodation which a well-regulated family need require.

  [Illustration: CARRIAGE HOUSE.]

The carriage-house is 48×24 feet in size, with a projection of five feet
on the entrance front, the door of which leads both into the
carriage-room and stables. On the right is a bedroom, 10×8 feet, for the
grooms, lighted by a window; and beyond are six stalls for horses, with
a window in the rear wall beyond them. A flight of stairs leads to the
hayloft above. In the rear of the carriage-room is a harness-room, 12×4
feet, and a granary of the same size, each lighted by a window. If
farther attachments be required for the accommodation of out-building
conveniences, they may be continued indefinitely in the rear.


It may strike the reader that the house just described has a lavish
appropriation of veranda, and a needless side-front, which latter may
detract from the _precise_ architectural keeping that a dwelling of this
pretension should maintain. In regard to the first, it may be remarked,
that no feature of the house in a southern climate can be more
expressive of easy, comfortable enjoyment, than a spacious veranda. The
habits of southern life demand it as a place of exercise in wet weather,
and the cooler seasons of the year, as well as a place of recreation and
social intercourse during the fervid heats of the summer. Indeed, many
southern people almost live under the shade of their verandas. It is a
delightful place to take their meals, to receive their visitors and
friends; and the veranda gives to a dwelling the very expression of
hospitality, so far as any one feature of a dwelling can do it. No equal
amount of accommodation can be provided for the same cost. It adds
infinitely to the _room_ of the house itself, and is, in fact,
indispensable to the full enjoyment of a southern house.

The side front in this design is simply a matter of convenience to the
owner and occupant of the estate, who has usually much office business
in its management; and in the almost daily use of his library, where
such business may be done, a side door and front is both appropriate and
convenient. The _chief_ front entrance belongs to his family and guests,
and should be devoted to their exclusive use; and as a light fence may
be thrown off from the extreme end of the side porch, separating the
front lawn from the rear approach to the house, the veranda on that side
may be reached from its rear end, for business purposes, without
intruding upon the lawn at all. So we would arrange it.

Objections may be made to the _sameness_ of plan, in the arrangement of
the lower rooms of the several designs which we have submitted, such as
having the nursery, or family sleeping-room, on the main floor of the
house, and the uniformity, in location, of the others; and that there
are no _new_ and _striking_ features in them. The answer to these may
be, that the room appropriated for the nursery, or bedroom, may be used
for other purposes, equally as well; that when a mode of accommodation
is already as convenient as may be, it is poorly worth while to make it
less convenient, merely for the sake of variety; and, that utility and
convenience are the main objects to be attained in any well-ordered
dwelling. These two requisites, utility and convenience, attained, the
third and principal one--comfort--is secured. Cellar kitchens--the most
abominable nuisances that ever crept into a country dwelling--might have
been adopted, no doubt, to the especial delight of some who know nothing
of the experimental duties of housekeeping; but the recommendation of
these is an offence which we have no stomach to answer for hereafter.
Steep, winding, and complicated staircases might have given a new
feature to one or another of the designs; dark closets, intricate
passages, unique cubby-holes, and all sorts of inside gimcrackery might
have amused our pencil; but we have avoided them, as well as everything
which would stand in the way of the simplest, cheapest, and most direct
mode of reaching the object in view: a convenient, comfortably-arranged
dwelling within, having a respectable, dignified appearance without--and
such, we trust, have been thus far presented in our designs.


The trees and shrubbery which ornament the approach to this house,
should be rather of the graceful varieties, than otherwise. The
weeping-willow, the horse-chesnut, the mountain-ash, if suitable to the
climate; or the china-tree of the south, or the linden, the weeping-elm,
and the silver-maple, with its long slender branches and hanging leaves,
would add most to the beauty, and comport more closely with the
character of this establishment, than the more upright, stiff, and
unbending trees of our American forests. The Lombardy-poplar--albeit,
an object of fashionable derision with many tree-fanciers in these more
_tasty_ days, as it was equally the admiration of our fathers, of forty
years ago--would set off and give effect to a mansion of this character,
either in a clump at the back-ground, as shown in the design, or
occasionally shooting up its spire-like top through a group of the other
trees. Yet, if built in a fine natural park or lawn of oaks, with a few
other trees, such as we have named, planted immediately around it, this
house would still show with fine effect.

The style of finish given to this dwelling may appear too ornate and
expensive for the position it is supposed to occupy. If so, a plainer
mode of finish may be adopted, to the cheapest degree consistent with
the manner of its construction. Still, on examination, there will be
found little intricate or really expensive work upon it. Strength,
substance, durability, should all enter into its composition; and
without these elements, a house of this appearance is a mere bauble, not
fit to stand upon the premises of any man of substantial estate.

If a more extensive accommodation be necessary, than the size of this
house can afford, its style will admit of a wing, of any desirable
length, on each side, in place of the rear part of the side verandas,
without prejudice to its character or effect. Indeed, such wings may add
to its dignity, and consequence, as comporting with the standing and
influence which its occupant may hold in the community wherein he
resides. A man of mark, indeed, should, if he live in the country,
occupy a dwelling somewhat indicating the position which he holds, both
in society and in public affairs. By this remark, we may be treading on
questionable ground, in our democratic country; but, practically, there
is a fitness in it which no one can dispute. Not that extravagance,
pretension, or any other _assumption_ of superiority should mark the
dwelling of the distinguished man, but that his dwelling be of like
character with himself: plain, dignified, solid, and, as a matter of
course, altogether respectable.

It is a happy feature in the composition of our republican institutions,
both social and political, that we can afford to let the flashy men of
the _day_--not of _time_--flaunter in all their purchased fancy in
house-building, without prejudice to the prevailing sober sentiment of
their neighbors, in such particulars. The man of money, simply, may
build his "villa," and squander his tens of thousands upon it. He may
riot within it, and fidget about it for a few brief years; he may even
hang his coat of arms upon it, if he can fortunately do so without
stumbling over a lapstone, or greasing his coat against the pans of a
cook-shop; but it is equally sure that no child of his will occupy it
after him, even if his own changeable fancy or circumstances permit him
to retain it for his natural life. Such are the episodes of country
house-building, and of frequent attempts at agricultural life, by those
who affect it as a matter of ostentation or display. For the subjects of
these, we do not write. But there is something exceedingly grateful to
the feelings of one of stable views in life, to look upon an estate
which has been long in an individual family, still maintaining its
primitive character and respectability. Some five-and-twenty years ago,
when too young to have any established opinions in matters of this sort,
as we were driving through one of the old farming towns in
Massachusetts, about twenty miles west of Boston, we approached a
comfortable, well-conditioned farm, with a tavern-house upon the high
road, and several great elms standing about it. The road passed between
two of the trees, and from a cross-beam, lodged across their branches,
swung a large square sign, with names and dates painted upon it--name
and date we have forgotten; it was a good old Puritan name, however--in
this wise:

  "John Endicott, 1652."
  "John Endicott, 1696."
  "John Endicott, 1749."
  "John Endicott, 1784."
  "John Endicott, 1817."

As our eyes read over this list, we were struck with the stability of a
family who for many consecutive generations had occupied, by the same
name, that venerable spot, and ministered to the comfort of as many
generations of travelers, and incontinently took off our hat in respect
to the record of so much worth, drove our horse under the shed, had him
fed, went in, and took a quiet family dinner with the civil,
good-tempered host, and the equally kind-mannered hostess, then in the
prime of life, surrounded with a fine family of children, and heard from
his own lips the history of his ancestors, from their first emigration
from England--not in the Mayflower, to whose immeasurable accommodations
our good New England ancestors are so prone to refer--but in one of her
early successors.

All over the old thirteen states, from Maine to Georgia, can be found
agricultural estates now containing families, the descendants of those
who founded them--exceptions to the general rule, we admit, of American
stability of residence, but none the less gratifying to the
contemplation of those who respect a deep love of home, wherever it may
be found. For the moral of our episode on this subject, we cannot
refrain from a description of a fine old estate which we have frequently
seen, minus now the buildings which then existed, and long since
supplanted by others equally respectable and commodious, and erected by
the successor of the original occupant, the late Dr. Boylston, of
Roxbury, who long made the farm his summer residence. The description is
from an old work, "The History of the County of Worcester, in the State
of Massachusetts, by the Rev. Peter Whitney, 1793:"

  "Many of the houses (in Princeton,) are large and elegant. This
  leads to a particular mention, that in this town is the country seat
  of the Hon. Moses Gill, Esq., ('Honorable' meant something in those
  days,) who has been from the year 1775 one of the Judges of the
  Court of Common Pleas for the county of Worcester, and for several
  years a counsellor of this commonwealth. His noble and elegant seat
  is about one mile and a quarter from the meeting-house, to the
  south. The farm contains upwards of three thousand acres. The county
  road from Princeton to Worcester passes through it, in front of the
  house, which faces to the west. The buildings stand upon the highest
  land of the whole farm; but it is level round about them for many
  rods, and then there is a very gradual descent. The land on which
  these buildings stand is elevated between twelve hundred and
  thirteen hundred feet above the level of the sea, as the Hon. James
  Winthrop, Esq. informs me. The mansion house is large, being 50×50
  feet, with four stacks of chimnies. The farm house is 40 feet by 36:
  In a line with this stand the coach and chaise-house, 50 feet by 36.
  This is joined to the barn by a shed 70 feet in length--the barn is
  200 feet by 32. Very elegant fences are erected around the mansion
  house, the out-houses, and the garden.

  "The prospect from this seat is extensive and grand, taking in a
  horizon to the east, of seventy miles, at least. The blue hills in
  Milton are discernible with the naked eye, from the windows of this
  superb edifice, distant not less than sixty miles; as also the
  waters in the harbor of Boston, at certain seasons of the year. When
  we view this seat, these buildings, and this farm of so many hundred
  acres, now under a high degree of profitable cultivation, and are
  told that in the year 1766 it was a perfect wilderness, we are
  struck with wonder, admiration, and astonishment. The honorable
  proprietor thereof must have great satisfaction in contemplating
  these improvements, so extensive, made under his direction, and,
  I may add, by his own active industry. Judge Gill is a gentleman of
  singular vivacity and activity, and indefatigable in his endeavors
  to bring forward the cultivation of his lands; of great and
  essential service, by his example, in the employment he finds for so
  many persons, and in all his attempts to serve the interests of the
  place where he dwells, and in his acts of private munificence, and
  public generosity, and deserves great respect and esteem, not only
  from individuals, but from the town and country he has so greatly
  benefited, and especially by the ways in which he makes use of that
  vast estate wherewith a kind Providence has blessed him."

Such was the estate, and such the man who founded and enjoyed it sixty
years ago; and many an equal estate, founded and occupied by equally
valuable men, then existed, and still exist in all our older states; and
if our private and public virtues are preserved, will ever exist in
every state of our union. Such pictures, too, are forcible illustrations
of the _morals_ of correct building on the ample estates of many of our
American planters and farmers. The mansion house, which is so
graphically described, we saw but a short time before it was pulled
down--then old, and hardly worth repairing, being built of wood, and of
style something like this design of our own, bating the extent of

The cost of this house may be from $5000 to $8000, depending upon the
material of which it is constructed, the degree of finish given to it,
and the locality where it is built. All these circumstances are to be
considered, and the estimates should be made by practical and
experienced builders, who are competent judges in whatever appertains to

  [Illustration: FARM HOUSE. Pages 173-174.]


A PLANTATION HOUSE.--Another southern house is here presented, quite
different in architectural design from the last, plain, unpretending,
less ornate in its finish, as well as less expensive in construction.
It may occupy a different site, in a hilly, wooded country of rougher
surface, but equally becoming it, as the other would more fitly grace
the level prairie, or spreading plain in the more showy luxury of its

This house stands 46×44 feet on the ground, two stories high, with a
full length veranda, 10 feet wide in front, and a half length one above
it, connecting with the main roof by an open gable, under which is a
railed gallery for summer repose or recreation, or to enjoy the scenery
upon which it may open. The roof is broad and overhanging, thoroughly
sheltering the walls, and giving it a most protected, comfortable look.
Covering half the rear is a lean-to, with shed roof, 16 feet wide,
communicating with the servants' offices in the wing, the hall of which
opens upon a low veranda on its front, and leading to the minor
conveniences of the establishment. The main servants' building is 30×20
feet, one and a half stories high, with a roof in keeping with the main
dwelling, and a chimney in the center. In rear of this is attached a
wood-house, with a shed roof, thus sloping off, and giving it a reposed,
quiet air from that point of view. A narrow porch, 23 feet long and 8
feet wide, also shades the remaining rear part of the main dwelling,
opening on to the approach in rear.

  [Illustration: GROUND PLAN.]


The front door opens into a hall 34 feet long and 10 feet wide, with a
flight of stairs. On the left of this opens a parlor or dining-room,
22×18 feet, lighted by two windows in front and one on the side, and
connecting with the dining-room beyond, which is 18×16 feet, with two
small dining closets between. The dining-room has two windows opening on
to the rear veranda. Under the cross flight of stairs in the hall, a
partition separates it from the rear hall, into which is a door. On the
right of the entrance hall is a library, 18×18 feet, lighted by three
windows. At the farther end is a closet, and by the side of it a small
entry leading into the nursery or family bedroom, 18×15 feet in size,
which also has a corresponding closet with the library. On the rear of
the nursery is a flight of back stairs opening from it. Under these
stairs, at the other end, a door opens to another flight leading into
the cellar below. A door also leads out from the nursery into the rear
passage, to the offices; another door on the further side of the room
opens into the rear hall of the house. The nursery should have two
windows, but the drawing, by an error, gives only one. From this rear
hall a door opens on the rear veranda, and another into the passage to
the rear offices. This passage is six feet wide and 34 feet long,
opening at its left end on to the veranda, and on the right, to the
servants' porch, and from its rear side into three small rooms, 10 feet
square each, the outer one of which may be a business room for the
proprietor of the estate; the next, a store-room for family supplies;
and the other a kitchen closet. Each of these is lighted by a window on
the rear. A door also leads from the rear passage into the kitchen,
20×16 feet in area, with a window looking out in front and two others on
the side and rear, and a door into the wood-house. In this is placed a
large chimney for the cooking establishment, oven, &c., &c. A flight of
stairs and partition divides this from the wash-room, which is 14×14
feet, with two windows in the side, and a door into the wood-house. This
wood-house is open on two sides, and a water-closet is in the far
corner. The small veranda, which is six feet wide, fronting the kitchen
apartments, opens into the bath-room, 9×6 feet, into which the water is
drawn from the kitchen boilers in the adjoining chimney. Still beyond
this is the entrance to the water-closets, 6×5 feet.

  [Illustration: CHAMBER PLAN.]

The chamber plan is simple, and will be readily comprehended. If more
rooms are desirable, they can be cut off from the larger ones. A flight
of garret stairs may also be put in the rear chamber hall. The main hall
of the chambers, in connection with the upper veranda, may be made a
delightful resort for the summer, where the leisure hours of the family
may be passed in view of the scenery which the house may command, and
thus made one of its most attractive features.


We have given less veranda to this house than to the last, because its
style does not require it, and it is a cheaper and less pains-taking
establishment throughout, although, perhaps, quite as convenient in its
arrangement as the other. The veranda may, however, be continued round
the two ends of the house, if required. A screen, or belt of privet,
or low evergreens may be planted in a circular form from the front
right-hand corner of the dwelling, to the corresponding corner of the
rear offices, enclosing a clothes drying yard, and cutting them off from
too sightly an exposure from the lawn in front. The opposite end of the
house, which may be termed its _business_ front, may open to the
every-day approach to the house, and be treated as convenience may

For the _tree_ decoration of this establishment, evergreens may come in
for a share of attraction. Their conical, tapering points will
correspond well with its general architecture, and add strikingly to its
effect; otherwise the remarks already given on the subject of park and
lawn plantation will suffice. As, however, in the position where this
establishment is supposed to be erected, land is plenty, ample area
should be appropriated to its convenience, and no pinched or
parsimonious spirit should detract from giving it the fullest effect in
an allowance of ground. Nor need the ground devoted to such purposes be
at all lost, or unappropriated; various uses can be made of it, yielding
both pleasure and profit, to which a future chapter will refer; and it
is one of the chief pleasures of retired residence to cultivate, in the
right place, such incidental objects of interest as tend to gratify,
as well as to instruct, in whatever appertains to the elevation of our
thoughts, and the improvement of our condition. All these, in their
place, should be drawn about our dwellings, to render them as agreeable
and attractive as our ingenuity and labor may command.


Having essayed to instruct our agricultural friends in the proper modes
of erecting their houses, and providing for their convenient
accommodation within them, a few remarks may be pardoned touching such
collateral subjects of embellishment as may be connected with the farm
residence in the way of plantations and grounds in their immediate

We are well aware that small farms do not permit any considerable
appropriation of ground to _waste_ purposes, as such spots are usually
called which are occupied with wood, or the shade of open trees, near
the dwelling. But no dwelling can be complete in all its appointments
without trees in its immediate vicinity. This subject has perhaps been
sufficiently discussed in preceding chapters; yet, as a closing course
of remark upon what a farm house, greater or less in extent, should be
in the amount of shade given to it, a further suggestion or two may be
permitted. There are, in almost all places, in the vicinity of the
dwelling, portions of ground which can be appropriated to forest trees
without detriment to other economical uses, if applied in the proper
way. Any one who passes along a high road and discovers the farm house,
seated on the margin or in the immediate vicinity of a pleasant grove,
is immediately struck with the peculiarly rural and picturesque air
which it presents, and thinks to himself that he should love such a spot
for his own home, without reflecting that he might equally as well
create one of the same character. Sites already occupied, where
different dispositions are made of contiguous ground, may not admit of
like advantages; and such are to be continued in their present
arrangement, with such course of improvement as their circumstances will
admit. But to such as are about to _select_ the sites of their future
homes, it is important to study what can best embellish them in the most
effective shade and ornament.

In the immediate vicinity of our large towns and cities it is seldom
possible to appropriate any considerable breadth of land to ornamental
purposes, excepting rough and unsightly waste ground, more or less
occupied with rock or swamp; or plainer tracts, so sterile as to be
comparatively worthless for cultivation. Such grounds, too, often lie
bare of wood, and require planting, and a course of years to cover them
with trees, even if the proprietor is willing, or desirous to devote
them to such purpose. Still, there are vast sections of our country
where to economize land is not important, and a mixed occupation of it
to both ornament and profit may be indulged to the extent of the owner's
disposition. All over the United States there are grand and beautiful
sweeps and belts of cultivated country, interspersed with finely-wooded
tracts, which offer the most attractive sites for the erection of
dwellings on the farms which embrace them, and that require only the eye
and hand of taste to convert them, with slight labor, into the
finest-wooded lawns and forested parks imaginable. No country whatever
produces finer trees than North America. The evergreens of the north
luxuriate in a grandeur scarcely known elsewhere, and shoot their cones
into the sky to an extent that the stripling pines and firs, and larches
of England in vain may strive to imitate. The elm of New England towers
up, and spreads out its sweeping arms with a majesty unwonted in the
ancient parks or forests of Europe; while its maples, and birches, and
beeches, and ashes, and oaks, and the great white-armed buttonwood, make
up a variety of intervening growth, luxuriant in the extreme. Pass on
through the Middle States, and into the far west, and there they still
flourish with additional kinds--the tulip and poplar--the nut-trees,
in all their wide variety, with a host of others equally grand and
imposing, interspersed; and shrub-trees innumerable, are seen every
where as they sweep along your path. Beyond the Alleghanies, and south
of the great lakes, are vast natural parks, many of them enclosed, and
dotted with herds of cattle ranging over them, which will show single
trees, and clumps of forest that William the Conqueror would have given
a whole fiefdom in his Hampshire spoliations to possess; while,
stretching away toward the Gulf of Mexico, new varieties of tree are
found, equally imposing, grand, and beautiful, throughout the whole vast
range, and in almost every locality, susceptible of the finest possible
appropriation to ornament and use. Many a one of these noble forests,
and open, natural parks have been appropriated already to embellish the
comfortable family establishment which has been built either on its
margin, or within it; and thousands more are standing, as yet
unimproved, but equally inviting the future occupant to their ample

The moral influences, too, of lawns and parks around or in the vicinity
of our dwellings, are worthy of consideration. Secluded as many a
country dweller may be, away from the throng of society, there is a
sympathy in trees which invites our thoughts, and draws our presence
among them with unwonted interest, and in frequent cases, assist
materially in stamping the feelings and courses of our future
lives--always with pure and ennobling sentiments--

  "The groves were God's first temples."

The thoughtful man, as he passes under their sheltering boughs, in the
heat of summer, with uncovered brow, silently worships the Hand that
formed them there, scarcely conscious that their presence thus elevates
his mind to holy aspirations. Among them, the speculative man

  "Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
  Sermons in stones."

Even children, born and educated among groves of trees, drink in early
impressions, which follow them for good all their days; and, when the
toils of their after life are passed, they love to return to these
grateful coverts, and spend their remaining days amid the tranquillity
of their presence. Men habituated to the wildest life, too, enjoy the
woods, the hills, and the mountains, beyond all the captivation and
excitement of society, and are nowhere at rest, but when in their

The love of forest scenery is a thing to be cultivated as a high
accomplishment, in those whose early associations have not been among
them. Indeed, country life is tame, and intolerable, without a taste,
either natural or acquired, for fine landscape scenery; and in a land
like this, where the country gives occupation to so great a proportion
of its people, and a large share of those engaged in the active and
exciting pursuits of populous towns, sigh and look forward to its
enjoyment, every inducement should be offered to cultivate a taste for
those things which make one of its chief attractions. Nor should
seclusion from general society, and a residence apart from the bustling
activity of the world, present a bar to the due cultivation of the taste
in many subjects supposed to belong only to the throng of association.
It is one of the advantages of rural life, that it gives us time to
think; and the greatest minds of whose labors in the old world we have
had the benefit, and of later times, in our own land, have been reared
chiefly in the solitude of the country. Patrick Henry loved to range
among the woods, admiring the leafy magnificence of nature, and to
follow the meandering courses of the brooks, with his hook and line.
Washington, when treading the vast solitudes of central Virginia, with
his surveyor's instruments on his back, conceived the wonderful
resources of the great empire of which he will ever be styled the
"father." The dwelling of the late John C. Calhoun, sheltered by noble
trees, stands on an elevated swell of a grand range of mountain land,
and it was there that his prolific genius ripened for those burning
displays of thought which drew to him the affections of admiring
thousands. Henry Clay undoubtedly felt the germ of his future greatness
while sauntering, in his boyhood days, through the wild and picturesque
slashes of Hanover. Webster, born amid the rugged hills of New
Hampshire, drew the delightful relish of rural life, for which he is so
celebrated, from the landscapes which surrounded his early home, and
laid the foundation of his mighty intellect in the midst of lone and
striking scenery. Bryant could never have written his "Thanatopsis," his
"Rivulet," and his "Green River," but from the inspiration drawn from
his secluded youthful home in the mountains of Massachusetts. Nor, to
touch a more sacred subject, could Jonathan Edwards ever have composed
his masterly "Treatise on the Will," in a pent-up city; but owes his
enduring fame to the thought and leisure which he found, while
ministering, among the sublime mountains of the Housatonic, to a feeble
tribe of Stockbridge Indians.

And these random names are but a few of those whose love of nature early
imbibed, and in later life enjoyed in their own calm and retired homes,
amid the serene beauty of woods and waters, which might be named, as
illustrations of the influence which fine scenery may exercise upon the
mind, to assist in moulding it to greatness. The following anecdote was
told us many years ago, by a venerable man in Connecticut, a friend of
the elder Hillhouse, of New Haven, to whom that city is much indebted
for the magnificent trees by which it has become renowned as "the City
of the Elms:" While a member of the General Assembly of that state, when
Hillhouse was in Congress, learning that he had just returned home from
the annual session, our informant, with a friend, went to the residence
of the statesman, to pay him a visit. He had returned only that morning,
and on their way there, they met him near his house, with a stout young
tree on his shoulder, just taken from a neighboring piece of forest,
which he was about to transplant in the place of one which had died
during his absence. After the usual salutations, our friend expressed
his surprise that he was so soon engaged in tree-planting, before he had
even had time to look to his private and more pressing affairs. "Another
day may be too late," replied the senator; "my tree well planted, it
will grow at its leisure, and I can then look to my own concerns at my
ease. So, gentlemen, if you will just wait till the tree is set, we'll
walk into the house, and settle the affairs of state in our own way."

Walter Scott, whose deep love of park and forest scenery has stamped
with his masterly descriptions, his native land as the home of all
things beautiful and useful in trees and plantations, spent a great
share of his leisure time in planting, and has written a most
instructive essay on its practice and benefits. He puts into the mouth
of "the Laird of Dumbiedikes," the advice, "Be aye sticking in a tree,
Jock; it will be growing while you are sleeping." But Walter Scott had
no American soil to plant his trees upon; nor do the grandest forest
parks of Scotland show a tithe of the luxuriance and majesty of our
American forests. Could he but have seen the variety, the symmetry, and
the vast size of our oaks, and elms, and evergreens, a new element of
descriptive power would have grown out of the admiration they had
created within him; and he would have envied a people the possession of
such exhaustless resources as we enjoy, to embellish their homes in the
best imaginable manner, with such enduring monuments of grace and

To the miscellaneous, or casual reader, such course of remark may appear
merely sublimated nonsense. No matter; we are not upon stilts, talking
_down_ to a class of inferior men, in a condescending tone, on a subject
above their comprehension; but we are addressing men, and the sons of
men, who are our equals--although, like ourself, upon their farms,
taking their share in its daily toils, as well as pleasures--and can
perfectly well understand our language, and sympathize with our
thoughts. They are the thoughts of rural life everywhere. It was old Sam
Johnson, the great lexicographer, who lumbered his unwieldy gait through
the streets of cities for a whole life, and with all his vast learning
and wisdom, had no appreciation of the charms of the country, that said,
"Who feeds fat cattle should himself be fat;" as if the dweller on the
farm should not possess an idea above the brutes around him. We wonder
if he ever supposed a merchant should have any more brain than the
parcel that he handled, or the bale which he rolled, or directed others
to roll for him! But, loving the solitude of the farm, and finding a
thousand objects of interest and beauty scattered in profusion, where
those educated among artificial objects would see nothing beyond things,
to them, vulgar and common-place, in conversing with our rural friends
upon what concerns their daily comfort, and is to constitute the nursery
of those who succeed them, and on the influences which may, in a degree,
stamp their future character, we cannot forbear such suggestions,
connected with the family Home, as may induce them to cultivate all
those accessories around it, which may add to their pleasure and
contentment. We believe it was Keats, who said,

  "A thing of Beauty is a joy for ever."

And the thought that such "beauty" has been of our own creation, or that
our own hands have assisted in its perpetuation, should certainly be a
deep "joy" of our life.

We have remarked, that the farm house is the chief nursery on which our
broad country must rely for that healthy infusion of stamina and spirit
into those men who, under our institutions, guide its destiny and direct
its councils. They, in the great majority of their numbers, are natives
of the retired homestead. It is, therefore, of high consequence, that
good taste, intelligence, and correct judgment, should enter into all
that surrounds the birth-place, and early scenes of those who are to be
the future actors in the prominent walks of life, either in public or
private capacity; and as the love of trees is one of the leading
elements of enjoyment amid the outward scenes of country-life, we
commend most heartily all who dwell in the pure air and bright sunshine
of the open land to their study and cultivation.

Every man who lives in the country, be he a practical farmer or not,
should _plant_ trees, more or less. The father of a family should plant,
for the benefit of his children, as well as for his own. The bachelor
and the childless man should plant, if for nothing more than to show
that he has left _some_ living thing to perpetuate his memory. Boys
should early be made planters. None but those who love trees, and plant
them, know the serene pleasure of watching their growth, and
anticipating their future beauty and grandeur; and no one can so
exquisitely enjoy their grateful shade, as he whose hand has planted and
cared for them. Planting, too, is a most agreeable pastime to a
reflecting mind. It may be ranked among the pleasures, instead of the
toils of life. We have always so found it. There is no pleasanter sight
of labor than to see a father, with his young lads about him, planting a
tree. It becomes a landmark of their industry and good taste; and no
thinking man passes a plantation of fine trees but inwardly blesses the
man, or the memory of the man who placed them there.

Aside from all this, trees properly distributed, give a value to an
estate far beyond the cost of planting, and tending their growth, and
which no other equal amount of labor and expense upon it can confer.
Innumerable farms and places have been sold at high prices, over those
of perhaps greater producing value, merely for the trees which
embellished them. Thus, in a pecuniary light, to say nothing of the
pleasure and luxury they confer, trees are a source of profitable

It is a happy feature in the improving rural character of our country,
that tree-planting and tree preservation for some years past have
attracted much more attention than formerly; and with this attention a
better taste is prevailing in their selection. We have gained but little
in the introduction of many of the foreign trees among us, for ornament.
Some of them are absolutely barbarous in comparison with our American
forest trees, and their cultivation is only a demonstration of the utter
want of good taste in those who apply them.

For ordinary purposes, but few exotics should be tolerated; and those
chiefly in collections, as curiosities, or for arboretums--in which
latter the farmer cannot often indulge; and for all the main purposes of
shade, and use, and ornament, the trees of no country can equal our own.

Varied as our country is, in soils and climates, no particular
directions can be given as to the individual varieties of tree which are
to be preferred for planting. Each locality has its own most appropriate
kinds, and he who is to plant, can best make the selections most fitted
to his use. Rapid-growing trees, when of fine symmetry, and free from
bad habits in throwing up suckers; not liable to the attacks of insects;
of early, dense, and long-continued foliage, are most to be commended;
while their opposites in character should be avoided in all well-kept
grounds. It requires, indeed, but a little thought and observation to
guide every one in the selection which he should make, to produce the
best effect of which the tree itself is capable.

Giving the importance we have, to trees, and their planting, it may be
supposed that we should discuss their position in the grounds to which
they should be appropriated. But no specific directions can be given at
large. All this branch of the subject must be left to the locality,
position, and surface of the ground sought to be improved. A good tree
can scarcely stand in a wrong place, when not injurious to a building by
its too dense shade, or shutting out its light, or prospect. Still, the
proper disposition of trees is a _study_, and should be well considered
before they be planted. Bald, unsightly spots should be covered by them,
when not devoted to more useful objects of the farm, either in pasturage
or cultivation. A partial shading of the soil by trees may add to its
value for grazing purposes, like the woodland pastures of Kentucky,
where subject to extreme droughts, or a scorching sun.

If the planter feels disposed to consult authorities, as to the best
disposition of his trees, works on Landscape Gardening may be studied;
but these can give only general hints, and the only true course is to
strive to make his grounds look as much like nature herself as
possible--for nature seldom makes mistakes in her designs. To conclude a
course of remark, which the plain farmer, cultivating his land for its
yearly profit alone, may consider as foreign to the subject of our work,
we would not recommend any one to plant trees who is not willing to
spend the necessary time to nurse and tend them afterward, till they are
out of harm's way, and well established in a vigorous growth. All this
must be taken into the account, for it is better to have even but a few
trees, and those what trees should be, than a whole forest of stinted
things, writhing and pining through a course of sickly existence.

A chapter might also be written upon the proper mode of taking up and
planting trees, but as this would lead us to a subject more directly
belonging to another department, the proper authorities on that head
must be consulted.


As the fruit garden and orchards are usually near appendages to the
dwelling and out-buildings, a few remarks as to their locality and
distribution may be appropriate. The first should _always_ be near the
house, both for convenience in gathering its fruits, and for its due
protection from the encroachments of those not entitled to its
treasures. It should, if possible, adjoin the kitchen garden, for
convenience of access; as fruit is, or should be, an important item in
the daily consumption of every family where it can be grown and
afforded. A sheltered spot, if to be had, should be devoted to this
object; or if not, its margin, on the exposed side, should be set with
the hardiest trees to which it is appropriated--as the apple. The fruit
garden, proper, may also contain the smaller fruits, as they are termed,
as the currant, gooseberry, raspberry, and whatever other shrub-fruits
are grown; while the quince, the peach, the apricot, nectarine, plum,
cherry, pear, and apple may, in the order they are named, stand in
succession behind them, the taller and more hardy growth of each
successive variety rising higher, and protecting its less hardy and
aspiring neighbor. The soil for all these varieties of tree is supposed
to be congenial, and our remarks will only be directed to their proper

The aspect for the fruit garden should, if possible, front the south,
south-east, or south-west, in a northerly climate. In the Middle and
Southern States the exposure is of less consequence. Currants,
gooseberries, raspberries, &c., should, for their most productive
bearing, and the highest quality of their fruits, be set at least four
feet apart, in the rows, and the rows six feet distant from each other,
that there may be abundant room to cultivate them with the plow, and
kept clean of weeds and grass. The quince, peach, apricot, nectarine,
and plum should be 16 feet apart each way. The pear, if on quince stock,
may be 12 feet apart, and if on its own stock, 20 to 24 feet; while the
apple should always be 30 to 36 feet apart, to let in the requisite
degree of sun and air to ripen as well as give growth, color, and flavor
to its fruit. The tendency of almost all planters of fruit trees is to
set them too close, and many otherwise fine fruit gardens are utterly
ruined by the compact manner in which they are planted. Trees are great
consumers of the atmosphere; every leaf is a lung, inhaling and
respiring the gases, and if sufficient breathing room be not allowed
them, the tree sickens, and pines for the want of it; therefore, every
fruit tree, and fruit-bearing shrub should be so placed that the summer
sun can shine on every part of its surface at some hour of the day. In
such position, the fruit will reach its maximum of flavor, size, and

The ground, too, should be rich; and, to have the greatest benefit of
the soil, no crops should be grown among the trees, after they have
arrived at their full maturity of bearing. Thus planted, and nursed,
with good selections of varieties, both the fruit garden and the orchard
become one of the most ornamental, as well as most profitable portions
of the farm.

In point of position, as affecting the appearance of the homestead, the
fruit garden should stand on the _weather-side_ of the dwelling, so as,
although protected, in its several varieties, by itself, when not
altogether sheltered by some superior natural barrier, it should appear
to shelter both the dwelling and kitchen gardens, which adjoin them.

As this is a subject intended to be but incidentally touched in these
pages, and only then as immediately connected in its general character
with the dwelling house and its attachments, we refrain from going into
any particulars of detail concerning it. It is also a subject to which
we are strongly attached, and gladly would we have a set chat with our
readers upon it; but as the discussion for so broad a field as we should
have to survey, would be in many points arbitrary, and unfitting to
local information as to varieties, and particular cultivation, we refer
the reader, with great pleasure, to the several treatises of Downing,
and Thomas, and Barry, on this interesting topic, with which the public
are fortunately in possession; observing, only, that there is no one
item of rural economy to which our attention can be given, which yields
more of luxury, health, and true enjoyment, both to the body and the
mind, than the cultivation of good fruits.


The kitchen garden yields more necessaries and comforts to the family,
than any other piece of ground on the premises. It is, of consequence,
necessary that it be so located and planned as to be ready of access,
and yield the greatest possible quantity of products for the labor
bestowed upon it; and as locality and plan have much to do with the
labor bestowed upon it and the productions it may yield, both these
subjects should be considered.

As to locality, the kitchen garden should lie in the _warmest_ and _most
sheltered_ spot which may be convenient to the _kitchen_ of the house.
It should, in connection with that, be convenient of access to the
dung-yards of the stables. The size may be such as your necessities or
your convenience may demand. The shape, either a parallelogram or a
square; for it will be recollected, that this is a place allotted, not
for a _show_ or _pleasure_ ground, but for _profit_. If the garden be
large, this shape will better allow the use of the plow to turn up the
soil, which, in a large garden, is a much cheaper, and, when properly
done, a better mode than to spade it; and if small, and it be worked
with the spade, _right_ lines are easier made with the spade than curved
ones. One or more walks, at least eight feet wide, should be made,
leading from a broad gate, or bars, through which a cart and horse, or
oxen, may enter, to draw in manure, or carry out the vegetables; and if
such walk, or walks, do not extend around the garden, which, if in a
large one, they should do, a sufficient area should be thrown out at the
farther extremity, to turn the cart upon. If the soil be free, and
stony, the stones should be taken out _clean_, when large--and if small,
down to the size of a hen's egg--and the surface made as level as
possible, for a loose soil will need no draining. If the soil be a clay,
or clayey loam, it should be underdrained two and a half feet, _to be
perfect_, and the draining so planned as to lead off to a lower spot
outside. This draining _warms_ the soil, opens it for filtration, and
makes it friable. Then, properly fenced, thoroughly manured, and plowed
deep, and left rough--no matter how rough--in the fall of the year, and
as late before the setting in of winter as you dare risk it, that part
of the preparation is accomplished.

The _permanent_ or wide walks of the garden, after being laid out and
graded, should never be plowed nor disturbed, except by the hoe and
rake, to keep down the weeds and grass; yet, if a close, and well-shorn
grass turf be kept upon them, it is perhaps the cheapest and most
cleanly way of keeping the walks. They need only cutting off close with
the hand-hook, in summer.

We have known a great many people, after laying out a kitchen garden,
and preparing it for use, fill it up with fruit trees, supposing that
vegetables will grow quite as well with them as without. This is a wide
mistake. _No tree larger than a currant or gooseberry bush should ever
stand in a vegetable garden._ These fruits being partially used in the
cooking department, as much in the way of vegetables, as of fruits, and
small in size, may be permitted; and they, contrary to the usual
practice, should always stand in _open_ ground, where they can have all
the benefits of the sun and rain to ripen the fruit to perfection, as
well as to receive the cultivation they need, instead of being placed
under fences around the sides of the garden, where they are too
frequently neglected, and become the resort of vermin, or make prolific
harbors for weeds.

Along the main walks, or alleys, the borders for perennial plants, as
well as the currant and gooseberry bushes, should be made--for the plow
should run parallel to, and not at right angles with them. Here may
stand the rhubarbs, the sea kales, the various herbs, or even the
asparagus beds, if a particular quarter be not set apart for them; and,
if it be important, a portion of these main borders may be appropriated
to the more common flowers and small shrubbery, if desired to cultivate
them in a plain way; but not a peach, apricot, or any other larger tree
than a currant or raspberry, should come within it. They not only shade
the small plants, but suck up and rob them of their food and moisture,
and keep off the sun, and prevent the circulation of air--than which
nothing needs all these more than garden vegetables, to have them in
high perfection. If it be necessary, by means of a cold exposure on the
one side, to have a close plantation of shrubbery to screen the garden,
let it be _outside_ the fence, rather than within it; but if within, let
there be a _broad_ walk between such shrubbery and the garden beds, as
their roots will extend under the vegetables, and rob them of their

A walk, alley, or cartway, on the sides of the garden, is always better
_next to the fence_, than to fill that space with anything else, as it
is usually shaded for a portion of the day, and may be better afforded
for such _waste_ purposes than the open, sunny ground within.

It will be observed that _market gardeners_, men who always strive to
make the most profit from their land and labor, and obtain the _best_
vegetables, cultivate them in open fields. Not a tree, nor even a bush
is permitted to stand near the growing crop, if they can prevent it; and
where one is not stinted in the area of his domain, their example should
be followed.

A word upon _plowing_ gardens. Clays, or clayey loams, should always be
manured and plowed in the fall, just before the setting in of the winter
frosts. A world of pounding and hammering of lumps, to make them fine,
in spring, is saved by fall plowing, besides incorporating the manure
more thoroughly with the soil, as well as freezing out and destroying
the eggs of worms and insects which infest it. Thrown up deeply and
roughly with the plow or spade, the frosts act mechanically upon the
soil, and slack and pulverise it so thoroughly that a heavy raking in
early spring, is all that becomes necessary to put it in the finest
condition for seeds, and make it perhaps the very best and most
productive of all garden soils whatever. A light sandy loam is better to
lie compact in winter, and manured and turned up in early spring. Its
friable nature leaves it always open and light, and at all times in the
absence of frost, accessible to the spade or the hoe. On these accounts,
it is usually the most desirable and convenient soil for the kitchen
garden, and on the whole, generally preferred where either kind may be a
matter simply of choice.


Start not, gentle reader! We are not about to inflict upon you a
dissertation on Pelargoniums, Calla-Ethiopias, Japonicas, and such like
unmentionable terms, that bring to your mind the green-house, and
forcing-house, and all the train of expense and vexation attending them;
but we desire to have a short familiar conversation about what is all
around you, or if not around you, should be, and kept there, with very
little pains or labor on your part. Still, if you dislike the subject,
just hand this part of our book over to your excellent wife, or
daughters, or sisters, as the case may be, and we will talk to them
about this matter.

Flowers have their objects, and were made for our use and pleasure;
otherwise, God would never have strewed them, as he has, so bountifully
along our paths, and filled the world with their fragrance and beauty.
Like all else beautiful, which He made, and pronounced "good," flowers
have been objects of admiration and love since man's creation; and their
cultivation has ever been a type of civilization and refinement among
all people who have left written records behind them. Flowers equally
become the cottage and the palace, in their decoration. The humblest
cottager, and the mightiest monarch, have equally admired their beauty
and their odor; and the whole train of mortals between, have devoted a
portion of their time and thoughts to the development of their peculiar

But let that pass. Plain country people as we are, there are enough of
sufficient variety all around us, to engage our attention, and give us
all that we desire to embellish our homes, and engage the time which we
have to devote to them. Among the wild flowers, in the mountains and
hills of the farthest North, on the margin of their hidden brooks, where

  "Floats the scarce-rooted watercress;"

and on their barren sides, the tiny violet and the laurel bloom, each in
their season, with unwonted beauty; and, sloping down on to the plains
beneath, blush out in all their summer garniture, the wild rose and the
honeysuckle. On, through the Middle States, the lesser flowers of early
spring throw out a thousand brilliant dyes, and are surrounded by a host
of summer plants, vieing with each other in the exuberance of their
tints. On the Alleghanies, through all their vast range, grow up the
magnificent dogwood, kalmia, and rhododendron, spangling mile upon
mile of their huge sides and tops with white, and covering crags and
precipices of untold space with their blushing splendor. Further west,
on the prairies, and oak openings, and in the deep woods, too, of the
great lakes, and of the Mississippi valley, with the earliest grass,
shoot up, all over the land, a succession of flowers, which in variety
and profusion of shape, and color, and odor, outvie all the lilies of
the gardens of Solomon; and so they continue till the autumnal frosts
cut down both grass and flower alike. Further south, along the piney
coast, back through the hills and over the vast reach of cotton and
sugar lands, another class of flowers burst out from their natural
coverts in equal glory; and the magnolia, and the tulip-tree, and the
wild orange throw a perfume along the air, like the odors of Palestine.
In the deep lagoons of the southern rivers, too, float immense
water-lilies, laying their great broad leaves, and expanded white and
yellow flowers, upon the surface, which the waters of the Nile in the
days of Cleopatra never equaled. And these are nature's wild productions

Flowers being cultivated, not for profit, but for show and amusement,
need not intrude upon the time which is required to the more important
labors of the farm. A little time, given at such hours when it can be
best spared, will set all the little flower-beds in order, and keep the
required shrubbery of the place in trim--and should not be denied in any
family who enjoy a taste for them. Even the simplest of their kind, when
carefully disposed, produce a fine effect; and the hardy bulbous, and
tuberous-rooted plants require but slight aid in producing the highest
perfection of their bloom; while the fibrous-rooted perennials, and the
flowering shrubs, bloom on from year to year, almost uncared for and

The annuals require the most attention. Their seeds must be planted and
gathered every year; they must be weeded and nursed with more care than
the others; yet they richly repay all this trouble in their fresh bloom
when the others are gone, and will carry their rich flowers far into the
frosts of autumn, when their hardier companions have composed themselves
for a winter's rest.

The position of the flower-bed, or borders, may be various. As a matter
of taste, however, they should be near the house, and in view of the
windows of the most frequented rooms. They thus give more enjoyment in
their sight, than when but occasionally seen in special visits; and such
spots can usually be set apart for them. If not in the way of more
important things, they should always be thus placed, where they are ever
objects of interest and attraction.

The ground which flowering plants occupy should be devoted to them
alone, and the soil be made deep and rich. They should not be huddled
up, nor crowded, but stand well apart, and have plenty of breathing-room
for their branches and leaves, and space for the spread of their roots.
They are consumers of the fertilizing gases, and require, equally with
other plants, their due supply of manures--which also adds to the
brilliance and size of their bloom, as well as to the growth of their
stems. Their roots should be protected in winter by coarse litter thrown
over them, particularly the earlier flowering plants, as it gives them
an early and rapid start in the spring.

In variety, we need scarcely recommend what may be most desirable. The
crocus, and snowdrop are among (if not quite) the earliest in bloom; and
to these follow the hyacinth, and daffodil, the jonquil, and many-varied
family of Narcissus, the low-headed hearts-ease, or pansy; with them,
too, comes the flowering-almond, the lilac, and another or two flowering
shrubs. Then follow the tulips, in all their gorgeous and splendid
variety of single, double, and fringed. To these follow the great
peonies, in their full, dashing colors of crimson, white and pink, and
the tree-like snow-ball, or guelder-rose. By the side of these hangs out
the monthly-trumpet-honeysuckle, gracing the columns of your veranda,
porch, or window, and the large Siberian honeysuckle, with its white and
pink flowers; and along with them, the various Iris family, or
fleur-de-lis, reminding one of France and the Bourbons, the Prussian
lilac, and the early phloxes. Then blush out, in all their endless
variety of shade and tint, from the purest white to the deepest purple,
the whole vast family of roses; and in stature, from the humblest twig
that leans its frail stem upon the ground, up to the hardy climber,
whose delicious clusters hang over your chamber window; and a month of
fragrance and beauty of these completes the succession of bulbs, and
tubers, and perennial plants and shrubs--scores of which have not been

Now commence the annuals, which may carry you a month further into the
season, when the flaunting dahlia of every hue, and budding from its
plant of every size, from the height of little Tommy, who is just
toddling out with his mother to watch the first opening flower, up to
the top of his father's hat, as he stands quite six feet, to hold the
little fellow up to try to smell of another, which, like all the rest,
has no sign of odor. Then come, after a long retinue of different
things--among which we always count the morning-glory, or convolvulus,
running up the kitchen windows,--the great sun-flower, which throws his
broad disk high over the garden fence, always cheerful, and always
glowing--the brilliant tribe of asters, rich, varied, and beautiful,
running far into the autumnal frosts; and, to close our floral season,
the chrysanthemum, which, well cared-for, blooms out in the open air,
and, carefully taken up and boxed, will stay with us, in the house, till
Christmas. Thus ends the blooming year. Now, if you would enjoy a
pleasure perfectly pure, which has no alloy, save an occasional
disappointment by casualty, and make home interesting beyond all other
places, learn first to love, then to get, and next to cultivate flowers.


Altogether too little attention has been paid in our country to these
most useful appendages to the farm, both in their construction and
appearance. Nothing adds more to the feeling of comfort, convenience,
and _home_ expression in the farm, than the snug-built laborers' cottage
upon it. The cottage also gives the farm an air of respectability and
dignity. The laborer should, if not so sumptuously, be as comfortably
housed and sheltered as his employer. This is quite as much to the
interest of such employer as it is beneficial to the health and
happiness of the laborer. Building is so cheap in America, that the
difference in cost between a snugly-finished cottage, and a rickety,
open tenement, is hardly to be taken into consideration, as compared
with the higher health, and increased enjoyment of the laborer and his
family; while every considerate employer knows that cheerfulness and
contentment of disposition, which are perhaps more promoted by good home
accommodations for the workingman than by any other influence, are
strong incentives to increased labor on his part, and more fidelity in
its application.

A landed estate, of whatever extent, with its respectable farm house,
in its own expressive style of construction, relieved and set off by its
attendant cottages, either contiguous, or remote, and built in their
proper character, leaves nothing wanting to fill the picture upon which
one loves to gaze in the contemplation of country life; and without
these last in due keeping with the chief structures of the estate, a
blank is left in its completeness and finish. The little embellishments
which may be given, by way of architectural arrangement, or the
conveniences in accommodation, are, in almost all cases, appreciated by
those who occupy them, and have an influence upon their character and
conduct; while the trifling decorations which may be added in the way of
shrubbery, trees, and flowering plants, costing little or nothing in
their planting and keeping, give a charm to the humblest abode.

The position of cottages on a farm should be controlled by
considerations of convenience to the place of labor, and a proper
economy in their construction; and hardly a site can be inappropriate
which ensures these requirements. In the plans which are submitted, due
attention has been paid to the comfort of those who inhabit them, as
well as to picturesque effect in the cottage itself. Decency, order, and
respectability are thus given to the estate, and to those who inhabit
the cottages upon it, as well as to those whose more fortunate position
in life has given the enjoyment of a higher luxury in the occupancy of
its chief mansion.

On all estates where the principal dwelling is located at any
considerable distance from the public road, or where approached by a
side road shut off from the highway by a gate, a small cottage, by way
of lodge, or laborer's tenement, should be located at or near the
entrance. Such appendage is not only ornamental in itself, but gives
character to the place, and security to the enclosure; in guarding it
from improper intrusion, as well as to receive and conduct into the
premises those who either reside upon, or have business within it. It is
thus a sort of sentry-box, as well as a laborer's residence.

  [Illustration: COTTAGE. Pages 211-212.]


This cottage is 10 feet high, from the sill to the plates, and may be
built of wood, with a slight frame composed of sills and plates only,
and planked up and down (vertically) and battened; or grooved and
tongued, and matched close together; or it may be framed throughout with
posts and studs, and covered with rough boards, and over these
clapboards, and lathed and plastered inside. The first mode would be the
cheapest, although not so warm and durable as the other, yet quite
comfortable when warmed by a stove. On the second plan of building,
it will cost near or quite double the amount of the first, if neatly
painted. A small brick chimney should rest upon the floor overhead, in
the side of which, at least a foot above the chamber floor, should be
inserted an earthen or iron thimble, to receive the stovepipe and guard
against fire; unless a flat stone, 14 to 16 inches square, and 2 to 4
inches thick, with a pipe-hole--which is the better plan--should rest on
the floor immediately over the pipe. This stone should be, also, the
foundation of the chimney, which should pass immediately up through the
ridge of the roof, and, for effect, in the center longitudinally, of the
house. Such position will not interfere with the location of the stove,
which may be placed in any part of the room, the pipe reaching the
chimney by one or more elbows.


The main body of this cottage is 18×12 feet, with a lean-to, 8 feet
wide, running its whole length in rear. This lean-to may be 8 or 9
inches lower, on the floor, than the main room, and divided into a
passage, (leading to an open wood-house in rear, 10×12 feet, with a shed
roof,) a large closet, and a bedroom, as may be required; or, the
passage end may be left open at the side, for a wood shelter, or other
useful purpose. The roof, which is raftered, boarded, and shingled in
the usual mode, is well spread over the gables, as well as over the
front and rear--say 18 inches. The porch in front will give additional
convenience in summer, as a place to sit, or eat under, and its posts so
fitted with grooves as to let in rough planks for winter enclosure in
front and at one end, leaving the entrance only, at the least windy, or
stormy side. The extra cost of such preparation, with the planks, which
should be 1¼ or 1½ inches thick, and jointed, would not exceed ten or
fifteen dollars. This would make an admirable wood-house for the winter,
and a perfect snuggery for a small family. While in its summer dress,
with the porch opened--the planks taken out and laid overhead, across
the beams connecting the porch with the house--it would present an
object of quiet comfort and beauty. A hop vine or honeysuckle might be
trained outside the posts, and give it all the shade required.

In a stony country, where the adjoining enclosures are of stone, this
cottage may be built of stone, also, at about double the cost of wood.
This would save the expense of paint, or wash of any kind, besides the
greater character of durability and substance it would add to the
establishment. Trees, of course, should shelter it; and any little
out-buildings that may be required should be nestled under a screen of
vines and shrubbery near by.

This being designed as the humblest and cheapest kind of cottage, where
the family occupy only a single room, the cost would be small. On the
plan first named, stained with a coarse wash, it could be built for
$100. On the second plan, well-framed of sills, plates, posts, studs,
&c. &c., covered with vertical boarding and battens, or clapboarded, and
well painted in oil, it might cost $150 to $200. Stone, or brick,
without paint, would add but little, if anything in cost over the last
sum. The ceiling of the main floor is 8 feet high, and a low chamber or
garret is afforded above it, into which a swing-step ladder ascends; and
when not in use, it may be hung to the ceiling overhead by a common hook
and staples.


This cottage is a grade beyond the one just described, both in
appearance and accommodation. It is 20×16 feet on the ground, with a
rear wing 26×8 feet in area. The main body is 10 feet high, to the roof,
vertically boarded and battened. A snug, half-open (or it may be closed,
as convenience may require,) porch shelters the front door, 5×4 feet in
area. The cottage has a square or hipped roof, of a 30° pitch from a
horizontal line, which spreads full two feet over the walls and
bracketed beneath. The rear wing retreats two feet from the wall line of
the main building, and has also a hipped roof of the same pitch as the
main one, with eight-feet posts. The open end of the wing advances 6
feet toward the front of the main part for wood-house and storage. The
construction of this is in the same style as Design I. The windows are
plain, two-sashed, of six lights each, 8×12 glass in front, and 8×10 in
the rear.

  [Illustration: COTTAGE. Pages 217-218.]


The front door opens into a common living room, 16×12 feet, with two
windows, in which is a stove-chimney running up from the main floor next
the partition, or placed over it in the chamber, and running up through
the center of the roof. On one side of the living room is a bedroom,
10×8 feet, with two windows. Next to this bedroom is a large closet, 8×6
feet, with one window, and shelves, and tight cupboard within. These
rooms are 9 feet high, and over them is a chamber, or garret, 20×16
feet, entered by a swing step ladder, as in Design No. I. This garret is
lighted by a small dormer window in the rear roof, over the shed or
lean-to. A bed may be located in this chamber, or it may serve as a
storage and lumber-room.

The wing contains a small kitchen, in case the living room be not
occupied for that purpose, 10×8 feet, lighted by a side-window, and
having a small chimney in the rear wall. It may contain, also, a small
closet, 3 feet square. A door passes from this small kitchen into the
wood-house, which is 16×8 feet, or with its advance L, 14 feet, in the
extreme outer corner of which is a water-closet, 5×3 feet; thus,
altogether, giving accommodation to a family of five or six persons.

The construction of this cottage is shown as of wood. Other material,
either brick or stone, may be used, as most convenient, at a not much
increased cost. The expense of this building may be, say fifty per cent.
higher than that of No. I, according to the finish, and may be
sufficiently well done and painted complete for $300; which may be
reduced or increased, according to the style of finish and the taste of
the builder.

A cellar may be made under this cottage, which can be reached by a
trap-door from the living room, opening to a flight of steps below.


This cottage is still in advance of No. II, in style and arrangement,
and may accommodate not only the farm laborer or gardener, but will
serve for a small farmer himself, or a village mechanic. It is in the
French style of roof, and allied to the Italian in its brackets, and
gables, and half-terraced front. The body of the cottage is 22×20 feet,
with twelve-feet posts; the roof has a pitch of 50° from a horizontal
line, in its straight dimensions, curving horizontally toward the eaves,
which, together with the gables, project 3 feet over the walls. The
terrace in front is 5 feet wide. On the rear is a wood-house, 18×16 feet
in area, open at the house end, and in front, with a roof in same style
as the main house, and posts, 8 feet high, standing on the ground,
2 feet below the surface of the cellar wall, which supports the main

  [Illustration: COTTAGE. Pages 221-222.]


The front door opens, in the center of the front wall, into a hall, 12×8
feet, with a flight of stairs on one side, leading to the chamber above;
under the stairs, at the upper end, is a passage leading beneath them
into the cellar. On one side of this hall is a bedroom 8×10 feet,
lighted by a window in front, and part of the hooded double window on
the side. On the inner side, a door leads from the hall into the living
room or kitchen, 18×12 feet. On one side of this is a bedroom, or
pantry, as may be most desirable, 9×6 feet, from which leads a close
closet, 3 feet square. This bedroom has a window on one side, next the
hall. A door from the kitchen leads into a closet, 3 feet wide, which
may contain a sink, and cupboard for kitchen wares. The living room is
lighted by a part of the double hooded window on one side, and another
on the rear. A door leads into the wood-house, which is 12×16 feet, in
the extreme corner of which is the water-closet, 5×3 feet. The rooms in
this cottage are 9 feet high. A chimney leads up from the floor of the
living room, which may receive, in addition to its own fireplace, or
stove, a pipe from the stove in the hall, if one is placed there.

The chamber has two feet of perpendicular wall, and the sharp roof gives
opportunity for two good lodging rooms, which may be partitioned off as
convenience may require, each lighted by a window in the gables, and a
dormer one in the roof, for the passage leading into them.

The hall may serve as a pleasant sitting or dining-room, in pleasant
weather, opening, as it does, on to the terrace, which is mostly
sheltered by the overhanging roof.

The construction of this cottage may be of either stone, brick, or wood,
and produce a fine effect. Although it has neither porch, nor veranda,
the broad eaves and gables give it a well-sheltered appearance, and the
hooded windows on the sides throw an air of protection over them, quite
agreeable to the eye. The framing of this roof is no way different,
in the rafters, from those made on straight lines, but the curve and
projection is given by planks cut into proper shape, and spiked into the
rafters, and apparently supported by the brackets below, which should be
cut from two to three-inch plank, to give them a heavy and substantial
appearance. The windows are in casement form, as shown in the design,
but may be changed into the ordinary sash form, if preferred, which is,
in this country, usually the better way. It will be observed, that we
have in all cases adopted the usual square-sided form of glass for
windows, as altogether more convenient and economical in building,
simple in repairing, and, we think, quite as agreeable in appearance,
as those out-of-the-way shapes frequently adopted to give a more
picturesque effect.

In a hilly, mountainous, and evergreen country, this style of cottage is
peculiarly appropriate. It takes additional character from bold and
picturesque scenery, with which it is in harmony. The pine, spruce,
cedar, or hemlock, or the evergreen laurel, planted around or near it,
will give it increased effect, while among deciduous trees and shrubs,
an occasional Lombardy poplar, and larch, will harmonize with the
boldness of its outline. Even where hill or mountain scenery is wanting,
plantations such as have been named, would render it a pleasing style of
cottage, and give agreeable effect to its bold, sharp roof and
projecting eaves.

In a snowy country, the plan of roof here presented is well adapted to
the shedding of heavy snows, on which it can find no protracted
lodgment. Where massive stone walls enclose the estate, this style of
cottage will be in character, as comporting with that strong and solid
air which the rustic appearance of stone alone can give. It may, too,
receive the same amount of outer decoration, in its shrubbery and
plantations, given to any other style of building of like accommodation,
and with an equally agreeable effect.


This cottage is still in advance of the last, in its accommodation, and
is suitable for the small farmer, or the more liberal cottager, who
requires wider room, and ampler conveniences than are allowed by the
hitherto described structures. It is a first class dwelling, of its
kind, and, in its details and finish, may be adapted to a variety of
occupation, while it will afford a sufficient amount of expenditure to
gratify a liberal outlay, to him who chooses to indulge his taste in a
moderate extent of decoration and embellishment.

The ground plan of this cottage is 30×22 feet, in light rural-Gothic
style, one and a half stories high, the posts 14 feet in elevation.
It has two chimneys, passing out through the roof on each side of the
ridge, uniformly, each with the other. The roof has a pitch of 45° from
a horizontal line, giving it a bold and rather dashing appearance, and
deeply sheltering the walls. The side gables give variety to the roof,
and light to the chambers, and add to the finish of its appearance;
while the sharp arched double window in the front gable adds character
to the design.

  [Illustration: COTTAGE. Pages 227-228.]

The deep veranda in front covers three-quarters of its surface in
length, and in the symmetry of its roof, and airiness of its columns,
with their light braces, give it a style of completeness; and if
creeping vines or climbing shrubs be trained upon them, will produce an
effect altogether rural and beautiful.

Or, if a rustic style of finish be adopted, to render it cheaper in
construction, the effect may still be imposing, and in harmony with the
purposes to which it is designed. In fact, this model will admit of a
variety of choice in finish, from the plainest to a high degree of
embellishment, as the ability or fancy of the builder may suggest.


From the veranda in the center of the front, a door opens into a hall,
17×7 feet, with a flight of stairs leading, in three different angles,
to the chambers above. Opposite the front door is the passage into the
living room, or parlor, 17×15 feet, lighted by three windows, two of
which present an agreeable view of an adjacent stream and its opposite
shores. At the line of partition from the hall, stands a chimney, with a
fireplace, if desirable, or for a stove, to accommodate both this room
and the hall with a like convenience; and under the flight of stairs
adjoining opens a china closet, with spacious shelves, for the
safe-keeping of household comforts. From this room, a door leads into a
bedroom, 10×13 feet, lighted by a window opening into the veranda, also
accommodated by a stove, which leads into a chimney at its inner
partition. Next to this bedroom is the kitchen, 12×13 feet, accommodated
with a chimney, where may be inserted an open fireplace, or a stove, as
required. In this is a flight of back chamber and cellar stairs. This
room is lighted by two windows--one in the side, another in the rear.
A door leads from its rear into a large, roomy pantry, 8 feet square,
situated in the wing, and lighted by a window. Next to this is a
passage, 3 feet in width, leading to the wood-house, (in which the
pantry just named is included,) 16×12 feet, with nine-feet posts, and
roof pitched like the house, in the extreme corner of which is a
water-closet, 5×3 feet. Cornering upon the wood-house beyond, is a small
building, 15×12 feet, with ten-feet posts, and a roof in same style as
the others--with convenience for a cow and a pig, with each a separate
entrance. A flight of stairs leads to the hay-loft above the stables, in
the gable of which is the hay-door; and under the stairs is the granary;
and to these may be added, inside, a small accommodation for a choice
stock of poultry.

The chamber plan is the same as the lower floor, mainly, giving three
good sleeping-rooms; that over the kitchen, being a _back_ chamber, need
not have a separate passage into the upper hall, but may have a door
passage into the principal chamber. The door to the front bedroom leads
direct from the upper hall. Thus, accommodation is given to quite a
numerous family. Closets may be placed in each of these chambers,
if wanted; and the entire establishment made a most snug and compact,
as well as commodious arrangement.


Nothing so perfectly sets off a cottage, in external appearance, as the
presence of plants and shrubbery around it. A large tree or two, by
giving an air of protection, is always in place; and creeping vines, and
climbing shrubs about the windows and porch, are in true character;
while a few low-headed trees, of various kinds, together with some
simple and hardy annual and other flowers--to which should always be
added, near by, a small, well-tended kitchen garden--fill up the

In the choice of what varieties should compose these ornaments, one can
hardly be at a loss. Flanking the cottage, and near the kitchen garden,
should be the fruit trees. The elm, maples, oak, and hickory, in all
their varieties, black-walnut, butternut--the last all the better for
its rich kernel--are every one appropriate for shade, as _large_ trees.
The hop, morning-glory, running beans--all useful and ornamental as
summer climbers; the clematis, bitter-sweet, ivy, any of the _climbing_
roses; the lilac, syringa, snow-ball, and the _standard_ roses; while
marigolds, asters, pinks, the phloxes, peonies, and a few other of the
thousand-and-one simple and charming annuals, biennials, and perennials,
with now and then a gorgeous sunflower, flaunting in its broad glory,
will fill up the catalogue. Rare and costly plants are not required, and
indeed, are hardly in place in the grounds of an ordinary cottage,
unless occupied by the professional gardener. They denote expense, which
the laboring cottager cannot afford; and besides that, they detract from
the simplicity of the life and purpose which not only the cottage
itself, but everything around it, should express.

There is an affectation of _cottage_ building, with some people who,
with a seeming humility, really aim at higher flights of style in living
within them, than truth of either design or purpose will admit. But as
such cases are more among villagers, and those temporarily retiring from
the city for summer residence, the farm cottage has little to do with
it. Still, such fancies are contagious, and we have occasionally seen
the ambitious cottage, with its covert expression of humility,
insinuating itself on to the farm, and for the farmer's own family
occupation, too, which at once spoiled, to the eye, the _substantial
reality_ of the whole establishment. A farmer should discard all such
things as _ornamental_ cottages. They do not belong to the farm. If he
live in a cottage himself, it should be a _plain_ one; yet it may be
very substantial and well finished--something showing that he means
either to be content in it, in its character of plainness, or that he
intends, at a future day, to build something better--when this may serve
for the habitation of one of his laborers.

The cottage should never occupy a principal, or prominent site on the
farm. It should take a subordinate position of ground. This adds to its
expression as subordinate in rank, among the lesser farm buildings. A
cottage cannot, and should not aspire to be _chief_ in either position
or character. Such should be the farm house proper; although
unpretending, still, in style, above the cottage; and if the latter,
in addition, be required on the farm, it should so appear, both in
construction and finish; just what it is intended for--a tenement for
economical purposes.

There is another kind of cottage, the dwellers in which, these pages
will probably never reach, that expresses, in its wild structure, and
rude locality, the idea of Moore's pretty song--

  "I knew by the smoke that so gracefully curled
  Above the green elms, that a cottage was near."

Yet, in some parts of our country, landlords may build such, for the
accommodation of tenants, which they may make useful on the outskirts of
their estates, and add indirectly to their own convenience and interest
in so doing. This may be indulged in, _poetically_ too--for almost any
thinking man has a spice of poetry in his composition--vagabondism, a
strict, economizing utilitarian would call it. The name matters not. One
may as well indulge his taste in this cheap sort of charitable
expenditure, as another may indulge, in his dogs, and guns, his horses
and equipages--and the first is far the cheapest. They, at the west and
south, understand this, whose recreations are occasionally with their
hounds, in chase of the deer, and the fox, and in their pursuit spend
weeks of the fall and winter months, in which they are accompanied, and
assisted, as boon companions for the time, by the rude tenants of the
cottages we have described:

  "A cheerful, simple, honest people."

Another class of cottage may come within the farm enclosures, half
poetical, and half economical, such as Milton describes:

  "Hard by a cottage chimney smokes,
  From betwixt two aged oaks;"

and occupied by a family pensioner and his infirm old wife--we don't
think _all_ "poor old folks" ought to go to the alms-house, because they
cannot work _every_ day of the year--of which all long-settled families
of good estate have, now and then, one near to, or upon their premises.
Thousands of kind and liberal hearts among our farming and planting
brethren, whose impulses are--

  "Open as the day to melting charity,"

are familiar with the wants of those who are thus made their dependents;
and in their accommodation, an eye may be kept to the producing of an
agreeable effect in locating their habitations, and to rudely embellish,
rather than to mar the domain on which they may be lodged.

In short, cottage architecture, in its proper character, may be made as
effective, in all the ornament which it should give to the farm, as that
of any other structure; and if those who have occasion for the cottage
will only be content to build and maintain it as it should be, and leave
off that perpetual aspiration after something unnatural, and foreign to
its purpose, which so many cottage builders of the day attempt, and let
it stand in its own humble, secluded character, they will save
themselves a world of trouble, and pass for--what they now do not--men
possessing a taste for truth and propriety in their endeavors.


This is a subject so thoroughly discussed in the books, of late, that
anything which may here be said, would avail but little, inasmuch as our
opinions might be looked upon as "old-fashioned," "out of date," and "of
no account whatever,"--for wonderfully modern notions in room-furnishing
have crept into the farm house, as well as into town houses. Indeed, we
confess to altogether ancient opinions in regard to household furniture,
and contend, that, with a few exceptions, "modern degeneracy" has
reached the utmost stretch of absurdity, in house-furnishing, to which
the ingenuity of man can arrive. Fashions in furniture change about as
often as the cut of a lady's dress, or the shape of her bonnet, and
pretty much from the same source, too--the fancy shops of Paré, once, in
good old English, Paris, the capital city of France. A farmer, rich or
poor, may spend half his annual income, every year of his life, in
taking down old, and putting up new furniture, and be kept uncomfortable
all the time; when, if he will, after a quiet, good-tempered talk with
his better-half, agree with her upon the list of _necessary_ articles to
make them _really comfortable_; and then a catalogue of what shall
comprise the _luxurious_ part of their furnishings, which, when
provided, they will fixedly make up their mind to keep, and be content
with, they will remain entirely free from one great source of "the ills
which flesh is heir to."

It is pleasant to see a young couple setting out in their housekeeping
life, well provided with convenient and properly-selected furniture,
appropriate to all the uses of the family; and then to keep, and use it,
and enjoy it, like contented, sensible people; adding to it, now and
then, as its wear, or the increasing wants of their family may require.
Old, familiar things, to which we have long been accustomed, and
habituated, make up a round share of our actual enjoyment. A family
addicted to constant change in their household furniture, attached to
nothing, content with nothing, and looking with anxiety to the next
change of fashion which shall introduce something _new_ into the house,
can take no sort of comfort, let their circumstances be ever so
affluent. It is a kind of dissipation in which some otherwise worthy
people are prone to indulge, but altogether pernicious in the
indulgence. It detracts, also, from the apparent respectability of a
family to find nothing _old_ about them--as if they themselves were of
yesterday, and newly dusted out of a modern shop-keeper's stock in
trade. The furniture of a house ought to look as though the family
within it once had a grandfather--and as if old things had some
veneration from those who had long enjoyed their service.

We are not about to dictate, of what fashion household furniture should
be, when selected, any further than that of a plain, substantial, and
commodious fashion, and that it should comport, so far as those
requirements in it will admit, with the approved modes of the day. But
we are free to say, that in these times the extreme of absurdity, and
unfitness for _use_, is more the fashion than anything else. What so
useless as the modern French chairs, standing on legs like pipe-stems,
_garote_-ing your back like a rheumatism, and frail as the legs of a
spider beneath you, as you sit in it; and a tribe of equally worthless
incumbrances, which absorb your money in their cost, and detract from
your comfort, instead of adding to it, when you have got them; or a
bedstead so high that you must have a ladder to climb into it, or so low
as to scarcely keep you above the level of the floor, when lying on it.
No; give us the substantial, the easy, the free, and enjoyable articles,
and the rest may go to tickle the fancy of those who have a taste for
them. Nor do these flashy furnishings add to one's rank in society, or
to the good opinion of those whose consideration is most valuable. Look
into the houses of those people who are the _really_ substantial, and
worthy of the land. There will be found little of such frippery with
them. Old furniture, well-preserved, useful in everything, mark the
well-ordered arrangement of their rooms, and give an air of quietude, of
comfort, and of hospitality to their apartments. Children cling to such
objects in after life, as heir-looms of affection and parental regard.

Although we decline to give specific directions about what varieties of
furniture should constitute the furnishings of a house, or to illustrate
its style or fashion by drawings, and content ourself with the single
remark, that it should, in all cases, be strong, plain, and durable--no
sham, nor ostentation about it--and such as is _made for use_: mere
trinkets stuck about the room, on center tables, in corners, or on the
mantel-piece, are the foolishest things imaginable. They are costly;
they require a world of care, to keep them in condition; and then, with
all this care, they are good for nothing, in any sensible use. We have
frequently been into a country house, where we anticipated better
things, and, on being introduced into the "parlor," actually found
everything in the furniture line so dainty and "prinked up," that we
were afraid to sit down on the frail things stuck around by way of
seats, for fear of breaking them; and everything about it looked so
gingerly and inhospitable, that we felt an absolute relief when we could
fairly get out of it, and take a place by the wide old fireplace, in the
common living room, comfortably ensconced in a good old easy,
high-backed, split-bottomed chair--there was positive comfort in that,
when in the "parlor" there was nothing but restraint and _dis_comfort.
No; leave all this vanity to town-folk, who have nothing better--or who,
at least, think they have--to amuse themselves with; it has no fitness
for a country dwelling, whatever. All this kind of frippery smacks of
the boarding school, the pirouette, and the dancing master, and is out
of character for the farm, or the sensible retirement of the country.

In connection with the subject of furniture, a remark may be made on the
_room_ arrangement of the house, which might, perhaps, have been more
fittingly made when discussing that subject, in the designs of our
houses. Some people have a marvellous propensity for introducing into
their houses a _suite_ of rooms, connected by wide folding-doors, which
must always be opened into each other, furnished just alike, and devoted
to extraordinary occasions; thus absolutely sinking the best rooms in
the house, for display half a dozen times in the year, and at the
sacrifice of the every-day comfort of the family. This is nothing but a
bastard taste, of the most worthless kind, introduced from the city--the
propriety of which, for city life, need not here be discussed. The
presence of such arrangement, in a country house, is fatal to everything
like domestic enjoyment, and always followed by great expense and
inconvenience. No room, in any house, should be too good for occupation
by the family themselves--not every-day, and common-place--but
occupation at any and all times, when convenience or pleasure demand it.
If a large room be required, let the single room itself be large; not
sacrifice an extra room to the occasional extension of the choicer one,
as in the use of folding-doors must be done. This "parlor" may be better
furnished--and so it should be--than any other room in the house. Its
carpet should be not too good to tread, or stand upon, or for the
children to roll and tumble upon, provided their shoes and clothes be
clean. Let the happy little fellows roll and tumble on it, to their
heart's content, when their mother or elder sisters are with them--for
it may be, perhaps, the most joyous, and most innocent pleasure of their
lives, poor things! The hearth-rug should be in keeping with the carpet,
also, and no floor-cloth should be necessary to cover it, for fear of
soiling; but everything free and easy, with a comfortable, inviting,
hospitable look about it.

Go into the houses of our great men--such as live in the country--whom
God made great, not money--and see how _they_ live. We speak not of
statesmen and politicians alone, but great merchants, great scholars,
great divines, great mechanics, and all men who, in mind and
attainments, are head and shoulder above their class in any of the walks
of life, and you find no starch, or flummery about them. We once went
out to the country house--he lived there all the time, for that
matter--of a distinguished banker of one of our great cities, to dine,
and spend the day with him. He had a small farm attached to his
dwelling, where he kept his horses and cows, his pigs, and his poultry.
He had a large, plain two-story cottage house, with a piazza running on
three sides of it, from which a beautiful view of the neighboring city,
and water, and land, was seen in nearly all directions. He was an
educated man. His father had been a statesman of distinguished ability
and station at home, and a diplomatist abroad, and himself educated in
the highest circles of business, and of society. His wife, too, was the
daughter of a distinguished city merchant, quite his equal in all the
accomplishments of life. His own wealth was competent; he was the
manager of millions of the wealth of others; and his station in society
was of the highest. Yet, with all this claim to pretension, his house
did not cost him eight thousand dollars--and he built it by "days-work,"
too, so as to have it faithfully done; and the furniture in it, aside
from library, paintings, and statuary, never cost him three thousand.
Every room in it was a plain one, not more highly finished than many a
farmer's house can afford. The furniture of every kind was plain,
saving, perhaps, the old family plate, and such as he had added to it,
which was all substantial, and made for use. The younger children--and
of these, younger and older, he had several--we found happy, healthy,
cheerful, and frolicking on the carpets; and their worthy mother, in the
plainest, yet altogether appropriate garb, was sitting among them, at
her family sewing, and kindly welcomed us as we took our seats in front
of the open, glowing fireplace. "Why, sir," we exclaimed, rubbing our
hands in the comfortable glow of warmth which the fire had given--for it
was a cold December day--"you are quite plain, as well as wonderfully
comfortable, in your country house--quite different from your former
city residence!" "To be sure we are," was the reply; "we stood it as
long as we could, amid the starch and the gimcracks of ---- street,
where we rarely had a day to ourselves, and the children could never
_go_ into the streets but they must be tagged and tasselled, in their
dress, into all sorts of discomfort, merely for the sake of appearance.
So, after standing it as long as we could, my wife and I determined we
would try the country, for a while, and see what we could make of it.
We kept our town-house, into which we returned for a winter or two; but
gave it up for a permanent residence here, with which we are perfectly
content. We see here all the friends we want to see; we all enjoy
ourselves, and the children are healthy and happy." And this is but a
specimen of thousands of families in the enjoyment of country life,
including the families of men in the highest station, and possessed of
sufficient wealth.

Why, then, should the farmer ape the fashion, and the frivolity of the
butterflies of town life, or permit his family to do it? It is the
sheerest possible folly in him to do so. Yet, it is a folly into which
many are imperceptibly gliding, and which, if not reformed, will
ultimately lead to great discomfort to themselves, and ruin to their
families. Let thoughtless people do as they choose. Pay no attention to
their extravagance; but watch them for a dozen years, and see how they
come out in their fashionable career; and observe the fate of their
families, as they get "established" in the like kind of life. He who
keeps aloof from such temptation, will then have no cause to regret that
he has maintained his own steady course of living, and taught his sons
and daughters that a due attention to their own comfort, with economical
habits in everything relating to housekeeping, will be to their lasting
benefit in future.

But, we have said enough to convey the ideas in house-furnishing we
would wish to impart; and the reader will do as he, or she, no doubt,
would have done, had we not written a word about it--go and select such
as may strike their own fancy.

We received, a day or two since, a letter from a person at the west,
entirely unknown to us, whose ideas so entirely correspond with our own,
that we give it a place, as showing that a proper taste _does_ prevail
among many people in this country, in regard to buildings, and
house-furnishings; and which we trust he will pardon us for publishing,
as according entirely with our own views, in conclusion:

  ----, ----, Ill., Dec. 18, 1851.

  DEAR SIR,--I received, a few days since, a copy of the first number
  of a periodical called the "Plough," into which is copied the
  elevation of a design for a farm house, purporting to be from a
  forthcoming work of yours, entitled "Rural Architecture." Although a
  perfect stranger to you, you will perhaps allow me to make one or
  two suggestions.

  I have seen no work yet, which seems fully to meet the wants of our
  country people in the matter of furniture. After having built their
  houses, they need showing how to furnish them in the cheapest, most
  neat, comfortable, convenient, and substantial manner. The furniture
  should be designed for use, not merely for show. I would have it
  plain, but not coarse--just enough for the utmost convenience, but
  nothing superfluous. The articles of furniture figured, and
  partially described in the late works on those subjects, are mostly
  of too elaborate and expensive a cast to be generally introduced
  into our country houses. There is too much _nabobery_ about them to
  meet the wants, or suit the taste of the plain American farmer.

  As to out-houses--the barn, stable, carriage and wagon-house,
  tool-house, piggery, poultry-house, corn-crib, and granary, (to
  say nothing of the "rabbit-warren" and "dovecote,")--are necessary
  appendages of the farm house. Now, as cheapness is one great
  desideratum with nearly all our new beginners in this western
  region, it seems to me, that such plans as will conveniently include
  the greatest number of these under the same roof, will be best
  suited to their necessities. I do not mean to be understood that,
  for the sake of the first cost, we should pay no regard to the
  appearance, or that we should slight our work, or suffer it to be
  constructed of flimsy or perishable materials: we should not only
  have an eye to taste and durability, but put in practice the most
  strict economy.

  I hope, in the above matters, you may be able to furnish something
  better suited to the necessities and means of our plain farmers,
  than has been done by any of your predecessors.

  I remain, &c., most respectfully yours,

  ----, ----.

Having completed the series of Designs for dwelling houses, which we had
proposed for this work, and followed them out with such remarks as were
thought fitting to attend them, we now pass on to the second part of our
subject: the out-buildings of the farm, in which are to be accommodated
the domestic animals which make up a large item of its economy and
management; together with other buildings which are necessary to
complete its requirements. We trust that they will be found to be such
as the occasion, and the wants of the farmer may demand; and in economy,
accommodation, and extent, be serviceable to those for whose benefit
they are designed.


Every farmer should keep bees--provided he have pasturage for them, on
his own land, or if a proper range for their food and stores lie in his
immediate vicinity. Bees are, beyond any other domestic _stock_,
economical in their keeping, to their owners. Still they require care,
and that of no inconsiderable kind, and skill, in their management, not
understood by every one who attempts to rear them. They ask no food,
they require no assistance, in gathering their daily stores, beyond that
of proper housing in the cheapest description of tenement, and with that
they are entirely content. Yet, without these, they are a contingent,
and sometimes a troublesome appendage to the domestic stock of the farm.

We call them _domestic_. In one sense they are so; in another, they are
as wild and untamed as when buzzing and collecting their sweets in the
vineyard of Timnath, where the mighty Sampson took their honey from the
carcass of the dead lion; or, as when John the Baptist, clothed with
camel's hair, ate "locusts and wild honey" in the arid wastes of
Palestine. Although kept in partial bondage for six thousand years, the
ruling propensity of the bee is to seek a home and shelter in the
forest, when it emerges in a swarm from the parent hive; and no amount
of domestic accommodation, or kindness of treatment, will induce it
willingly to migrate from its nursery habitation to another by its side,
although provided with the choicest comforts to invite its entrance.
It will soon fly to the woods, enter a hollow and dilapidated tree, and
carve out for itself its future fortunes, amid a world of labor and
apparent discomfort. The bee, too, barring its industry, patience, and
sweetened labors, is an arrant thief--robbing its nearest neighbors,
with impunity, when the strongest, and mercilessly slaughtering its
weaker brethren, when standing in the way of its rapacity. It has been
extolled for its ingenuity, its patience, its industry, its
perseverance, and its virtue. Patience, industry, and perseverance it
has, beyond a doubt, and in a wonderful degree; but ingenuity, and
virtue, it has none, more than the spider, who spins his worthless web,
or the wasp, who stings you when disturbing his labors. Instinct, the
bee has, like all animals; but of kind feeling, and gratitude, it has
nothing; and with all our vivid nursery remembrance of good Doctor
Watts' charming little hymn--

  "How doth the little busy bee," &c. &c.,

we have long ago set it down as incorrigible to kind treatment, or
charitable sympathy, and looked upon it simply as a thing to be treated
kindly for the sake of its labors, and as composing one of that
delightful family of domestic objects which make our homes attractive,
pleasant, and profitable.

The active labors of the bee, in a bright May or June morning, as they
fly, in their busy order, back and forth from their hives, or the
soothing hum of their playful hours, in a summer's afternoon, are among
the most delightful associations of rural life; and as a luxury to the
sight, and the ear, they should be associated with every farmer's home,
and with every laborer's cottage, when practicable. And as their due
accommodation is to be the object of our present writing, a plan is
presented for that object.

In many of the modern structures held out for imitation, the bee-house,
or apiary, is an expensive, pretentious affair, got up in an ambitious
way, with efforts at style, in the semblance of a temple, a pagoda, or
other absurdity, the very appearance of which frightens the simple bee
from its propriety, and in which we never yet knew a colony of them to
become, and remain successful. The insect is, as we have observed, wild
and untamable--a savage in its habits, and rude in its temper. It
rejects all cultivated appearances, and seeks only its own temporary
convenience, together with comfortable room for its stores, and the
increase of its kind; and therefore, the more rustic and simple its
habitation, the better is it pleased with its position.

  [Illustration: APIARY.]

The bee-house should front upon a sheltered and sunny aspect. It should
be near the ground, in a clean and quiet spot, free from the intrusion
of other creatures, either human or profane, and undisturbed by noisome
smells, and uncouth sounds--for it loathes all these instinctively, and
loves nothing so much as the wild beauty of nature itself. The plan here
presented is of the plainest and least expensive kind. Nine posts, or
crutches, are set into the ground sufficiently deep to hold them firm,
and to secure them from heaving out by the frost. The distance of these
posts apart may be according to the size of the building, and to give it
strength enough to resist the action of the wind. The front posts should
be 9 feet high, above the ground; the rear posts should be 7 feet--that
a man, with his hat on, may stand upright under them--and 6 feet from
the front line. The two end posts directly in the rear of the front
corner posts, should be 3 feet back from them, and on a line to
accommodate the pitch of the roof from the front to the rear. A light
plate is to be fitted on the top line of the front posts; a plate at
each end should run back to the posts in rear, and then another
cross-plate, or girt, from each one of these middle posts, to the post
in rear of all, to meet the plate which surmounts this rear line of
posts; and a parallel plate, or rafter, should be laid from the two
intermediate posts at the ends, to connect them, and for a central
support to the roof. Intermediate central posts should also be placed
opposite those in front, to support the central plate, and not exceeding
12 feet apart. A shed roof, of boards, or shingles, tightly laid, should
cover the whole, sufficiently projecting over the front, rear, and
sides, to give the house abundant shelter, and make it architecturally
agreeable to the eye--say 12 to 18 inches, according to its extent. A
corner board should drop two feet below the plate, with such finish, by
way of ornament, as may be desirable. The ends should be tightly boarded
up against the weather, from bottom to top. The rear should also be
tightly boarded, from the bottom up to a level with the stand inside,
for the hives, and from 15 to 18 inches above that to the roof. Fitted
into the space thus left in the rear, should be a light, though
substantial, swing door, hung from the upper boarding, made in sections,
extending from one post to the other, as the size of the house may
determine, and secured with hooks, or buttons, as may be convenient. The
outside of the structure is thus completed.

The inside arrangement for the hives, may be made in two different ways,
as the choice of the apiarian may govern in the mode in which his hives
are secured. The most usual is the _stand_ method, which may be made
thus: At each angle, equidistant, say 18 to 24 inches, inside, from the
rear side and ends of the building--as shown in the ground plan--and
opposite to each rear and end post, suspend perpendicularly a line of
stout pieces of two-inch plank, 4 inches wide, well spiked on to the
rafters above, reaching down within two feet of the ground--which is to
hold up the bottom of the stand on which the hives are to rest. From
each bottom end of these suspended strips, secure another piece of like
thickness and width, horizontally back to the post in rear of it, at the
side and ends. Then, lengthwise the building, and turning the angles at
the ends, and resting on these horizontal pieces just described, lay
other strips, 3×2 inches, set edgewise--one in front, and another in
rear, inside each post and suspended strip, and close to it, and secured
by heavy nails, so that there shall be a double line of these strips on
a level, extending entirely around the interior, from the front at each
end. This forms the hanging frame-work for the planks or boards on which
the hives are to rest.

Now for the hives. First, let as many pieces of sound one and a half, or
two-inch plank as you have hives to set upon them, be cut long enough to
reach from the boarding on the rear and ends of the building, to one
inch beyond, and projecting over the front of the outer strip last
described. Let these pieces of plank be well and smoothly planed, and
laid lengthwise across the aforesaid strips, not less than four inches
apart from each other--if a less number of hives be in the building than
it will accommodate at four inches apart, no matter how far apart they
may be--these pieces of plank are the _ferms_ for the hives, on which
they are to sit. And, as we have for many years adopted the plan now
described, with entire success, a brief description is given of our mode
of hive, and the process for obtaining the surplus honey. We say
surplus, for destroying the bees to obtain their honey, is a mode not at
all according to our notions of economy, or mercy; and we prefer to take
that honey only which the swarm may make, after supplying their own
wants, and the stores for their increasing family. This process is given
in the report of a committee of gentlemen appointed by the New York
State Agricultural Society, on a hive which we exhibited on that
occasion, with the following note attached, at their show at Buffalo,
in 1848:

"I have seen, examined, and used several different plans of _patent_
hive, of which there are probably thirty invented, and used, more or
less. I have found all which I have ever seen, unsatisfactory, not
carrying out in full, the benefits claimed for them.

"The bee works, and lives, I believe, solely by instinct. I do not
consider it an inventive, or very ingenious insect. To succeed well, its
accommodations should be of the _simplest_ and _securest_ form.
Therefore, instead of adopting the complicated plans of many of the
patent hives, I have made, and used a simple box, like that now before
you, containing a cube of one foot square _inside_--made of one and a
quarter inch sound pine plank, well jointed and planed on all sides, and
put together perfectly tight at the joints, with white lead ground in
oil, and the inside of the hive at the bottom champered off to
three-eighths of an inch thick, with a door for the bees in front, of
four inches long by three-eighths of an inch high. I do this, that there
may be a thin surface to come in contact with the shelf on which they
rest, thus preventing a harbor for the bee-moth. (I have never used a
patent hive which would exclude the bee-moth, nor any one which would so
well do it as this, having never been troubled with that scourge since I
used this tight hive.) On the top of the hive, an inch or two from the
front, is made a passage for the bees, of an inch wide, and six to eight
inches long, to admit the bees into an upper hive for surplus honey,
(which passage is covered, when no vessel for that purpose is on the
top.) For obtaining the honey, I use a common ten or twelve-quart water
pail, inverted, with the bail turned over, in which the bees deposit
their surplus, like the sample before you. The pail will hold about
twenty pounds of honey. This is simple, cheap, and expeditious; the pail
costing not exceeding twenty-five cents, is taken off in a moment, the
bail replaced, and the honey ready for transportation, or market, and
_always in place_. If there is time for more honey to be made, (my bees
made two pails-full in succession this year,) another pail can be put on
at once.

"Such, gentlemen, in short, is my method. I have kept bees about twenty
years. I succeed better on this plan than with any other."

In addition to this, our hives are painted white, or other light color,
on the outside, to protect them from warping, and as a further security
against the bee-moth, or miller, which infests and destroys so many
carelessly-made hives, as to discourage the efforts of equally careless
people in keeping them. Inside the hive, on each end, we fasten, by
shingle nails, about half-way between the bottom and top, a small piece
of half-inch board, about the size of a common window button, and with a
like notch in it, set upward, but stationary, on which, when the hive is
to receive the swarm, a stick is laid across, to support the comb as it
is built, from falling in hot weather. At such time, also, when new, and
used for the first time, the under-side of the top is scratched with the
tines of a table fork, or a nail, so as to make a rough surface, to
which the new comb can be fastened. In addition to the pails on the top
of the hives, to receive the surplus honey, we sometimes use a flat box,
the size of the hive in diameter, and six or seven inches high _inside_,
which will hold twenty-five to thirty pounds of honey. The pails we
adopted as an article of greater convenience for transporting the honey.

The other plan of arranging the hives alluded to, is suspending them
between the strips before described, by means of _cleats_ secured on to
the front and rear sides of the hive, say two-thirds the way up from the
bottom. In such case, the strips running lengthwise the house must be
brought near enough together to receive the hives as hung by the
_cleats_, and the bottom boards, or forms, must be much smaller than
those already described, and hung with wire hooks and staples to the
sides, with a button on the rear, to close up, or let them down a
sufficient distance to admit the air to pass freely across them, and up
into the hive--Weeks' plan, in fact, for which he has a patent, together
with some other fancied improvements, such as chambers to receive the
boxes for the deposit of surplus honey. This, by the way, is the best
"patent" we have seen; and Mr. Weeks having written an ingenious and
excellent treatise on the treatment of the bee, we freely recommend his
book to the attention of every apiarian who wishes to succeed in their
management. As a rule, we have no confidence in _patent_ hives. We have
seen scores of them, of different kinds, have tried several of great
pretension to sundry virtues--such as excluding moths, and other
marvelous benefits--and, after becoming the victim of bee empirics to
the tune of many a dollar, have thrown aside the gimcracks, and taken
again to a common-sense method of keeping our bees, as here described.
The bees themselves, we feel bound to say, seem to hold these
patent-right habitations in quite as sovereign contempt as ourself,
reluctantly going into them, and getting out of them at the first safe
opportunity. But, as a treatise on bee-keeping is not a part of this
present work, we must, for further information, commend the inquirer on
that subject to some of the valuable treatises extant, on so prolific a
subject, among which we name those of Bevan, Weeks, and Miner.

The bee-house should be thoroughly whitewashed _inside_ every spring,
and kept clean of cobwebs, wasp's nests, and vermin; and it may be
painted outside, a soft and agreeable color, in keeping with the other
buildings of the farm. Its premises should be clean, and sweet. The
grass around should be kept mowed close. Low trees, or shrubbery, should
stand within a few yards of it, that the new swarms may light upon them
when coming out, and not, for want of such settling places, be liable to
loss from flying away. It should, also, be within sight and hearing, and
at no great distance from a continually-frequented room in the
dwelling--perhaps the kitchen, if convenient, that, in their swarming
season, they may be secured as they leave the parent hive. The apiary is
a beautiful object, with its busy tenantry; and to the invalid, or one
who loves to look upon God's tiny creatures, it may while away many an
agreeable hour, in watching their labors--thus adding pleasure to

The cost of a bee-house, on the plan given, may be from ten to fifty
dollars, according to the price of material, and the amount of labor
expended upon it. It should not be an expensive structure, in any event,
as its purpose does not warrant it. If a gimcrack affair be wanted, for
the purposes of ornament, or expense, any sum of money may be squandered
upon it which the fancy of its builder may choose to spare.


Among the useful and convenient appendages to the farm and country
family establishment, is the ice-house. Different from the general
opinion which prevailed in our country before ice became so important an
article of commerce, and of home consumption, the building which
contains it should stand above-ground, instead of below it. And the
plainer and more simple it can be constructed, the better.

The position of the ice-house may be that which is most convenient to
the dwelling, or to the wants of those who use it. If it can be placed
beneath the shade of trees, it will so far be relieved from the
influence of the sun; but it should be so constructed that sunshine will
not affect the ice within it, even if it stand unsheltered; and as it
has, by the ice-merchants of our eastern cities, who put up large
quantities for exportation abroad, and others in the interior, who
furnish ice in quantity for home consumption, been proved to be
altogether the better plan to build the ice-house entirely above ground,
we shall present no other mode of construction than this. It may be
added, that five years' experience with one of our own building, has
confirmed our opinion of the superiority of this over any other plan
which may be adopted.

The design here presented is of the most economical kind, yet
sufficiently ornamental to make it an agreeable appendage to any family
establishment. The size may be 12 feet square--less than that would be
too small for keeping ice well--and from that up to any required extent.
The idea here given is simply the _principle_ of construction. The posts
should be full eight feet high above the ground, to where the plate of
the roof is attached, and built thus:

  [Illustration: ICE-HOUSE.]

Mark out your ground the size you require for the house; then,
commencing at one corner, dig, opposite each other, a double set of
holes, one foot deep, and two and a half feet apart, on each side of the
intended building, say three feet equidistant, so that when the posts
stand up they will present a double set, one and a half feet apart. Then
set in your posts, which should be of oak, chestnut, or some lasting
wood, and pack the earth firmly around them. If the posts are sawed,
they may be 4×6 inches in size, set edgeways toward each other. If not
sawed, they may be round sticks cut from the woods, or split from the
body of a tree, quartered--but sizable, so as to appear decent--and the
insides facing each other as they stand up, lined to a surface to
receive the planking. Of course, when the posts are set in the ground,
they are to show a square form, or skeleton of what the building is to
be when completed. When this is done, square off the top of each post to
a level, all round; then frame, or spike on to each line of posts a
plate, say six inches wide, and four to six inches deep, and stay the
two plates together strongly, so as to form a double frame. Now, plank,
or board up closely the _inside_ of each line of posts, that the space
between them shall be a fair surface. Cut out, or leave out a space for
a door in the center of the side where you want it, two and a half or
three feet wide, and six and a half feet high, and board up the inner
partition sides of this opening, so as to form a door-casing on each
side, that the space between the two lines of posts may be a continuous
box all around. Then fill up this space between the posts with moist
tan-bark, or saw-dust, well packed from the ground up to the plates; and
the body of the house is inclosed, sun-proof, and air-proof, to guard
the ice.

Now lay down, inside the building, some sticks--not much matter what, so
that they be level--and on them lay loose planks or boards, for a floor.
Cover this floor with a coating of straw, a foot thick, and it is ready
to receive the ice.

For the roof, take common 3×4 joists, as rafters; or, in place of them,
poles from the woods, long enough, in a pitch of full 35° from a
horizontal line, to carry the roof at least four feet over the outside
of the plates, and secure the rafters well, by pins or spikes, to them.
Then board over and shingle it, leaving a small aperture at the top,
through which run a small pipe, say eight inches in diameter--a
stove-crock will do--for a ventilator. Then set in, 4 little posts, say
two feet high--as in the design--throw a little four-sided, pointed cap
on to the top of these posts, and the roof is done. If you want to
ornament the under side of the roof, in a rude way--and we would advise
it--take some pieces of 3×4 scantling, such as were used for the roof,
if the posts are of sawed stuff--if not, rough limbs of trees from the
woods, to match the rough posts of the same kind, and fasten them to the
posts and the under side of the roof, by way of brackets, as shown in
the design.

When the ice is put into the house, a close floor of boards should be
laid on joists, which rest on the plates, loosely, so that this floor
can be removed when putting in ice, and that covered five or six inches
deep with tan, or saw-dust--straw will do, if the other can not be
had--and the inside arrangement is complete. Two doors should be
attached to the opening, where the ice is put in and taken out; one on
the inner side of the lining, and the other on the outer side, both
opening out. Tan, saw-dust, or straw should also be placed on the top of
the ice, when put in, so as to keep the air from it as much as possible;
and as the ice is removed, it will settle down upon, and still preserve
it. Care must be taken to have a drain under the floor of the house, to
pass off the water which melts from the ice, as it would, if standing
there, injure its keeping.

It will be seen, that, by an error in the cut of the ground plan, the
inside line of posts does not show, as in the outer line, which they
should do; nor is the outside door inserted, as is shown in the
elevation. These defects, however, will be rectified by the builder.

We have given considerable thought to this subject, and can devise no
shape to the building more appropriate than this, nor one cheaper in
construction. It may be built for fifty to a hundred dollars, according
to the cost of material and labor, and the degree of finish given to it.

It is hardly worth while to expatiate upon the convenience and economy
of an ice-house, to an American. Those who love well-kept meats, fruits,
butter, milk, and various etceteras for the table, understand its
utility well; to say nothing of the cooling draughts, in the way of
drinks, in hot weather, to which it adds--when not taken to
extremes--such positive luxury. We commend the ice-house, _well-filled_,
most heartily, to every good country housekeeper, as a matter of
convenience, economy, and luxury, adding next to nothing to the living
expenses, and, as an appendage to the main buildings, an item of little
cost, and a considerable degree of ornament.

If an under-ground ice-house be preferred to the plan here shown, a side
hill, or bank, with a northerly exposure, is the best location for it;
and the manner of building should be mainly like this, for the body of
the house. The roof, however, should be only two-sided, and the door for
putting in and taking out the ice may be in the gable, on the ground
level. The drainage under the floor, and precautions for keeping the
ice, should be quite as thorough as we have described; as, otherwise,
the earth surrounding it on three sides, at least, of the house, will be
a ready conductor of warmth, and melt the ice with great rapidity. If
the under-ground plan is adopted, but little more than the roof will
show, and of course, be of little ornament in the way of appearance.


These two objects may, both for convenience and economy, be well
combined under one roof; and we have thus placed them in connection. The
building is an exceedingly simple structure, made of stone, or brick;
the body 10 feet high, and of such size as may be desirable, with a
simple roof, and a plain, hooded chimney.

  [Illustration: ASH HOUSE AND SMOKE HOUSE.]

In the ground plan will be seen a brick, or stone partition--which may
extend to such height as may be necessary to contain the bulk of ashes
required for storage within it--on one side of the building, to which a
door gives access. The opposite side, and overhead, is devoted to the
smoke-house, in which the various girts and hooks may be placed, for
sustaining the meats to be smoked. The building should be tied together
by joists at the plates, properly anchored into the walls, to prevent
their spreading. A stove, or pans, or neither, as the method of keeping
the smoke alive may govern, can be placed inside, to which the chimney
in the roof may serve as a partial escape, or not, as required. The
whole process is so simple, and so easily understood, that further
explanation is unnecessary.

A great advantage that a house of this construction has, is the
convenience of storing the smoked meats for an indefinite time, even
through the whole season, keeping them dark, dry, and cool; and
permitting, at any time, a smoke to be made, to drive out the flies,
if they find their way into it.

The ashes can, of course, be removed at any time, by the door at which
they are thrown in.


As poultry is an indispensable appendage to the farm, in all cases, the
poultry-house is equally indispensable, for their accommodation, and for
the most profitable management of the fowls themselves, and most
convenient for the production of their eggs and young. Indeed, without
well-arranged quarters for the fowls of the farm, they are exceedingly
troublesome, and of doubtful profit; but with the proper buildings
devoted to them exclusively, they become one of the most interesting and
agreeable objects with which either the farm or the country house is

It is hardly worth while to eulogize poultry. Their merits and virtues
are written in the hearts of all provident housekeepers; and their
beauty and goodness are familiar to every son and daughter of the rural
homestead. We shall, then, proceed at once to discuss their proper
accommodation, in the cheapest and most familiar method with which we
are acquainted.

The hen-house--for hens (barn-door fowls, we mean) are the first and
chief stock, of the kind, to be provided for, and with them most of the
other varieties can be associated--should be located in a warm,
sheltered, and sunny place, with abundant grounds about it, where they
can graze--hens eat grass--and scratch, and enjoy themselves to their
heart's content, in all seasons, when the ground is open and they _can_
scratch into, or range over its surface. Some people--indeed, a good
many people--picket in their gardens, to keep hens _out_; but we prefer
an enclosure to keep the hens _in_, at all seasons when they are
troublesome, which, after all, is only during short seasons of the year,
when seeds are planted, or sown, and grain and vegetables are ripening.
Otherwise, they may range at will, on the farm, doing good in their
destruction of insects, and deriving much enjoyment to themselves; for
hens, on the whole, are happy things.

  [Illustration: POULTRY LAWN.]

We here present the elevation of a poultry-house in perspective, to show
the _principle_ which we would adopt in its construction, and which may
be extended to any required length, and to which may be added any given
area of ground, or yard-room, which the circumstances of the proprietor
may devote to it. It is, as will be seen, of a most rustic appearance,
and built as cheaply, yet thoroughly, as the subject may require. Its
length, we will say, is 20 feet, its breadth 16, and its height 10 feet,
made of posts set into the ground--for we do not like sills, and floors
of wood, because rats are apt to burrow under them, which are their
worst enemies--and boarded up, either inside or outside, as in the case
of the ice-house previously described, though not double. Plates are
laid on these posts, to connect them firmly together; and the rafters
rest on the plates, as usual. The chamber floor is 9 feet high, above
the ground, and may be used either for laying purposes by the fowls,
or reserved as a storage-room for their feed. The roof is broadly drawn
over the body of the building, to shelter it, and through the point of
the roof, in the center, is a ventilator, with a covered top, and a vane
significant of its purpose. It is also sufficiently lighted, with glass
windows, into which our draughtsman has put the diamond-paned glass,
contrary to our notions; but, as he had, no doubt, an eye to the
"picturesque," we let it pass, only remarking, that if we were building
the house on our own account, there should be no such nonsense about it.
The front windows are large, to attract the warmth of the winter's sun.
A section of picket fence is also attached, and trees in the rear--both
of which are necessary to a complete establishment; the first, to secure
the poultry in the contiguous yards, and the trees to give them shade,
and even roosting-places, if they prefer such lodgings in warm
weather--for which we consider them eminently wholesome.

The wooden floor is dispensed with, as was remarked, to keep rid of the
vermin. If the ground be gravelly, or sandy, it will be sufficiently
dry. If a heavy or damp soil be used, it should be under-drained, which
will effectually dry it, and be better for the fowls than a floor of
either wood, brick, or stone. Doors of sufficient size can be made on
the yard sides of the house, near the ground, for the poultry to enter
either the living or roosting apartments, at pleasure, and hung with
butts on the upper side, to be closed when necessary.


The front door opens into the main living room. At each end, and in the
rear, are tiers of boxes, one foot wide, one and a half feet long, and
one and a half feet high--the lowest tier elevated two feet above the
ground--and built one tier above the other, and snugly partitioned
between, with a hole at one corner of each, ten inches high, and eight
inches wide, for passing in to them; and a shelf, or passage-board, nine
inches wide, in front. These are the nesting boxes, and should be kept
supplied with short, soft straw, or hay orts, for that purpose. Hens
love secrecy in their domestic economy, and are wonderfully pleased with
the opportunity to hide away, and conceal themselves while laying.
Indeed, such concealment, or the supposition of it, we have no doubt
promotes fecundity, as it is well known that a hen _can_ stop laying,
almost at pleasure, when disturbed in her regular habits and settled
plans of life. Burns says--

  "The best laid schemes of _mice_ and _men_
  Gang aft agley;"

and why not hen's? We think so. If turkeys be kept in the premises, the
females can also be accommodated in these boxes, as they are fond of
laying in company with the hens, and frequently in the same nests, only
that they require larger entrances into them; or, a tier of boxes may be
made on the ground, for their convenience.

A door leads from the rear of this room into the roosting apartment,
through which is a passage to the back side of the building, and a door
opposite, leading out into the yard. On each side of this passage are
roosts, rising, each behind and above the other, 18 inches apart. The
lowest roosts may be three feet from the ground, and the highest six
feet, that they may easily fly from one to the other; and in this way
they may all be approached, to catch the fowls, when required. For the
roosts, slender poles, two to three inches in diameter--small trees, cut
from the woods, with the bark on, are the best--may be used; and they
should be secured through augur holes in board slats suspended from the
floor joists overhead. This apartment should be cleaned out as often as
once a fortnight, both for cleanliness and health--for fowls like to be
clean, and to have pure air. A flight of stairs may be made in one
corner of the front room, to go into the chamber, if preferred; but a
swing ladder, hung by one end, with hinges, to the joists above, is, for
such purpose, a more cleanly mode of access; which, when not in use, may
be hooked up to the under side of the floor above; and a trap door,
shutting into the chamber floor, and also hung on hinges, will
accommodate the entrance.

For feeding troughs, we have seen many ingenious contrivances, and among
them, possibly, a Yankee patent, or two; but all these we put aside, as
of little account. A common segar box, or any other cast-off thing, that
will hold their food, is just as good as the most complicated invention;
and, in common feeding, there is no better mode than to scatter abroad
their corn, and let them pick it up at their pleasure--when spread on a
clean surface. We think, also, that, except for fattening poultry,
stated hours of feeding are best for the birds themselves, and that they
be fed only such quantity as they will pick up clean. Water should, if
possible, be kept constantly by them; and if a small running stream
could pass through the yard, all the better.

If it be desirable to have fresh eggs during winter--and that is
certainly a convenience--a box stove may be set in the living room, and
properly protected by a grating around it, for warming the living
apartment. It may be remarked, however, that this winter-laying of hens
is usually a _forcing_ business. A hen will lay but about a given number
of eggs in a year; say a hundred--we believe this is about the number
which the most observant of poultry-keepers allow them--and what she
lays in winter must be subtracted from the number she would otherwise
lay in the spring, summer, or autumn. Yet a warm house will, laying,
aside, keep the fowls with less food, and in greater comfort, than if
cold, and left to their own natural warmth.

There is usually little difficulty in keeping hens, turkies, ducks, and
geese together, in the same inclosure, during winter and early spring,
before the grass grows. But geese and turkies require greater range
during the warm season than the others, and should have it, both for
convenience to themselves and profit to their owners. For winter
quarters, low shelters may be made for the water-fowls in the yards, and
the turkies will frequently prefer to share the shelter of the hens, on
the roosts in the house. Guinea-hens--cruel, vindictive things, as they
are--should never be allowed within a common poultry yard. Always
quarrelsome, and never quiet, they should take to the farmyard, with the
cattle, where they may range at will, and take their amusement in
fisticuffs with each other, at pleasure. Neither should peacocks be
allowed to come into the poultry inclosures, during the breeding season;
they are anything but amiable in their manners to other birds.

With the care and management of the poultry department, after thus
providing for their accommodation, it is not our province to interfere;
that is a subject too generally understood, to require further remark.
Nor need we discuss the many varieties of poultry which, at the present
time, so arrest the attention of many of our good country people; and we
will leave so important a subject to the meditations of the "New England
Poultry Society," who have taken the gallinaceous, and other tribes
under their special cognizance, and will, doubtless, in due time,
illumine the world with various knowledge in this department of rural
economy, not yet "dreamt of in our philosophy." The recently published
poultry books, too, with an amplitude and particularity in the
discussion of the different breeds and varieties, which shuts all
suspicions of _self-interest_ into the corner, have given such a fund of
information on the subject, that any further inquiry may, with entire
good will, be turned over to their pages.


This is a department, in itself, not common among the farm buildings,
in the United States; and for the reason, probably, that the domestic
pigeon, or house-dove, is usually kept more for amusement than for
profit--there being little actual profit about them--and is readily
accommodated in the spare lofts of sheds and out-buildings devoted to
other purposes. Pigeons, however, add to the variety and interest of the
poultry department; and as there are many different breeds of them, they
are general favorites with the juveniles of the family.

Our present object is, not to propose any distinct building for pigeon
accommodation; but to give them a location in other buildings, where
they will be conveniently provided with room, and least annoying by
their presence--for, be it known, they are oft-times a most serious
annoyance to many crops of the farm, when kept in any considerable
numbers, as well as in the waste and havoc they make in the stores of
the barns and granaries. Although graceful and beautiful birds,
generally clean and tidy in their personal habits out of doors, they are
the filthiest housekeepers imaginable, and no building can be especially
devoted to their use, if not often swept and cleaned, but what will soon
become an intolerable nuisance within, and not much better without, and
the ground immediately around the premises a dirty place. The common
pigeon is a pugnacious cavalier, warring apparently upon mere punctilio,
as we have often seen, in the distant strut-and-coo of a stranger bird
to his mate, even if she be the very incarnation of "rejected
addresses." On all these accounts, we would locate--unless a small and
select family of fancy birds, perhaps--the pigeon stock at the principal
farm-yard, and in the lofts of the cattle sheds, or the chambers of the

Wherever the pigeon accommodations are designed to be, a close partition
should separate their quarters from the room occupied for other
purposes, with doors for admission to those who have to do with them,
in cleaning their premises, or to take the birds, when needed. A line of
holes, five inches high, and four inches wide--the top of the hole
slightly arched--should be made, say 18 inches apart, for the distance
of room they are to occupy in the building. A foot above the top of
these, another line may be made; and so on, tiering them up to the
height intended to devote to them. A line of shelves, or
lighting-boards, six to eight inches wide, should then be placed one
inch below the bottom of these holes, and firmly braced beneath, and
nailed to the weather-boarding of the house. Inside, a range of box
should be made, of corresponding length with the line of holes, to
embrace every entrance from the outside, 18 inches wide, and partitioned
equidistant between each entrance, so as to give a square box of 18
inches to each pair of birds. The bottom board of each ascending tier of
boxes will, of course, be the top of the boxes below, and these must be
made _perfectly tight_, to prevent the offal of the upper ones from
falling through, to the annoyance of their neighbors below. The back of
these boxes should have a line of swing doors, hung with butts, or
hinges, from the top, and fastened with buttons, or hooks, at the
bottom, to allow admission, or examination, at any time, to those who
have the care of them. This plan of door is indispensable, to clean them
out--which should be done as often as once a week, or fortnight, at
farthest--and to secure the birds as they may be wanted for the table,
or other purposes--for it will be recollected that squabs, just
feathered out, are considered a delicious dish, at the most sumptuous
tables. It will be understood, that these boxes above described, are
within a partitioned room, with a floor, in their rear, with sufficient
space for the person in charge of them to pass along, and to hold the
baskets, or whatever is to receive the offal of their boxes, as it is
taken out. This offal is valuable, as a highly stimulating manure, and
is sought for by the morocco tanners, at a high price--frequently at
twenty-five cents a bushel.

As pigeons are prolific breeders, laying and hatching six or seven times
a year, and in warm climates oftener, they require a good supply of
litter--short cut, soft straw is the best--which should be freely
supplied at every new incubation, and the old litter removed. The boxes,
too, should be in a warm place, snugly made, and well sheltered from the
wind and driving storms; for pigeons, although hardy birds when grown,
should be well protected while young.

The common food of the pigeon is grain, of almost any kind, and worms,
and other insects, which they pick up in the field. On the whole, they
are a pleasant bird, when they can be conveniently kept, and are worth
the trifling cost that their proper housing may demand.

If our opinion were asked, as to the best, and least troublesome kind of
pigeon to be kept, we should say, the finest and most hardy of the
common kind, which are usually found in the collections throughout the
country. But there are many _fancy_ breeds--such as the fan-tail, the
powter, the tumbler, the ruffler, and perhaps another variety or
two--all pretty birds, and each distinct in their appearance, and in
some of their domestic habits. The most beautiful of the pigeon kind,
however, is the Carrier. They are the very perfection of grace, and
symmetry, and beauty. Their colors are always brilliant and changing,
and in their flight they cleave the air with a rapidity which no other
variety--indeed, which scarce any other bird, of any kind, can equal.
History is full of examples of their usefulness, in carrying tidings
from one country to another, in letters, or tokens, fastened to their
necks or legs, for which they are trained by those who have thus used
them; but which, now, the well known telegraph wire has nearly

All these fancy breeds require great care in their management, to keep
them pure in blood, as they will all mix, more or less, with the common
pigeon, as they come in contact with them; and the selection of whatever
kind is wanted to be kept, must be left to those who are willing to
bestow the pains which their necessary care may demand.


The hog is an animal for which we have no especial liking, be he either
a tender suckling, nosing and tugging at the well-filled udder of his
dam, or a well-proportioned porker, basking in all the plenitude of
swinish luxury; albeit, in the use of his flesh, we affect not the Jew,
but liking it moderately well, in its various preparations, as a
substantial and savory article of diet. Still, the hog is an important
item of our agricultural economy, and his production and proper
treatment is a valuable study to all who rear him as a creature either
of profit or convenience. In the western and southern states, a mild
climate permits him to be easily reared and fed off for market, with
little heed to shelter or protection; while in the north, he requires
care and covering during winter. Not only this; in all places the hog is
an unruly, mischievous creature, and has no business really in any other
place than where he can he controlled, and kept at a moment's call.

But, as tastes and customs differ essentially, with regard to his
training and destiny, to such as agree with us in opinion, that his
proper place is in the sty, particularly when feeding for pork, a plan
of piggery is given, such as may be economical in construction, and
convenient in its arrangement, both for the swine itself, and him who
has charge of him.

The design here given, is for a building, 36 feet long, and 24 feet
wide, with twelve-feet posts; the lower, or living room for the swine,
9 feet high, and a storage chamber above, for the grain and other food
required for his keeping. The roof has a pitch of 40° from a horizontal
line, spreading over the sides and gables at least 20 inches, and
coarsely bracketed. The entrance front projects 6 feet from the main
building, by 12 feet in length. Over its main door, in the gable, is a
door with a hoisting beam and tackle above it, to take in the grain, and
a floor over the whole area receives it. A window is in each gable end.
A ventilator passes up through this chamber and the roof, to let off the
steam from the cooking vats below, and the foul air emitted by the
swine, by the side of which is the furnace-chimney, giving it, on the
whole, as respectable an appearance as a pigsty need pretend to.

  [Illustration: PIGGERY.]


At the left of the entrance is a flight of stairs, (_b_,) leading to the
chamber above. On the right is a small area, (_a_,) with a window to
light it. A door from this leads into the main room, (_c_,) where stands
a chimney, (_d_,) with a furnace to receive the fuel for cooking the
food, for which are two kettles, or boilers, with wooden vats, on the
top, if the extent of food demands them; these are secured with broad
wooden covers, to keep in the steam when cooking. An iron valve is
placed in the back flue of the furnace, which may fall upon either side,
to shut off the fire from either of the kettles, around which the fire
may revolve; or, the valve may stand in a perpendicular position, at
will, if both kettles be heated at the same time. But, as the most
economical mode is to cook one kettle while the other is in process of
feeding out, and _vice versa_, scarcely more than one at a time will be
required in use. Over each kettle is a sliding door, with a short spout
to slide the food into them, when wanted. If necessary, and it can be
conveniently done, a well may be sunk under this room, and a pump
inserted at a convenient place; or if equally convenient, a pipe may
bring the water in from a neighboring stream, or spring. On three sides
of this room are feeding pens, (_e_,) and sleeping partitions, (_f_,)
for the swine. These several apartments are accommodated with doors,
which open into separate yards on the sides and in rear, or a large one
for the entire family, as may be desired.


The frame of this building is of strong timber, and stout for its size.
The sills should be 8 inches square, the corner posts of the same size,
and the intermediate posts 8×6 inches in diameter. In the center of
these posts, grooves should be made, 2 inches wide, and deep, to receive
the _plank_ sides, which should be 2 inches thick, and let in from the
level of the chamber by a flush cutting for that purpose, out of the
grooves inside, thus using no nails or spikes, and holding the planks
tight in their place, that they may not be rooted out, or rubbed off by
the hogs, and the inner projection of the main posts left to serve as
rubbing posts for them--for no creature so loves to rub his sides, when
fatting, as a hog, and this very natural and praiseworthy propensity
should be indulged. These planks, like the posts, should, particularly
the lower ones, be of _hard_ wood, that they may not be eaten off. Above
the chamber floor, thinner planks may be used, but all should be well
jointed, that they may lie snug, and shut out the weather. The center
post in the floor plan of the engraving is omitted, by mistake, but it
should stand there, like the others. Inside posts at the corners, and in
the sides of the partitions, like the outside ones, should be also
placed and grooved to receive the planking, four and a half feet high,
and their upper ends be secured by tenons into mortices in the beams
overhead. The troughs should then, if possible, be made of _cast iron_,
or, in default of that, the hardest of white oak plank, strongly spiked
on to the floor and sides; and the apartment may then be called
hog-proof--for a more unquiet, destructive creature, to a building in
which he is confined, does not live, than the hog. The slide, or spout
to conduct the swill and other feed from the feeding-room into the
trough, should be inserted through the partition planks, with a steep
_slant_ the whole length of the trough, that the feed may be readily
thrown into any or all parts of it. This slide should be of two-inch
white-oak plank, and bound along the bottom by a strip of hoop-iron, to
prevent the pigs from eating it off--a habit they are prone to; then,
firmly spiked down to the partition planks, and through the ends, to the
adjoining studs, and the affair is complete. With what experience we
have had with the hog, and that by no means an agreeable one, we can
devise no better method of accommodation than this here described, and
it certainly is the cheapest. But the timber and lumber used must be
sound and strong; and then, properly put together, it may defy their
most destructive ingenuity. Of the separate uses to which the various
apartments may be put, nothing need be said, as the circumstances of
every farmer will best govern them.

One, to three hundred dollars, according to price of material and labor,
will build this piggery, besides fitting it up with furnace and boilers.
It may be contracted, or enlarged in size, as necessity may direct; but
no one, with six to twenty porkers in his fatting pens, a year, will
regret the expense of building a convenient appurtenance of this kind to
his establishment.

A word may be pardoned, in relation to the too universal practice of
permitting swine to prowl along the highways, and in the yards and lawns
of the farm house. There is nothing so slovenly, wasteful, and
destructive to one's thrift, and so demoralizing, in a small way, as is
this practice. What so revolting to one, of the least tidy nature
whatever, as a villainous brute, with a litter of filthy pigs at her
heels, and the slimy ooze of a mud-puddle reeking and dripping from
their sides? See the daubs of mud marking every fence-post, far and
near, along the highway, or where-ever they run! A burrow is rooted up
at every shady point, a nuisance at every corner you turn, and their
abominable snouts into everything that is filthy, or obscene--a living
curse to all that is decent about them. An Ishmaelite among the farm
stock, they are shunned and hated by every living thing, when at large.
But, put the creature in his pen, with a ring in his nose, if permitted
to go into the adjoining yard, and comfortably fed, your pig, if of a
civilized breed, is a quiet, inoffensive--indeed, gentlemanly sort of
animal; and as such, he is entitled to our toleration--regard, we cannot
say; for in all the pages of our reading, we learn, by no creditable
history, of any virtuous sympathies in a hog.


The farm barn, next to the farm house, is the most important structure
of the farm itself, in the Northern and Middle States; and even at the
south and southwest, where less used, they are of more importance in the
economy of farm management than is generally supposed. Indeed, to our
own eyes, a farm, or a plantation appears incomplete, without a good
barn accommodation, as much as without good household appointments--and
without them, no agricultural establishment can be complete in all its
proper economy.

The most _thorough_ barn structures, perhaps, to be seen in the United
States, are those of the state of Pennsylvania, built by the German
farmers of the lower and central counties. They are large, and expensive
in their construction; and, in a strictly economical view, perhaps more
costly than required. Yet, there is a substance and durability in them,
that is exceedingly satisfactory, and, where the pecuniary ability of
the farmer will permit, may well be an example for imitation.

In the structure of the barn, and in its interior accommodation, much
will depend upon the branches of agriculture to which the farm is
devoted. A farm cultivated in grain chiefly, requires but little room
for stabling purposes. Storage for grain in the sheaf, and granaries,
will require its room; while a stock farm requires a barn with extensive
hay storage, and stables for its cattle, horses, and sheep, in all
climates not admitting such stock to live through the winter in the
field, like the great grazing states west of the Alleghanies. Again,
there are wide districts of country where a mixed husbandry of grain and
stock is pursued, which require barns and out-buildings accommodating
both; and to supply the exigencies of each, we shall present such plans
as may be appropriate, and that may, possibly, by a slight variation,
be equally adapted to either, or all of their requirements.

It may not be out of place here, to remark, that many _designers_ of
barns, sheds, and other out-buildings for the accommodation of farm
stock, have indulged in fanciful arrangements for the convenience and
comfort of animals, which are so complicated that when constructed,
as they sometimes are, the practical, common-sense farmer will not use
them; and, in the _learning_ required in their use, are altogether unfit
for the use and treatment they usually get from those who have the daily
care of the stock which they are intended for, and for the rough usage
they receive from the animals themselves. A very pretty, and a very
plausible arrangement of stabling, and feeding, and all the etceteras of
a barn establishment, may be thus got up by an ingenious theorist at the
fireside, which will work to a charm, as he dilates upon its good
qualities, untried; but, when subjected to experiment will be utterly
worthless for practical use. All this we, in our practice, have gone
through; and after many years experience, have come to the conclusion
that the simplest plan of construction, consistent with an economical
expenditure of the material of food for the consumption of stock, is by
far the most preferable.

Another item to be considered in this connection, is the comparative
value of the stock, the forage fed to them, and the _labor_ expended in
feeding and taking care of them. We will illustrate: Suppose a farm to
lie in the vicinity of a large town, or city. Its value is, perhaps, a
hundred dollars an acre. The hay cut upon it is worth fifteen dollars a
ton, at the barn, and straw, and coarse grains in proportion, and hired
labor ten or twelve dollars a month. Consequently, the manager of this
farm should use all the economy in his power, by the aid of
cutting-boxes, and other machinery, to make the least amount of forage
supply the wants of his stock; and the internal economy of his barn
arranged accordingly; because labor is his cheapest item, and food the
dearest. Then, for any contrivance to work up his forage the closest--by
way of machinery, or manual labor--by which it will serve the purposes
of keeping his stock, is true economy; and the making, and saving of
manures is an item of the first importance. His buildings, and their
arrangements throughout, should, on these accounts, be constructed in
accordance with his practice. If, on the other hand, lands are cheap and
productive, and labor comparatively dear, a different practice will
prevail. He will feed his hay from the mow, without cutting. The straw
will be either stacked out, and the cattle turned to it, to pick what
they like of it, and make their beds on the remainder; or, if it is
housed, he will throw it into racks, and the stock may eat what they
choose. It is but one-third, or one-half the labor to do this, that the
other mode requires, and the saving in this makes up, and perhaps more
than makes up for the increased quantity of forage consumed. Again,
climate may equally affect the mode of winter feeding the stock. The
winters may be mild. The hay may be stacked in the fields, when
gathered, or put into small barns built for hay storage alone; and the
manure, scattered over the fields by the cattle, as they are fed from
either of them, may be knocked to pieces with the dung-beetle, in the
spring, or harrowed and bushed over the ground; and with the very small
quantity of labor required in all this, such practice will be more
economical than any other which can be adopted. It is, therefore, a
subject of deliberate study with the farmer, in the construction of his
out-buildings, what plans he shall adopt in regard to them, and their
fitting up and arrangement.

With these considerations before us, we shall submit such plans of barn
structures as may be adapted for general use, where shelters for the
farm crops, and farm stock, are required; and which may, in their
interior arrangement, be fitted for almost any locality of our country,
as the judgment and the wants of the builder may require.


This is a design of barn partially on the Pennsylvania plan, with
under-ground stables, and a stone-walled basement on three sides, with a
line of posts standing open on the yard front, and a wall, pierced by
doors and windows, retreating 12 feet under the building, giving, in
front, a shelter for stock. Two sheds, by way of wings, are run out to
any desired length, on each side. The body of this barn, which is built
of wood, above the basement, is 60×46 feet; the posts 18 feet high,
above the sills; the roof is elevated at an angle of 40° from a
horizontal line, and the gables hooded, or truncated, 14 feet wide at
the verge, so as to cover the large doors at the ends. The main roof
spreads 3 to 4 feet over the body of the barn, and runs from the side
eaves in a _straight_ line, different from what is shown in the
engraving, which appears of a gambrel or hipped fashion. The sides are
covered with boards laid vertically, and battened with narrow strips,
3 inches wide. The large doors in the ends are 14 feet wide, and 14 feet
high. A slatted blind window is in each gable, for ventilation, and a
door, 9×6 feet, on the yard side.



A main floor, _A_, 12 feet wide, runs the whole length through the
center of the barn. _S, S_, are the large doors. _H, H,_ are trap doors,
to let hay or straw down to the alleys of the stables beneath. _B_,
is the principal bay for hay storage, 16 feet wide, and runs up to the
roof. _C_, is the bay, 26×16 feet, for the grain mow, if required for
that purpose. D, is a granary, 13×16 feet, and 8 feet high. _E_,
a storage room for fanning mill, cutting-box, or other machinery, or
implements, of same size and height as the granary. _F_, is a passage,
8 feet wide, leading from the main floor to the yard door, through which
to throw out litter. Over this passage, and the granary, and store-room,
may be stored grain in the sheaf, or hay. The main floor will
accommodate the thrashing-machine, horse-power, cutting box, &c., &c.,
when at work. A line of movable sleepers, or poles, may be laid across
the floor, 10 feet above it, on a line of girts framed into the main
posts, for that purpose, over which, when the sides of the barn are
full, either hay or grain may be deposited, up to the ridge of the roof,
and thus afford large storage. And if the demands of the crops require
it, after the sides and over the floor is thus filled, the floor itself
may, a part of it, be used for packing away either hay or grain, by
taking off the team after the load is in, and passing them out by a
retreating process, on the side of the cart or wagon; and the vehicle,
when unloaded, backed out by hand. We have occasionally adopted this
method, when crowded for room for increased crops, to great advantage.
It requires somewhat more labor, to be sure, but it is much better than
stacking out; and a well-filled barn is a good sight to look upon.

  [Illustration: MAIN FLOOR PLAN.]

Underneath the body of the barn are the stables, root cellar, calf
houses, or any other accommodation which the farm stock may require;
but, for the most economical objects, is here cut up into stables. At
the ends, _l, l_, are passages for the stock to go into their stalls;
and also, on the sides, for the men who attend to them. The main passage
through the center double line of stalls is 8 feet wide; and on each
side are double stalls, 6½ feet wide. From the two end walls, the cattle
passages are 5 feet wide, the partition between the stalls running back
in a _slant_, from 5 feet high at the mangers to the floor, at that
distance from the walls. The mangers, _j, j_, are 2 feet wide, or may be
2½ feet, by taking an additional six inches out of the rear passage. The
passage is, between the mangers, 3 feet wide, to receive the hay from
the trap doors in the floor above.


The most economical plan, for room in tying cattle in their stalls, is
to fasten the rope, or chain, whichever is used, (the wooden stanchion,
or _stanchel_, as it is called, to open and shut, enclosing the animal
by the neck, we do not like,) into a ring, which is secured by a strong
staple into the post which sustains the partition, just at the top of
the manger, on each side of the stall. This prevents the cattle in the
same stall from interfering with each other, while the partition
effectually prevents any contact from the animals on each side of it, in
the separate stalls. The bottom of the mangers, for grown cattle, should
be a foot above the floor, and the top two and a half feet, which makes
it deep enough to hold their food; and the whole, both sides and bottom,
should be made of two-inch, sound, strong plank, that they may not be
broken down. The back sides of the stalls, next the feeding alleys,
should be full 3½ feet high; and if the cattle are large, and disposed
to climb into their mangers with their fore-feet, as they sometimes do,
a pole, of 2½ or 3 inches in diameter, should be secured across the
front of the stall, next the cattle, and over the mangers--say 4½ feet
above the floor, to keep them out of the manger, and still give them
sufficient room for putting their heads between that and the top of the
manger, to get their food. Cattle thus secured in double stalls, take up
less room, and lie much warmer, than when in single stalls; besides, the
expense of fitting them up being much less--an experience of many years
has convinced us on this point. The doors for the passage of the cattle
in and out of the stables, should be five feet wide, that they may have
plenty of room.

In front of these stables, on the outside, is a line of posts, the feet
of which rest on large flat stones, and support the outer sill of the
barn, and form a recess, before named, of 12 feet in width, under which
may be placed a line of racks, or mangers for outside cattle, to consume
the orts, or leavings of hay rejected by the in-door stock; or, the
manure may be housed under it, which is removed from the stables by
wheel-barrows. The low line of sheds which extend from the barn on each
side of the yard, may be used for the carts, and wagons of the place;
or, racks and mangers may be fitted up in them, for outside cattle to
consume the straw and coarse forage; or, they may be carried higher than
in our plan, and floored overhead, and hay, or other food stored in them
for the stock. They are so placed merely to give the idea.

There may be no more fitting occasion than this, perhaps, to make a
remark or two on the subject of managing stock in stables of any kind,
when kept in any considerable numbers; and a word may not be impertinent
to the subject in hand, as connected with the construction of stables.

There is no greater benefit to cattle, after coming into winter
quarters, than a straight-forward regularity in everything appertaining
to them. Every animal should have its own particular stall in the
stable, where it should _always be kept, and in no other_. The cattle
should be fed and watered at certain hours of the day, as near as may
be. When let out of the stables for water, unless the weather is very
pleasant, when they may be permitted to lie out an hour or two, they
should be immediately put back, and not allowed to range about with the
outside cattle. They are more quiet and contented in their stables than
elsewhere, and eat less food, than if permitted to run out; and are
every way more comfortable, if properly bedded and attended to, as every
one will find, on trying it. The habit of many people, in turning their
cattle out of the stables in the morning, in all weathers--letting them
range about in a cold yard, hooking and thorning each other--is of no
possible benefit, unless to rid themselves of the trouble of cleaning
the stables, which pays twice its cost in the saving of manure. The
outside cattle, which occupy the yard, are all the better, that the
stabled ones do not interfere with them. They become habituated to their
own quarters, as the others do to their's, and all are better for being
each in their own proper place. It may appear a small matter to notice
this; but it is a subject of importance, which every one may know who
tries it.

It will be seen that a driving way is built up to the barn doors at the
ends; this need not be expensive, and will add greatly to the ease and
convenience of its approach. It is needless to remark, that this barn is
designed to stand on a shelving piece of ground, or on a slope, which
will admit of its cellar stables without much excavation of the earth;
and in such a position it may be economically built. No estimate is
given of its cost, which must depend upon the price of materials, and
the convenience of stone on the farm. The size is not arbitrary, but may
be either contracted or extended, according to the requirements of the



Here is presented the design of a barn built by ourself, about sixteen
years since, and standing on the farm we own and occupy; and which has
proved so satisfactory in its use, that, save in one or two small
particulars, which are here amended, we would not, for a stock barn,
alter it in any degree, nor exchange it for one of any description

For the farmer who needs one of but half the size, or greater, or less,
it may be remarked that the extent of this need be no hindrance to the
building of one of any size--as the general _design_ may be adopted, and
carried out, either in whole or in part, according to his wants, and the
economy of its accommodation preserved throughout. The _principle_ of
the structure is what is intended to be shown.

The _main_ body of this barn stands on the ground, 100×50 feet, with
eighteen-feet posts, and a broad, sheltering roof, of 40° pitch from a
horizontal line, and truncated at the gables to the width of the main
doors below. The sills stand 4 feet above the ground, and a raised
driving way to the doors admits the loads of grain and forage into it.
The manner of building the whole structure would be, to frame and put up
the main building as if it was to have no attachment whatever, and put
on the roof, and board up the gable ends. Then frame, and raise
adjoining it, on the long sides, and on the rear end--for the opposite
gable end to that, is the entrance front to the barn--a continuous
lean-to, 16 feet wide, attaching it to the posts of the barn, strongly,
by girts. These ranges of lean-to stand on the ground level,
nearly--high enough, however, to let a terrier dog under the floors,
to keep out the rats--but quite 3 feet below the sills of the barn. The
outer posts of the lean-to's should be 12 feet high, and 12½ feet apart,
from center to center, except at the extreme corners, which would be 16
feet. One foot below the roof-plates of the main building, and across
the rear gable end, a line of girts should be framed into the posts, as
a _rest_ for the upper ends of the lean-to rafters, that they may pass
under, and a foot below the lower ends of the main roof rafters, to make
a break in the roof of one foot, and allow a line of eave gutters under
it, if needed, and to show the lean-to line of roof as distinct from the
other. The stables are 7 feet high, from the lower floor to the girts
overhead, which connect them with the main line of barn posts; thus
giving a loft of 4 feet in height at the eaves, and of 12 feet at the
junction with the barn. In this loft is large storage for hay, and
coarse forage, and bedding for the cattle, which is put in by side
windows, level with the loft floor--as seen in the plate. In the center
of the rear, _end_ lean-to, is a large door, corresponding with the
front entrance to the barn, as shown in the design, 12 feet high, and 14
feet wide, to pass out the wagons and carts which have discharged their
loads in the barn, having entered at the main front door. A line of
board, one foot wide, between the line of the main and lean-to roofs,
is then nailed on, to shut up the space; and the rear gable end boarded
down to the roof of the lean-to attached to it. The front end, and the
stables on them vertically boarded, and battened, as directed in the
last design; the proper doors and windows inserted, and the outside is

  [Illustration: FLOOR PLAN.]


Entering the large door, (_a_,) at the front end, 14 feet wide, and 14
feet high, the main floor (_g_,) passes through the entire length of the
barn, and rear lean-to, 116 feet--the last 16 feet through the
lean-to--and sloping 3 feet to the outer sill, and door, (_a_,) of that
appendage. On the left of the entrance is a recess, (_e_,) of 20×18
feet, to be used as a thrashing floor, and for machinery, cutting feed,
&c., &c.--5 feet next the end being cut off for a passage to the stable.
Beyond this is a bay, (_b_,) 18×70 feet, for the storage of hay, or
grain, leaving a passage at the further end, of 5 feet wide, to go into
the further stables. This bay is bounded on the extreme left, by the
line of outside posts of the barn. On the right of the main door is a
granary, (_d_,) 10×18 feet, two stories high, and a flight of steps
leading from the lower into the upper room. Beyond this is another bay,
(_b_,) corresponding with the one just described on the opposite side.
The passages at the ends of the bays, (_e_, _e_,) have steps of 3 feet
descent, to bring them down on to a level with the stable floors of the
lean-to. A passage in each of the two long side lean-to's, (_e_, _e_,) 3
feet wide, receives the hay forage for cattle, or other stock, thrown
into them from the bays, and the lofts over the stables; and from them
is thrown into the mangers, (_h_, _h_.) The two apartments in the
extreme end lean-to, (_f_, _f_,) 34×16 feet each, may be occupied as a
hospital for invalid cattle, or partitioned off for calves, or any other
purpose. A calving house for the cows which come in during the winter,
is always convenient, and one of these may be used for such purpose. The
stalls, (_i_, _i_,) are the same as described in Design I, and back of
them is the passage for the cattle, as they pass in and out of their
stalls. The stable doors, (_j_, _j_,) are six in number. Small windows,
for ventilation, should be cut in the rear of the stalls, as marked, and
for throwing out the manure, with sliding board shutters. This completes
the barn accommodation--giving twenty-eight double stalls, where
fifty-six grown cattle may be tied up, with rooms for twenty to thirty
calves in the end stables. If a larger stock is kept, young cattle may
be tied up, with their heads to the bays, on the main floor, beyond the
thrashing floor, which we practice. This will hold forty young cattle.
The manure is taken out on a wheel-barrow, and no injury done to the
floor. They will soon eat out a place where their forage can be put, and
do no injury beyond that to the hay in the bays, as it is too closely
packed for them to draw it out any farther. In this way we can
accommodate more than a hundred head of cattle, of assorted ages.

The hay in the bays may drop three feet below the level of the main
floor, by placing a tier of rough timbers and poles across them, to keep
it from the ground, and many tons of additional storage be thus
provided. We have often stored one hundred and fifty tons of hay in this
barn; and it will hold even more, if thoroughly packed, and the movable
girts over the main floor be used, as described in Design I.

The chief advantages in a barn of this plan are, the exceeding
convenience of getting the forage to the stock. When the barn is full,
and feeding is first commenced, with a hay knife, we commence on each
side next the stables, on the top of the bays, cut a _well_ down to the
alley way in front of the mangers, which is left open up to the stable
roof. This opens a passage for the hay to be thrown into the alleys, and
in a short time it is so fed out on each side, that, the sides of the
main barn being open to them, the hay can be thrown along their whole
distance, and fed to the cattle as wanted; and so at the rear end
stables, in the five-foot alley adjoining them. If a root cellar be
required, it may be made under the front part of the main floor, and a
trap-door lead to it. For a milk dairy, this arrangement is an admirable
one--we so used it for four years; or for stall-feeding, it is equally
convenient. One man will do more work, so far as feeding is concerned,
in this barn, than two can do in one of almost any other arrangement;
and the yards outside may be divided into five separate inclosures, with
but little expense, and still be large enough for the cattle that may
want to use them. It matters not what kind of stock may be kept in this
barn; it is convenient for all alike. Even sheep may be accommodated in
it with convenience. But low, open sheds, inclosed by a yard, are better
for them; with storage for hay overhead, and racks and troughs beneath.

This barn is built of wood. It may be well constructed, with stone
underpinning, without mortar, for $1,000 to $1,500, as the price of
materials may govern. And if the collection of the water from the roofs
be an object, cheap gutters to carry it into one or more cisterns may be
added, at an expense of $200 to $300.

As before observed, a barn may be built on this principle, of any size,
and the stables, or lean-to's may only attach to one side or end; or
they may be built as mere sheds, with no storage room over the cattle.
The chief objection to stabling cattle in the _body_ of the barn is, the
continual decay of the most important timbers, such as sills, sleepers,
&c., &c., by the leakage of the stale, and manure of the cattle on to
them, and the loss of so much valuable storage as they would occupy, for
hay and grain. By the plan described, the stables have no attachment to
the sills, and other durable barn timbers below; and if the stable sills
and sleepers decay, they are easily and cheaply replaced with others.
Taking it altogether, we can recommend no better, nor, as we think, so
good, and so cheap a plan for a _stock_ barn, as this.

We deem it unnecessary to discuss the subject of water to cattle yards,
as every farm has its own particular accommodations, or inconveniences
in that regard; and the subject of leading water by pipes into different
premises, is too well understood to require remark. Where these can not
be had, and springs or streams are not at hand, wells and pumps must be
provided, in as much convenience as the circumstances of the case will
admit. Water is absolutely necessary, and that in quantity, for stock
uses; and every good manager will exercise his best judgment to obtain


It may be expected, perhaps, that in treating so fully as we have of the
several kinds of farm building, a full cluster of out-buildings should
be drawn and exhibited, showing their relative positions and
accommodation. This can not be done, however, except as a matter of
"fancy;" and if attempted, might not be suited to the purposes of a
single individual, by reason of the particular location where they would
be situated, and the accommodation which the buildings might require.
Convenience of access to the barns, from the fields where the crops are
grown, a like convenience to get out manures upon those fields, and a
ready communication with the dwelling house, are a part of the
considerations which are to govern their position, or locality. Economy
in labor, in the various avocations at the barn, and its necessary
attachments; and the greatest convenience in storage, and the housing of
the various stock, grains, implements, and whatever else may demand
accommodation, are other considerations to be taken into the account,
all to have a bearing upon them. Compactness is always an object in such
buildings, when not obtained at a sacrifice of some greater advantage,
and should be one of the items considered in placing them; and in their
construction, next to the arrangement of them in the most convenient
possible manner for their various objects, a due regard to their
architectural appearance should be studied. Such appearance, where their
objects are apparent, can easily be secured. _Utility_ should be their
chief point of expression; and no style of architecture, or finish, can
be really _bad_, where this expression is duly consulted, and carried
out, even in the humblest way of cheapness, or rusticity.

We have heretofore sufficiently remarked on the folly of unnecessary
pretension in the farm buildings, of any kind; and nothing can appear,
and really be more out of place, than ambitious structures intended only
for the stock, and crops. Extravagant expenditure on these, any more
than an extravagant expenditure on the dwelling and its attachments,
does not add to the _selling_ value of the farm, nor to its economical
management, in a productive capacity; and he who is about to build,
should make his proposed buildings a study for months, in all their
different requirements and conveniences, before he commences their
erection. Mistakes in their design, and location, have cost men a whole
after life of wear-and-tear of temper, patience, and labor, to
themselves, and to all who were about them; and it is better to wait
even two or three years, to fully mature the best plans of building,
than by hurrying, to mis-locate, mis-arrange, and miss, in fact, the
very best application in their structure of which such buildings are

A word might also be added about barn-_yards_. The planning and
management of these, also, depends much upon the course the farmer has
to pursue in the keeping of his stock, the amount of waste litter, such
as straw, &c., which he has to dispose of, and the demands of the farm
for animal and composted manures. There are different methods of
constructing barn-yards, in different parts of the country, according to
climate and soils, and the farmer must best consult his own experience,
the most successful examples about him, and the publications which treat
of that subject, in its connection with farm husbandry, to which last
subject this item more properly belongs.


It may appear that we are extending our "Rural Architecture" to an undue
length, in noticing a subject so little attended to in this country as
Rabbit accommodations. But, as with other small matters which we have
noticed, this may create a new source of interest and attachment to
country life, we conclude to give it a place.

It is a matter of surprise to an American first visiting England, to see
the quantities of game which abound at certain seasons of the year in
the London and other markets of that country, in contrast with the
scanty supply, or rather no supply at all, existing in the markets of
American cities. The reason for such difference is, that in England,
Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, every acre of the soil is appropriated to
some profitable use, while we, from the abundance of land in America,
select only the best for agricultural purposes, and let the remainder go
barren and uncared for. Lands appropriated to the rearing of game, when
fit for farm pasturage or tillage, is unprofitable, generally, with us;
but there are thousands of acres barren for other purposes, that might
be devoted to the breeding and pasturage of rabbits, and which, by thus
appropriating them, might be turned to profitable account. All the
preparation required is, to enclose the ground with a high and nearly
close paling fence, and the erection of a few rude hutches inside, for
winter shelter and the storage of their food. They will burrow into the
ground, and breed with great rapidity; and in the fall and winter
seasons, they will be fat for market with the food they gather from the
otherwise worthless soil over which they run. Rocky, bushy, and
evergreen grounds, either hill, dale, or plain, are good for them,
wherever the soils are dry and friable. The rabbit is a gross feeder,
living well on what many grazing animals reject, and gnawing down all
kinds of bushes, briars, and noxious weeds.

The common domestic rabbits are probably the best for market purposes,
and were they to be made an object of attention, immense tracts of
mountain land in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the New York and New
England highlands could be made available for this object.

Some may think this a small business. So is making pins, and rearing
chickens, and bees. But there are an abundance of people, whose age and
capacity are just fitted for it, and for want of other employment are a
charge upon their friends or the public; and now, when our cities and
large towns are so readily reached by railroads from all parts of the
country, our farmers should study to apply their land to the production
of everything that will find a profitable market. Things unthought of,
a few years ago, now find a large consumption in our large cities and
towns, by the aid of railroads; and we know of no good reason, why this
production and traffic should not continue to an indefinite extent. When
the breeding of rabbits is commenced, get a good treatise on the
breeding and rearing of them, which may be found at many of the

As the rearing of rabbits, and their necessary accommodation, is not a
subject to which we have given much personal attention, we applied to
Francis Rotch, Esq., of Morris, Otsego county, New York, who is probably
the most accomplished rabbit "fancier" in the United States, for
information, with which he has kindly furnished us. His beautiful and
high-bred animals have won the highest premiums, at the shows of the New
York State Agricultural Society. He thus answers:

  "I now forward you the promised plan from Mr. Alfred Rodman, of
  Dedham, Massachusetts, which, I think, will give you the information
  you wish upon these subjects.

  "Rabbits kept for profit in the vicinity of a city, and where there
  are mills, may be raised at a very small cost; and when once known
  as an article of food, will be liberally paid for by the epicure,
  for their meat is as delicate as a chicken's, and their fat mild,
  and very rich.

  "I am surprised they are not more generally kept, as a source of
  amusement, and for the purposes of experiment.

  "There is, I think, in many, a natural fondness for animals, but not
  easily indulged without more room than is often to be found in city
  residences. Fowls, and pigeons, trespass on our neighbors, and are a
  frequent cause of trouble. This objection does not hold good against
  the rabbit, which occupies so small a space, that where there is an
  outhouse there may be a rabbitry. _English_ children are encouraged
  in their fondness for animals, as tending to good morals and good
  feelings, and as offering a _home_ amusement, in contradistinction
  to _street_ associations."

  [Illustration: Drawn from life, by Mr. FRANCIS ROTCH.]

Mr. Rotch continues:

  "I have just finished the enclosed drawing of a 'fancy rabbit,'
  which I hope will answer your purpose, as an illustration of what
  the little animal should be in form, color, marking, and carriage,
  according to the decisions of the various societies in and out of
  London, who are its greatest admirers and patrons. These amateurs
  hold frequent meetings for its exhibition, at which premiums are
  awarded, and large prizes paid for such specimens as come up to
  their standard of excellence. This standard is, of course,
  conventional; and, as might be expected, is a combination of form
  and color very difficult to obtain--based, it is true, on the most
  correct principles of general breeding; but much of _fancy_ and
  beauty is added to complete the requisites of a prize rabbit. For
  instance, the head must be small and clean; the shoulders wide and
  full; the chest broad and deep; the back wide, and the loin large.
  Thus far, these are the characteristics of all really _good_ and
  _improved_ animals; to which are to be added, on the score of
  'fancy,' an eye round, full, and bright; an ear _long_, broad, and
  pendant, of a soft, delicate texture, dropping nearly
  perpendicularly by the side of the head--this is termed its
  'carriage.' The color must be in rich, unmixed _masses_ on the body,
  spreading itself over the back, side, and haunch, but breaking into
  spots and patches on the shoulder, called the 'chain;' while that on
  the back is known as the 'saddle.' The head must be full of color,
  broken with white on the forehead and cheeks; the marking over the
  bridge of the nose and down on both sides into the lips, should be
  dark, and in shape somewhat resembling a butterfly, from which this
  mark takes its name; the ear, however, must be uniform in color. Add
  to all this, a large, full dewlap, and you will have a rabbit fit to
  '_go in and win_.'

  "The most esteemed colors are black and white; yellow and white;
  tortoise-shell and white; blue and white, and gray and white. These
  are called 'broken colors,' while those of _one_ uniform color are
  called 'selfs.'"

It will be observed that Mr. Rotch here describes a beautiful "fancy"
variety of "lop-eared" rabbits, which he brought from England a few
years since. They were, originally, natives of Madagascar. He continues:

  "The domestic rabbit, in all its varieties, has always been, and
  still is, a great favorite, in many parts of the European continent:

  "In Holland, it is bred with reference to color only, which must be
  a pure white, with dark ears, feet, legs, and tail; this
  distribution has a singular effect, but, withal, it is a pretty
  little creature. The French breed a long, rangy animal, of great
  _apparent_ size, but deficient in depth and breadth, and of course,
  wanting in constitution; no attention is paid to color, and its
  marking is matter of accident. The White Angola, with its beautiful
  long fur and red eyes, is also a great favorite in France.

  "In England, the rabbit formerly held the rank of 'farm stock!' and
  thousands of acres were exclusively devoted to its production;
  families were supported, and rents, rates, and taxes were paid from
  its increase and sale. The '_gray-skins_' went to the hatter, the
  '_silver-skins_' were shipped to China, and were dressed as furs;
  while the flesh was a favorite dish at home. This was the course
  pursued in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and many other counties, with
  their light sandy soils, before the more general introduction of
  root culture, and the rotation of crops, gave an increased value to
  such land. Since then, however, I remember visiting a farm of Lord
  Onslow's, in Surrey, containing about 1,400 acres. It was in the
  occupation of an eminent flock-master and agriculturist, who kept
  some hundreds of hutched rabbits for the sake of their manure, which
  he applied to his turnep crop; added to this, their skins and
  carcasses were quite an item of profit, notwithstanding the care of
  them required an old man and boy, with a donkey and cart. The food
  used was chiefly brewer's grains, miller's waste, bran and hay, with
  clover and roots, the cost of keeping not exceeding two pence a
  week. The hutches stood under a long shed, open on all sides, for
  the greater convenience of cleaning and feeding. I was told that the
  manure was much valued by the market gardeners round London, who
  readily paid 2s. 6d. a bushel at the rabbitries. These rabbitries
  are very numerous in all the towns and cities of England, and form a
  source of amusement or profit to all classes, from the man of
  fortune to the day laborer. Nor is it unfrequent that this latter
  produces a rabbit from an old tea-chest, or dry-goods box, that wins
  the prize from its competitor of the mahogany hutch or ornamental

  "The food of the rabbit embraces great variety, including grain of
  all kinds, bran, pea-chaff, miller's waste, brewer's grains, clover
  and other hay, and the various weeds known as plantain, dock,
  mallow, dandelion, purslain, thistles, &c., &c.

  "The rabbit thus easily conforms itself to the means, condition, and
  circumstances of its owner; occupies but little space, breeds often,
  comes early to maturity, and is withal, a healthy animal, requiring
  however, to be kept clean, and to be _cautiously_ fed with
  _succulent_ food, which must always be free from dew or rain--water
  is unnecessary to them when fed with 'greens.' My own course of
  feeding is, one gill of oats in the morning, with a medium-sized
  cabbage leaf, or what I may consider its _equivalent_ in any other
  vegetable food, for the rabbit in confinement must be, as already
  stated, cautiously fed with what is succulent. At noon, I feed a
  handfull of cut hay or clover chaff, and in the evening the same as
  in the morning. To does, when suckling, I give what they will eat of
  both green and dry food. The cost to me is about three cents per
  week, per head.

  "I by no means recommend this as the best, or the most economical
  mode of feeding, but it happens to suit my convenience. Were I in a
  town, or near mills, I should make use of other and cheaper
  substitutes. My young rabbits, when taken from the doe, say at
  eight, ten, or twelve weeks old, are turned out together till about
  six months old, when it becomes necessary to take them up, and put
  them in separate hutches, to prevent their fighting and destroying
  each other. The doe at that age is ready to breed; her period of
  gestation is about thirty-one or two days, and she produces from
  three or four to a dozen young at a 'litter'. It is not well to let
  her raise more than six, or even four at once--the fewer, the larger
  and finer the produce.

  "Young rabbits are killed for the table at any age, from twelve
  weeks to twelve months old, and are a very acceptable addition to
  the country larder. The male is not allowed to remain with the doe,
  lest he should destroy the young ones.

  "Hutches are made singly, or in stacks, to suit the apartment, which
  should be capable of thorough ventilation. The best size is about
  three feet long, two feet deep, and fourteen inches high, with a
  small apartment partitioned off from one end, nearly a foot wide,
  as a breeding place for the doe. A wire door forms the front, and an
  opening is left behind for cleaning; the floor should have a descent
  to the back of the hutch of two inches. All edges should be tinned,
  to save them from being gnawed.

  "Having now given the leading characteristics and qualities which
  constitute a good 'fancy lop-eared rabbit,' and its general
  management, allow me to remark on the striking difference observable
  between Americans and the people of many other countries, as to a
  fondness for animals, or what are termed 'fancy pets,' of and for
  which we, as a people, know and care very little. Indeed, we
  scarcely admit more than a selfish fellowship with the dog, and but
  too seldom does our attachment even for this faithful companion,
  place him beyond the reach of the _omnipotent dollar_.

  "The operatives, mechanics, and laborers, in other countries, seem
  to have a perfect passion for such pursuits, and take the greatest
  interest and pride in breeding and perfecting the lesser animals,
  though often obliged to toil for the very food they feed to them.
  Here, too, home influences are perceived to be good, and are
  encouraged by the employer, as supplying the place of other and much
  more questionable pursuits and tastes."

We here present the elevation, and floor plan of Mr. Rodman's rabbitry,
together with the front and rear views of the hutches within them:


No. 1 is the gable end elevation of the building, with a door and

No. 2 is the main-floor plan, or living room for the rabbits.


A, the doe's hutches, with nest boxes attached. B, hutches three feet
long, with movable partitions for the young rabbits; the two lower
hutches are used for the stock bucks. C, a tier of grain boxes on the
floor for feeding the rabbits--the covers sloping out toward the room.
D, small trapdoor, leading into the manure cellar beneath. E, large
trapdoor leading into root cellar. F, troughs for leading off urine from
rear of hutches into the manure cellar at K, K. G, wooden trunk leading
from chamber above No. 3, through this into manure cellar. H, trap
opening into manure cellar. I, stairs leading into loft No. 3, with
hinged trapdoor overhead; when open, it will turn up against the wall,
and leave a passage to clear out the hutches.

NOTE.--The grain boxes are one foot high in front, and fifteen inches at
the back, with sloping bottoms, and sloping covers. The floors of the
hutches have a slope of two inches back. The hutches are furnished, at
the back of the floor, with pieces of zinc, to keep them free from the
drippings from above. The hutches are 16 inches high, 3 feet long, and 2
feet deep.

The foregoing plans and explanations might perhaps be sufficient for the
guidance of such as wish to construct a rabbitry for their own use; but
as a complete arrangement of all the rooms which may be conveniently
appropriated to this object, to make it a complete thing, may be
acceptable to the reader, we conclude, even at the risk of prolixity,
to insert the upper loft, and cellar apartments, with which we have been
furnished; hoping that our youthful friends will set themselves about
the construction of a branch of rural employment so home-attaching in
its associations.

  [Illustration: LOFT OR GARRET.]

No. 3 is the loft or chamber story, next above the main floor.


A, place for storing hay. B, stairs leading from below. C, room for
young rabbits. D, trapdoor into trunk leading to manure cellar.
E, partition four feet high. This allows of ventilation between the two
windows, in summer, which would be cut off, were the partition carried
all the way up.

  [Illustration: CELLAR.]

No. 4 is the cellar under the rabbitry.


A, manure cellar. B, root cellar. C, stairs leading to first, or main
floor. D, stairs leading outside. E, window--lighting both rooms of

No. 5 is a front section of rabbit hutches, eight in number, two in a
line, four tiers high, one above another, with wire-screened doors,
hinges, and buttons for fastening. A, the grain trough, is at the

No. 6 is the floor section of the hutches, falling, as before mentioned,
two inches from front to rear.

  [Illustration: FRONT OF HUTCH. REAR OF HUTCH.]

A, is the door to lift up, for cleaning out the floors. B, is the zinc
plate, to carry off the urine and _running_ wash of the floors. C, is
the trough for carrying off this offal into the manure cellars, through
the trunk, as seen in No. 2.

No. 7 is a rear section of hutches, same as in No. 5, with the waste
trough at the bottom leading into the trench before described, with the
cross section, No. 8, before described in No. 6.

A, a grated door at the back of the hutch, for ventilation in summer,
and covered with a thin board in winter. B, a flap-door, four inches
wide, which is raised for cleaning out the floor; under this door is a
space of one inch, for passing out the urine of the rabbits. C, are
buttons for fastening the doors. D, the backs of the bedrooms, without
any passage out on back side.

This matter of the rabbitry, and its various explanations, may be
considered by the plain, matter-of-fact man, as below the dignity of
people pursuing the _useful_ and _money-making_ business of life. Very
possible. But many boys--for whose benefit they are chiefly
introduced--and _men_, even, may do worse than to spend their time in
such apparent trifles. It is better than going to a horse-race. It is
better even than going to a trotting match, where _fast men_, as well as
_fast_ horses congregate. It is better, too, than a thousand other
places where boys _want_ to go, when they have nothing to interest them
at home.

One half of the farmer's boys, who, discontented at home, leave it for
something more congenial to their feelings and tastes, do so simply
because of the excessive dullness, and want of interest in objects to
attract them there, and keep them contented. Boys, in America at least,
are apt to be _smart_. So their parents think, at all events; and too
smart they prove, to stay at home, and follow the beaten track of their
fathers, as their continual migration from the paternal roof too plainly
testifies. This, in many cases, is the fault of the parents themselves,
because they neglect those little objects of interest to which the minds
and tastes of their sons are inclined, and for want of which they
_imagine_ more attractive objects abroad, although in the search they
often fail in finding them. We are a progressive people. Our children
are not always content to be what their fathers are; and parents must
yield a little to "the spirit of the age" in which they live. And boys
_pay_ too, as they go along, if properly treated. They should be made
companions, not servants. Many a joyous, hearty spirit, who, when
properly encouraged, comes out a whole man at one-and-twenty, if kept in
curb, and harnessed down by a hard parent, leaves the homestead, with a
curse and a kick, determined, whether in weal or in woe, never to
return. Under a different course of treatment, he would have fixed his
home either at his birthplace, or in its immediate vicinity, and in a
life of frugality, usefulness, and comparative ease, blessed his
parents, his neighborhood, and possibly the world, with a useful
example--all, perhaps, grown out of his youthful indulgence in the
possession of a rabbit-warren, or some like trifling matter.

This may appear to be small morals, as well as small business. We admit
it. But those who have been well, and indulgently, as well as
methodically trained, may look back and see the influence which all such
little things had upon their early thoughts and inclinations; and thus
realize the importance of providing for the amusements and pleasures of
children in their early years. The dovecote, the rabbitry, the
poultry-yard, the sheep-fold, the calf-pen, the piggery, the young colt
of a favorite mare, the yoke of yearling steers, or a fruit tree which
they have planted, and nursed, and called it, or the fruit it bears,
_their own_,--anything, in fact, which they can call _theirs_--are so
many objects to bind boys to their homes, and hallow it with a thousand
nameless blessings and associations, known only to those who have been
its recipients. Heaven's blessings be on the family homestead!

  "Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home!"

sung the imaginary maid of Milan, the beautiful creation of John Howard
Payne, when returning from the glare and pomp of the world, to her
native cottage in the mountains of Switzerland. And, although all out of
date, and conventionally vulgar this sentiment may be _now_ considered,
such is, or should be the subdued, unsophisticated feeling of all
natives of the farm house, and the country cottage. We may leave the
quiet roof of our childhood; we may mix in the bustling contentions of
the open world; we may gain its treasures; we may enjoy its greatness,
its honors, and its applause; but there are times when they will all
fade into nothing, in comparison with the peace, and quietude, and
tranquil happiness of a few acres of land, a comfortable roof, and
contentment therewith!


Wherever the dairy is made an important branch of farm production,
buildings for its distinct accommodation are indispensable. The dairy is
as much a _manufactory_ as a cotton mill, and requires as much
conveniences in its own peculiar line. We therefore set apart a
building, on purpose for its objects; and either for cheese, or butter,
separate conveniences are alike required. We commence with the

  [Illustration: CHEESE DAIRY HOUSE.]


This building is one and a half stories high, with a broad, spreading
roof of 45° pitch; the ground plan is 10 feet between joists, and the
posts 16 feet high. An ice-house, made on the plan already described, is
at one end, and a wood-shed at the opposite end, of the same size. This
building is supposed to be erected near the milking sheds of the farm,
and in contiguity to the feeding troughs of the cows, or the piggery,
and adapted to the convenience of feeding the whey to whichever of these
animals the dairyman may select, as both, or either are required to
consume it; and to which it may be conveyed in spouts from the


The front door is protected by a light porch, (_a_,) entering by a door,
(_b_,) the main dairy room. The cheese presses, (_c_, _c_,) occupy the
left end of the room, between which a passage leads through a door,
(_l_,) into the wood-shed, (_h_,) open on all sides, with its roof
resting on four posts set in the ground. The large cheese-table, (_d_,)
stands on the opposite end, and is 3 feet wide. In the center of the
room is a chimney, (_e_,) with a whey and water boiler, and vats on each
side. A flight of stairs, (_f_,) leading into the storage room above,
is in the rear. A door, (_b_,) on the extreme right, leads into the
ice-house, (_g_.) There are four windows to the room--two on each side,
front and rear. In the loft are placed the shelves for storing the
cheese, as soon as sufficiently prepared on the temporary table below.
This loft is thoroughly ventilated by windows, and the heat of the sun
upon it ripens the cheese rapidly for market. A trapdoor, through the
floors, over which is hung a tackle, admits the cheese from below, or
passes it down, when prepared for market.

The cheese house should, if possible, be placed on a sloping bank, when
it is designed to feed the whey to pigs; and even when it is fed to
cows, it is more convenient to pass it to them on a lower level, than to
carry it out in buckets. It may, however, if on level ground, be
discharged into vats, in a cellar below, and pumped out as wanted.
A cellar is convenient--indeed, almost indispensable--under the cheese
dairy; and water should be so near as to be easily pumped, or drawn,
into the vats and kettles used in running up the curd, or for washing
the utensils used in the work. When the milk is kept over night, for the
next morning's curd, temporary tables may be placed near the ice-room,
to hold the pans or tubs in which it may be set, and the ice used to
temper the milk to the proper degree for raising the cream. If the dairy
be of such extent as to require larger accommodation than the plan here
suggested, a room or two may be partitioned off from the main milk and
pressing-room, for washing the vessels and other articles employed, and
for setting the milk. Every facility should be made for neatness in all
the operations connected with the work.

Different accommodations are required, for making the different kinds of
cheese which our varied markets demand, and in the fitting up of the
dairy-house, no _positive_ plan of arrangement can be laid down, suited
alike to all the work which may be demanded. The dairyman, therefore,
will best arrange all these for the particular convenience which he
requires. The main plan, and style of building however, we think will be
generally approved, as being in an agreeable architectural style, and of
convenient construction and shape for the objects intended.


This, if pursued on the same farm with the cheese dairy, and at
different seasons of the year, may be carried on in the lower parts of
the same building. But as it is usually a distinct branch of business,
when prosecuted as the chief object on a farm, it should have
accommodations of its own kind, which should be fitted up specially for
that purpose.

We cannot, perhaps, suggest a better model of a building for the butter
dairy, than the one just submitted for the cheese-house, only that there
is no necessity for the upper story; and the posts of the main building
should not stand more than nine feet above the sills. A good, walled
cellar, well lighted, as a room for setting the milk, is indispensable,
with a broad, open flight of steps, from the main floor above, into it.
Here, too, should stand the stone slabs, where the butter is worked, and
the churns, to be driven by hand, or water, or animal power, as the two
latter may be provided, and introduced into the building by belt, shaft,
or crank. If running water can be brought on to the milk-shelves, from
a higher level, which, for this purpose, should have curbs two or three
inches high on their sides, it can flow in a constant gentle current
over them, among the pans, from a receiving vat, in which ice is
deposited, to keep the milk at the proper temperature--about 55°
Fahrenheit--for raising the cream; and if the quantity of milk be large,
the shelves can be so arranged, by placing each tier of shelf lower than
the last, like steps, that the water may pass among them all before it
escapes from the room. Such a mode of applying water and ice, renders
the entire process of cream-rising almost certain in all weathers, and
is highly approved wherever it has been practiced. The low temperature
of the room, by the aid of water and ice, is also beneficial to the
butter packed in kegs, keeping it cool and sweet--as much like a
spring-house as possible, in its operation.

The washing and drying of pans, buckets, churns, and the heating of
water, should all be done in the room above, where the necessary kettles
are set, and kept from contact with the cool atmosphere of the lower
room. The latter apartment should have a well-laid stone or brick floor,
filled and covered with a strong cement of water lime, and sloping
gradually to the outer side, where all the water may pass off by a
drain, and everything kept sweet and clean. The buttermilk may, as in
the case of the whey, in the cheese dairy, be passed off in spouts to
the pigsty, which should not be far distant.

As all this process of arrangement, however, must conform somewhat to
the shape of the ground, the locality, and the facilities at hand where
it may be constructed; it is hardly possible to give any one system of
detail which is applicable to an uniform mode of structure; and much
will be left to the demands and the skill of the dairyman himself, in
the plan he may finally adopt.


As water, and that of a good quality, and in abundant quantity, is
indispensable to the various demands of the farm, it is worth some pains
to provide it in the most economical manner, and at the most convenient
points for use. In level grounds, wells are generally dug, and the water
drawn up by buckets or pumps. In a hilly country, springs, and streams
from higher grounds, may be brought in by the aid of pipes, the water
flowing naturally, under its own head, wherever it may be wanted, away
from its natural stream.

  [Illustration: WATER RAM.]

But, of all contrivances to elevate water from a _lower_ fountain, or
current, to a _higher_ level, by its _own action_, the Water Ram is the
most complete in its operation, and perfect in its construction, of
anything within our knowledge. And as it may not be generally known to
our readers, at our request, Messrs. A. B. ALLEN & CO., of New York--who
keep them of all sizes for sale, at their agricultural warehouse, No's.
189 and 191, Water-street--have kindly furnished us with the following
description of the machine, given by W. & B. Douglass, of Middletown,
Connecticut, manufacturers of the article:

  "H, spring or brook. C, drive, or supply-pipe, from brook to ram.
  G, discharge pipe, conveying water to house or other point required
  for use. B, D, A, E, I, the Ram. J, the plank or other foundation to
  which the machine is secured for use.

  "The various uses of the ram are at once obvious, viz., for the
  purposes of irrigating lands, and supplying dwellings, barnyards,
  gardens, factories, villages, engines, railroad stations, &c., with
  running water.

  "The simplicity of the operation of this machine, together with its
  effectiveness, and very apparent durability, renders it decidedly
  the most important and valuable apparatus yet developed in
  hydraulics, for forcing a portion of a running stream of water to
  any elevation, proportionate to the fall obtained. It is perfectly
  applicable where no more than eighteen inches fall can be had; yet,
  the greater the fall applied, the more powerful the operation of the
  machine, and the higher the water may be conveyed. The relative
  proportions between the water raised, and wasted, is dependent
  entirely upon the relative height of the spring or source of supply
  above the ram, and the elevation to which it is required to be
  raised. The quantity raised varying in proportion to the height to
  which it is conveyed, with a given fall; also, the distance which
  the water has to be conveyed, and consequent length of pipe, has
  some bearing on the quantity of water raised and discharged by the
  ram; as, the longer the pipe through which the water has to be
  forced by the machine, the greater the friction to be overcome, and
  the more the power consumed in the operation; yet, it is common to
  apply the ram for conveying the water distances of one and two
  hundred rods, and up elevations of one and two hundred feet. Ten
  feet fall from the spring, or brook, to the ram, is abundantly
  sufficient for forcing up the water to any elevation under say one
  hundred and fifty feet in height, above the level of the point where
  the ram is located; and the same ten feet fall will raise the water
  to a much higher point than above last named, although in a
  _diminished_ quantity, in proportion as the height is increased.
  When a sufficient quantity of water is raised with a given fall,
  it is not advisable to increase said fall, as in so doing the force
  with which the ram works is increased, and the amount of labor which
  it has to perform greatly augmented, the wear and tear of the
  machine proportionably increased, and the durability of the same
  lessened; so that economy, in the expense of keeping the ram in
  repair, would dictate that no greater fall should be applied, for
  propelling the ram, than is sufficient to raise a requisite supply
  of water to the place of use. To enable any person to make the
  calculation, as to what fall would be sufficient to apply to the
  ram, to raise a sufficient supply of water to his premises, we would
  say, that in conveying it any ordinary distance, of say fifty or
  sixty rods, it may be safely calculated that about one-seventh part
  of the water can be raised and discharged at an elevation above the
  ram five times as high as the fall which is applied to the ram, or
  one-fourteenth part can be raised and discharged, say ten times as
  high as the fall applied; and so in that proportion, as the fall or
  rise is varied. Thus, if the ram be placed under a head or fall of
  five feet, of every seven gallons drawn from the spring, one may be
  raised twenty-five feet, or half a gallon fifty feet. Or with ten
  feet fall applied to the machine, of every fourteen gallons drawn
  from the spring, one gallon may be raised to the height of one
  hundred feet above the machine; and so in like proportion, as the
  fall or rise is increased or diminished.

  "It is presumed that the above illustrations of what the machine
  will do under certain heads and rise, will be sufficient for all
  practical purposes, to enable purchasers of the article to
  determine, with a sufficient degree of nicety, as to the head or
  fall to apply to the ram for a given rise and distance, which they
  may wish to overcome in raising water from springs or brooks to
  their premises, or other places where water is required. Yet, we
  have the pleasure of copying the following article, which we find in
  the 'American Agriculturist,' a very valuable journal published by
  C. M. Saxton, 152 Fulton-street, New York, which may serve to
  corroborate our statements as to what our ram will accomplish under
  given circumstances:

  "'The following is a correct statement of a water ram I have had in
  successful operation for the last six months:

  "'1. The fall from the surface of the water in the spring is four
  feet. 2. The quantity of water delivered per ten minutes, at my
  house, is three and a quarter gallons, and that discharged at the
  ram twenty-five gallons. Thus, nearly one-seventh part of the water
  is saved. 3. The perpendicular height of the place of delivery above
  the ram is nineteen feet--say fifteen feet above the surface of the
  spring. 4. The length of the pipe leading from the ram to the house
  is one hundred and ninety feet. 5. The pipe leading from the ram to
  the house has three right angles, rounded by curves. 6. The ram is
  of Douglass' make, of a small size. 7. The length of the drive or
  supply-pipe is sixty feet. Its inner diameter one inch. 8. The depth
  of water in the spring, over the drive pipe, is six inches. 9. The
  inner diameter of the pipe, conducting the water from the ram to the
  house, is three-eighths of an inch.

  "'I consider it very essential that the drive or supply-pipe should
  be laid as straight as possible, as in the motion of the water in
  this pipe consists the power of the ram.


  North-East Center, N.Y., April 2d, 1849.'"

We have seen several of these rams at work; and in any place where the
required amount of fall can be had, with sufficient water to supply the
demand, we are entirely satisfied that no plan so cheap and efficient
can be adopted, by which to throw it to a higher level, and at a
distance from the point of its flow. We heartily commend it to all who
need a thing of the kind, and have at hand the facilities in the way of
a stream for its use.

It is hardly worth while to add, that by the aid of the ram, water can
be thrown into every room in the dwelling house, as well as into the
various buildings, and yards, and fields of the farm, wherever it may be


This plan, and description, we take from an agricultural periodical
published in New York--"The Plow." We can recommend no plan of a better
kind for the objects required. It is an old-fashioned structure, which
many of our readers will recognize--only, that it is improved in some of
its details.

  [Illustration: GRANARY]

The illustration above needs but little description. The posts should be
stone, if procurable, one foot square, and four feet long, set one-third
in the ground, and capped with smooth flat stones, four to six inches
thick, and two feet, at least, across. If wooden posts are used, make
them sixteen inches square, and set them in a hole previously filled,
six inches deep, with charcoal, or rubble stone and lime grouting, and
fill around the posts with the same. Four inches from the top, nail on a
flange of tin or sheet iron, six inches wide, the projecting edge of
which may be serrated, as a further preventive against the depredating
rascals creeping around. The steps are hinged to the door-sill, and
should have a cord and weight attached to the door, so that whenever it
is shut, the steps should be up also; this would prevent the possibility
of carelessness in leaving them down for the rats to walk up. The sides
should be made of slats, with large cracks between, and the floor under
the corn-crib, with numerous open joints; no matter if shattered corn
falls through, let the pigs and chickens have it; the circulation of the
air through the pile of corn, will more than pay for all you will lose
through the floor. If you intend to have sweet grain, be sure to have a
ventilator in the roof, and you may see by the vane on the top of it,
how the wind will always blow favorably for you.


Having completed the series of subjects which we had designed for this
work, we are hardly content to send it out to the public, without
inviting the attention of our farmers, and others who dwell in the
country and occupy land, to the importance of surrounding themselves
with the best breeds of domestic animals, as an item of increased profit
in their farm management, and as a subject of interest and satisfaction
to themselves in the embellishment of their grounds.

We have addressed ourselves through these pages to the good sense of men
who, in their general character and pursuits, comprise the most stable
class of our population. We have endeavored to impress upon them the
importance of providing all the conveniences and comforts to themselves,
in their dwellings, as well as the due provision for their animals and
crops, in the rougher farm buildings, which their circumstances will
admit; and we trust they have been shown that it is proper economy so to
do. We have, in addition to these, somewhat dilated upon objects of
embellishment, in the way of grounds to surround them, and trees to
beautify them, which will in no way interfere with a just economy, and
add greatly to the pleasure and interest of their occupation. We now
want them to introduce into those grounds such domestic animals as shall
add to their ornament, and be far more profitable to themselves, than
the inferior things which are called the common, or native stock of the
country. Without this last lesson, half our object would be lost. Of
what avail will be the best provision for the conveniences of a family,
and the labors of the farm, if the farm be badly cultivated, and a
worthless or inferior stock be kept upon it? The work is but half done
at best; and the inferiority of the last will only become more
conspicuous and contemptible, in contrast with the superior condition of
the first.

It is not intended to go into an examination of the farm-stock of our
country at large, nor into their modes of treatment; but, to recommend
such varieties of animals as are profitable in their breeding and
keeping, both to the professional farmer in his vocation, and to such
as, beyond this, find them an object of convenience, or of pleasure.

We, in America, are comparatively a young people. Yet, we have
surmounted _necessity_. We have arrived at the period when we enjoy the
fruits of competence--some of us, the luxuries of wealth. A taste for
superior domestic animals has been increasing, and spreading over the
United States for many years past; so that now, a portion of our farmers
and country people understand somewhat of the subject. It has been
thoroughly demonstrated, that good farm stock is better, and more
profitable than poor stock. Still, a taste for good stock, and the
advantages of keeping them, over the common stock of the country, is not
_generally_ understood; and that taste has to be cultivated. It is not
altogether a thing of nature, any more than other faculties which
require the aid of education to develope. We have known many people who
had a fine perception in many things: an eye for a fine house, pleasant
grounds, beautiful trees, and all the surroundings which such a place
might command; and when these were complete, would place about it the
veriest brutes, in the way of domestic animals, imaginable. The resident
of the city, who lives at his country-house in summer, and selects a
picture of mean or inferior quality, to hang up in his house by way of
ornament, would be laughed at by his friends; yet he may drive into his
grounds the meanest possible creature, in the shape of a cow, a pig,
or a sheep, and it is all very well--for neither he nor they know any
better; yet, the one is quite as much out of place as the other. The
man, too, who, in good circumstances, will keep and drive a miserable
horse, is the ridicule of his neighbors, because everybody knows what a
good horse is, and that he should be well kept. Yet, the other stock on
his farm may be the meanest trash in existence, and it creates no
remark. On the contrary, one who at any _extra_ cost has supplied
himself with stock of the choicer kinds, let their superiority be ever
so apparent, has often been the subject of ribaldry, by his unthinking
associates. And such, we are sorry to say, is still the case in too many
sections of our country. But, on the whole, both our public spirit, and
our intelligence, is increasing, in such things.

Now, we hold it to be a _practical_ fact, that no farm, or country
place, can be complete in its appointments, without good stock upon it;
and it is useless for any one to suppose that his farm, or his place, is
_finished_, without it. The man who has a fine lawn, of any extent,
about his house, or a park adjoining, should have something to graze
it--for he cannot afford to let it lie idle; nor is it worth while, even
if he can afford it, to be mowing the grass in it every fortnight during
the summer, to make it sightly. Besides this, grass will grow under the
trees, and that too thin, and short, for cutting. This ground must, of
course, be pastured. Now, will he go and get a parcel of mean scrubs of
cattle, or sheep, to graze it, surrounding his very door, and disgracing
him by their vulgar, plebeian looks, and yielding him no return, in
either milk, beef, mutton, or wool? Of course not, if he be a wise, or a
provident man, or one who has any true taste in such matters. He will
rather go and obtain the best stock he can get, of breeds suited to the
climate, and soil, which will give him a profitable return, either in
milk, or flesh, or their increase, for his outlay; and which will also
embellish his grounds, and create an interest in his family for their
care, and arrest the attention of those who visit him, or pass by his
grounds. Of the proper selection of this branch of his stock, we shall
now discourse.


In cattle, if your grounds be rich, and your grass abundant, the
short-horns are the stock for them. They are "the head and front,"
in appearance, size, and combination of good qualities--the very
aristocracy of all neat cattle. A well-bred, and well developed
short-horn cow, full in the qualities which belong to her character,
is the very perfection of her kind. Her large, square form; fine orange,
russet, or nut-colored muzzle; bright, prominent, yet mild, expressive
eye; small, light horn; thin ears; clean neck; projecting brisket; deep,
and broad chest; level back, and loin; broad hips; large, and
well-spread udder, with its silky covering of hair, and clean, taper,
wide-standing teats, giving twenty to thirty quarts of rich milk in a
day; deep thigh, and twist; light tail; small, short legs; and, added to
this, her brilliant and ever-varying colors of all, and
every-intermingling shades of red, and white, or either of them alone;
such, singly, or in groups, standing quietly under the shade of trees,
grazing in the open field, or quietly resting upon the grass, are the
very perfection of a cattle picture, and give a grace and beauty to the
grounds which no living thing can equal. Here stands a short-horn cow,
in all the majesty of her style and character!

We add, also, a short-horn bull, which exhibits, in a high degree, the
vigor, stamina, and excellence of his kind.

Nor, in this laudation of the short-horns, are we at all mistaken.
Go into the luxuriant blue-grass pastures of Kentucky; the rich, and
wide-spread grazing regions of central, and lower Ohio; the prairies of
Indiana, and Illinois, just now beginning to receive them; the sweet,
and succulent pastures of central and western New York, or on the Hudson
river; and now and then, a finely-cultivated farm in other sections of
the United States, where their worth has become established; and they
present pictures of thrift, of excellence, of beauty, and of profit,
that no other neat cattle can pretend to equal.

As a family cow, nothing can excel the short-horn, in the abundance and
richness of her milk, and in the profit she will yield to her owner;
and, on every place where she can be supplied with abundance of food,
she stands without a rival. From the short-horns, spring those
magnificent fat oxen and steers, which attract so much admiration, and
carry off the prizes, at our great cattle shows. Thousands of them, of
less or higher grade in blood, are fed every year, in the Scioto, the
Miami, and the other great feeding valleys of the west, and in the
fertile corn regions of Kentucky, and taken to the New York and
Philadelphia markets. As a profitable beast to the grazier, and the
feeder, nothing can equal them in early maturity and excellence. For
this purpose, the short-horns are steadily working their way all over
the vast cattle-breeding regions of the west; and, for the richness and
abundance of her milk, the cow is eagerly introduced into the dairy, and
milk-producing sections of the other states, where she will finally take
rank, and maintain her superiority over all others, on rich and
productive soils.

  [Illustration: DEVON COW. DEVON BULL.]

On lighter soils, with shorter pastures; or on hilly and stony grounds,
another race of cattle may be kept, better adapted to such localities,
than those just described. They are the Devons--also an English breed,
and claimed there as an aboriginal race in England; and if any variety
of cattle, exhibiting the blood-like beauty, and fineness of limb, the
deep, uniformity of color, and the gazelle-like brilliancy of their eye,
can claim a remote ancestry, and a pure descent, the Devons can make
such claim, beyond almost any other. They were introduced--save now and
then an isolated animal at an earlier day--into the United States some
thirty-two or three years ago, about the same time with the short-horns;
and like them, have been added to, and improved by frequent importations
since; until now, probably our country will show some specimens equal in
quality to their high general character in the land of their nativity.
Unlike the short-horn, the Devon is a much lighter animal, with a like
fine expression of countenance; an elevated horn; more agile in form;
yet finer in limb, and bone; a deep mahogany-red in color; and of a
grace, and beauty in figure excelled by no other breed whatever. The
Devon cow is usually a good milker, for her size; of quiet temper;
docile in her habits; a quick feeder; and a most satisfactory animal in
all particulars. From the Devons, spring those beautifully matched red
working-oxen, so much admired in our eastern states; the superiors to
which, in kindness, docility, endurance, quickness, and honesty of
labor, no country can produce. In the _quality_ of their beef, they are
unrivaled by any breed of cattle in the United States; but in their
early maturity for that purpose, are not equal to the short-horns.

We here present a cut of a Devon cow; but with the remark, that she
presents a deficiency of bag, and stands higher on the leg, than she
ought to do; and her leanness in flesh gives her a less graceful
appearance than is her wont, when in good condition.

We present, also, the cut of a Devon bull. This figure does not do him
full justice, the head being drawn in, to give the cut room on the page.

Several beautiful herds of Devons are to be found in New York, in
Maryland, in Connecticut, and in Massachusetts; and some few in other
states, where they can be obtained by those who wish to purchase. And it
is a gratifying incident, to learn that both the breeds we have named
are increasing in demand, which has created a corresponding spirit in
those who breed them, to bestow their best attention in perfecting their
good qualities.

Another branch of domestic stock should also excite the attention of
those who wish to embellish their grounds, as well as to improve the
quality of their mutton--obtaining, withal, a fleece of valuable wool.
These are the Southdown, and the Cotswold, Leicester, or other improved
breeds of long-wooled sheep. There is no more peaceful, or beautiful
small animal to be seen, in an open park, or pleasure ground, or in the
paddock of a farm, than these; and as they have been of late much sought
after, they will be briefly noticed.



The Southdown, a cut of which we present, is a fine, compact, and solid
sheep, with dark face and legs; quiet in its habits, mild in
disposition, of a medium quality, and medium weight of fleece; and
yielding a kind of mutton unsurpassed in flavor and delicacy--equal,
in the estimation of many, to the finest venison. The carcass of a
Southdown wether, when well fatted, is large, weighing, at two to three
years old, a hundred to a hundred and twenty pounds. The ewe is a
prolific breeder, and a good nurse. They are exceedingly hardy, and will
thrive equally well in all climates, and on all our soils, where they
can live. There is no other variety of sheep which has been bred to that
high degree of perfection, in England. The great Southdown breeder, Mr.
Webb, of Batraham, has often received as high as fifty, to one hundred
guineas, in a season, for the _use_ of a single ram. Such prices show
the estimation in which the best Southdowns are held there, as well as
their great popularity among the English farmers. They are extensively
kept in the parks, and pleasure grounds of the wealthy people, where
things of profit are usually connected with those devoted to luxury.

For this cut of the Southdown ewe, we are indebted to the kindness of
Luther Tucker, Esq., of the Albany "Cultivator."

The Cotswold, New Oxford, and Leicester sheep, of the long-wooled
variety, are also highly esteemed, in the same capacity as the

They are large; not so compactly built as the Southdowns; producing a
heavy fleece of long wool, mostly used for combing, and making into
worsted stuffs. They are scarcely so hardy, either, as the Southdowns;
nor are they so prolific. Still, they have many excellent qualities; and
although their mutton has not the fine grain, nor delicacy, of the
other, it is of enormous weight, when well fattened, and a most
profitable carcass. It has sometimes reached a weight of two hundred
pounds, when dressed. They are gentle, and quiet in their habits; white
in the face and legs; and show a fine and stately contrast to the
Southdowns, in their increased size, and breadth of figure. They
require, also, a somewhat richer pasture; but will thrive on any good
soil, yielding sweet grasses. For the cut of the Cotswold ewe, we are
also indebted to Mr. Tucker, of "The Cultivator."

To show the contrast between the _common_ native sheep, and the improved
breeds, of which we have spoken, a true portrait of the former is
inserted, which will be readily recognized as the creature which
embellishes, in so high a degree, many of the wild nooks, and rugged
farms of the country!

  [Illustration: A COMMON SHEEP.]

That the keeping of choice breeds of animals, and the cultivation of a
high taste for them, is no _vulgar_ matter, with even the most exalted
intellects, and of men occupying the most honorable stations in the
state, and in society; and that they concern the retired gentleman, as
well as the practical farmer, it is only necessary to refer to the many
prominent examples in Great Britain, and our own country, within the
last fifty years.

The most distinguished noblemen of England, and Scotland, have long bred
the finest of cattle, and embellished their home parks with them. The
late Earl Spencer, one of the great patrons of agricultural improvement
in England, at his death owned a herd of two hundred of the highest bred
short-horns, which he kept on his home farm, at Wiseton. The Dukes of
Bedford, for the last century and a half, have made extraordinary
exertions to improve their several breeds of cattle. The late Earl of
Leicester, better known, perhaps, as Mr. Coke, of Holkham, and the most
celebrated farmer of his time, has been long identified with his large
and select herds of Devons, and his flocks of Southdowns. The Duke of
Richmond has his great park at Goodwood stocked with the finest
Southdowns, Short-horns, and Devons. Prince Albert, even, has caught the
infection of such liberal and useful example, and the royal park at
Windsor is tenanted with the finest farm stock, of many kinds; and he is
a constant competitor at the great Smithfield cattle shows, annually
held in London. Besides these, hundreds of the nobility, and wealthy
country gentlemen of Great Britain, every year compete with the
intelligent farmers, in their exhibitions of cattle, at the royal and
provincial shows, in England, Scotland, and Ireland.

In the United States, Washington was a great promoter of improvement in
farm stock, and introduced on to his broad estate, at Mount Vernon, many
foreign animals, which he had sent out to him at great expense; and it
was his pride to show his numerous and distinguished guests, his horses,
cattle, sheep, and pigs. Henry Clay, of Kentucky, was among the first
promoters of the improvement of domestic animals in the fertile region,
of which his own favorite Ashland is the center; and to his continued
efforts in the breeding of the finest short-horns, and mules, is the
state of Kentucky greatly indebted for its reputation in these
descriptions of stock. Daniel Webster has introduced on to his estate,
at Marshfield, the finest cattle, and sheep suited to its soil and
climate, and takes much pride in showing their good qualities. Indeed,
we have never heard either of these two last remarkable men more
eloquent, than when discoursing of their cattle, and of their pleasure
in ranging over their pastures, and examining their herds and flocks.
They have both been importers of stock, and liberal in their
dissemination among their agricultural friends and neighbors.
Public-spirited, patriotic men, in almost every one of our states, have
either imported from Europe, or drawn from a distance in their own
country, choice animals, to stock their own estates, and bred them for
the improvement of their several neighborhoods. Merchants, and generous
men of other professions, have shown great liberality, and the finest
taste, in importing, rearing, and distributing over the country the best
breeds of horses, cattle, sheep, and pigs. Their own beautiful home
grounds are embellished with them, in a style that all the dumb statuary
in existence can not equal in interest--models of grace, and beauty, and
utility, which are in vain sought among the sculpture, or paintings of
ancient time. And many a plain and unpretending farmer of our country,
emulating such laudable examples, now shows in his luxuriant pastures,
and well-filled barns and stables, the choicest specimens of imported
stock; and their prizes, won at the cattle shows, are the laudable pride
of themselves, and their families.

Nor is this laudable taste, confined to _men_ alone. Females of the
highest worth, and domestic example, both abroad and at home, cultivate
a love for such objects, and take much interest in the welfare of their
farm stock. We were at the annual state cattle show, in one of our large
states, but a short time since, and in loitering about the cattle
quarter of the grounds, met a lady of our acquaintance, with a party of
her female friends, on a tour of inspection among the beautiful
short-horns, and Devons, and the select varieties of sheep. She was the
daughter of a distinguished statesman, who was also a large farmer, and
a patron of great liberality, in the promotion of fine stock in his own
state. She was bred upon the farm, and, to rare accomplishments in
education, was possessed of a deep love for all rural objects; and in
the stock of the farm she took a peculiar interest. Her husband was an
extensive farmer, and a noted breeder of fine animals. She had her own
farm, too, and cattle upon it, equally as choice as his, in her own
right; and they were both competitors at the annual exhibitions.
Introduced to her friends, at her request, we accompanied them in their
round of inspection. There were the beautiful cows, and the younger
cattle, and the sheep--all noticed, criticised, and remarked upon; and
with a judgment, too, in their various properties, which convinced us of
her sound knowledge of their physiology, and good qualities, which she
explained to her associates with all the familiarity that she would a
tambouring frame, or a piece of embroidery. There was no squeamish
fastidiousness; no affectation of prudery, in this; but all natural as
the pure flow of admiration in a well-bred lady could be. At her most
comfortable, and hospitable residence, afterward, she showed us, with
pride, the several cups, and other articles of plate, which her family
had won as prizes, at the agricultural exhibitions; and which she
intended to preserve, as heir-looms to her children. This is not a
solitary example; yet, a too rare one, among our fair countrywomen. Such
a spirit is contagious, and we witness with real satisfaction, their
growing taste in such laudable sources of enjoyment: contrary to the
_parvenue_ affectation of a vast many otherwise sensible and
accomplished females of our cities and towns--comprising even the wives
and daughters of farmers, too--who can saunter among the not over
select, and equivocal representations, among the paintings and statuary
of our public galleries; and descant with entire freedom, on the various
attitudes, and artistical merits of the works before them; or gaze with
apparent admiration upon the brazen pirouettes of a public dancing girl,
amid all the equivoque of a crowded theater; and yet, whose delicacy is
shocked at the exhibitions of a cattle show! Such females as we have
noticed, can admire the living, moving beauty of animal life, with the
natural and easy grace of purity itself, and without the slightest
suspicion of a stain of vulgarity. From the bottom of our heart, we
trust that a reformation is at work among our American women, in the
promotion of a taste, and not only a taste, but a genuine _love_ of
things connected with country life. It was not so, with the mothers, and
the wives, of the stern and earnest men, who laid the foundations of
their country's freedom and greatness. They were women of soul,
character, and stamina; who grappled with the _realities_ of life, in
their labors; and enjoyed its pleasures with truth and honesty. This
over-nice, mincing delicacy, and sentimentality, in which their
grand-daughters indulge, is but the off-throw of the boarding-school,
the novelist, and the prude--mere "leather and prunella." Such remarks
may be thought to lie beyond the line of our immediate labor. But in the
discussion of the collateral subjects which have a bearing upon country
life and residence, we incline to make a clean breast of it, and drop
such incidental remark as may tend to promote the enjoyment, as well as
instruction, of those whose sphere of action, and whose choice in life
is amid the pure atmosphere, and the pure pleasures of the country.


If a stream flow through the grounds, in the vicinity of the house; or a
pond, or a small lake be near, a few varieties of choice water-fowls may
be kept, adding much to the interest and amusement of the family. Many
of the English nobility, and gentry, keep swans for such purpose. They
are esteemed a bird of much grace and beauty, although silent, and of
shy, unsocial habits, and not prolific in the production of their young.
For such purposes as they are kept in England, the great African goose,
resembling the China, but nearly double in size, is a preferable
substitute in this country. It is a more beautiful bird in its plumage;
equally graceful in the water; social, and gentle in its habits;
breeding with facility, and agreeable in its voice, particularly at a
little distance. The African goose will attain a weight of twenty to
twenty-five pounds. Its body is finely formed, heavily feathered, and
its flesh is of delicate flavor. The top of the head, and the back of
its neck, which is long, high, and beautifully arched, is a dark brown;
its bill black, with a high protuberance, or knob, at its junction with
the head; a dark hazel eye, with a golden ring around it; the under part
of the head and neck, a soft ash-color; and a heavy dewlap at the
throat. Its legs and feet are orange-colored; and its belly white. Taken
altogether, a noble and majestic bird.

  [Illustration: CHINA GOOSE.]

The small brown China goose is another variety which may be introduced.
She is nearly the color of the African, but darker; has the same black
bill, and high protuberance on it, but without the dewlap under the
throat; and has black legs and feet. She is only half the size of the
other; is a more prolific layer,--frequently laying three or four
clutches of eggs in a year; has the same character of voice; an equally
high, arched neck, and is quite as graceful in the water. The neck of
the goose in the cut should be one-third longer, to be an accurate

The White China is another variety, in size and shape like the last, but
perfectly white, with an orange colored bill and legs. Indeed, no swan
can be more beautiful than this, which is of the same pure, clean
plumage, and, in its habits and docility, equally a favorite with the
others we have described.

The Bremen goose is still another variety, of about the same size as the
African, but in shape and appearance, not unlike the common goose,
except in color, which is pure white. Young geese of this breed, at nine
months old, frequently weigh twenty pounds, alive. We have had them of
that weight, and for the table, none can be finer. They are equally
prolific as the common goose, but, as a thing of ornament, are far
behind the African and the China. Still, they are a stately bird, and an
acquisition to any grounds where water-fowls are a subject of interest,
convenience, or profit.

All these birds are more domestic, if possible, than the common goose,
and we have found them less troublesome, not inclined to wander abroad,
and, in all the qualities of such a bird, far more agreeable. We have
long kept them, and without their presence, should consider our grounds
as incomplete, in one of the most attractive features of animated life.

It is too much a fault of our farming population, that they do not pay
sufficient attention to many little things which would render their
homes more interesting, both to themselves, if they would only think so,
and to their families, most certainly. If parents have no taste for such
objects as we have recommended, or even others more common, they should
encourage their children in the love of them, and furnish them for their
amusement. The very soul of a farmer's home is to cluster every thing
about it which shall make it attractive, and speak out the character of
the country, and of his occupation, in its full extent. Herds and flocks
upon the farm are a matter of course; and so are the horses, and the
pigs. But there are other things, quite as indicative of household
abundance, and domestic enjoyment. The pigeons, and the poultry of all
kinds, and perhaps the rabbit warren, which are chiefly in charge of the
good housewife, and her daughters, and the younger boys, show out the
domestic feeling and benevolence of character in the family, not to be
mistaken. It is a sign of enjoyment, of domestic contentment, and of
mental cultivation, even, that will lead to something higher, and more
valuable in after life; and it is in such light that it becomes an
absolute _duty_ of the farmer who seeks the improvement and education of
his children, to provide them with all these little objects, to engage
their leisure hours and promote their happiness. How different a home
like this from one--which is, really, not a home--where no attention is
paid to such minor attractions; where a few starveling things, by way of
geese, perhaps, picked half a dozen times a year, to within an inch of
their lives, mope about the dirty premises, making their nightly
sittings in the door yard, if the house has one; a stray turkey, or two,
running, from fear of the untutored dogs, into the nearest wood, in the
spring, to make their rude nests, and bring out half a clutch of young,
and creeping about the fields through the summer with a chicken or two,
which the foxes, or other vermin, have spared, and then dogged down in
the winter, to provide a half got-up Christmas-dinner; and the hens
about the open buildings all the year, committing their nuisances in
every possible way! There need be no surer indication than this, of the
utter hopelessness of progress for good, in such a family.


We always loved a dog; and it almost broke our little heart, when but a
trudging schoolboy, in our first jacket-and-trowsers, our kind mother
made us take back the young puppy that had hardly got its eyes open,
which we one day brought home, to be kept until it was fit to be taken
from its natural nurse. We are now among the boys, John, Tom, and Harry;
and intend to give them the benefit of our own experience in this line,
as well as to say a few words to the elder brothers,--and fathers,
even,--if they do not turn up their noses in contempt of our
instruction, on a subject so much beneath their notice.

We say that we love dogs: not _all_ dogs, however. But we love some
dogs--of the right breeds. There is probably no other civilized country
so dog-ridden as this, both in

  "Mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,
  And curs of _low_ degree."

Goldsmith, kind man that he was, must have been a capital judge of dogs,
like many other poetical gentlemen. Still, other men than poets are
sometimes good judges, and great lovers of dogs; but the mass of people
are quite as well satisfied with one kind of dog as with another, so
that it be a dog; and they too often indulge in their companionship,
much to the annoyance of good neighborhood, good morals, and, indeed, of
propriety, thrift, and common justice. Of all these we have nothing to
say--here, at least. Ours is a "free country"--for dogs, if for nothing
else. Nor shall we discuss the various qualities, or the different
breeds of dogs for sporting purposes. We never go out shooting; nor do
we take a hunt--having no taste that way. Perhaps in this we are to be
pitied; but we are content as it is. Therefore we shall let the hounds,
and pointers, and setters, the springers, and the land and the water
spaniels, all alone. The mastiffs, and the bull dogs, too, we shall
leave to those who like them. The poodle, and the little lap-dog of
other kinds, also, we shall turn over to the kindness of those who--we
are sorry for them, in having nothing better to interest themselves
about--take a pleasure in keeping and tending them.

We want to mix in a little _usefulness_, as well as amusement, in the
way of a dog; and after a whole life, thus far, of dog companionship,
and the trial of pretty much every thing in the line of a dog--from the
great Newfoundland, of a hundred pounds weight, down to the squeaking
little whiffet, of six--we have, for many years past, settled down into
the practical belief that the small ratting terrier is the only one,
except the shepherd dog, we care to keep; and of these, chiefly,
we shall speak.

There are many varieties of the Terrier. Some are large, weighing forty
or fifty pounds, rough-haired, and savage looking. There is the
bull-terrier, of less size, not a kindly, well-disposed creature to
strangers; but irascibly inclined, and unamiable in his deportment;
still useful as a watch-dog, and a determined enemy to all vermin,
whatever. Then, again, are the small rat-terriers, as they are termed,
weighing from a dozen to twenty pounds; some with rough, long, wiry
hair; a fierce, whiskered muzzle; of prodigious strength for their size;
wonderful instinct and sagacity; kind in temper; and possessing valuable
qualities, bating a lack of beauty in appearance. They are of all
colors, but are generally uniform in their color, whatever it be.
Another kind, still, is the smooth terrier, of the same sizes as the
last; a very pretty dog indeed; with a kinder disposition to mankind;
yet equally destructive to vermin, and watchful to the premises which
they inhabit, or of whatever else is put under their charge. The
fidelity of the terrier to his master is wonderful; equal, if not
superior to any other dog whatever. In courage and perseverance, in
hardihood, and feats of daring, he has hardly an equal; and in general
_usefulness,_ no dog can compare with him.

  [Illustration: THE SMOOTH TERRIER.]

Sir Walter Scott, who was a great friend to dogs, as well as a nice and
critical judge of their qualities, used to tell this story:--When a
young man, first attending, as an advocate, the Jedburgh assizes, a
notorious burglar engaged Sir Walter to defend him on his trial for
housebreaking in the neighborhood. The case was a hard one; the proof
direct and conclusive; and no ingenuity of the defence could avoid the
conviction of the culprit. The matter was settled beyond redemption; and
before he left for his imprisonment, or transportation, the thief
requested Sir Walter to come into his cell. On meeting, the fellow
frankly told his counsel that he felt very grateful to him for his
efforts to clear him; that he had done the best he could; but the proof
was too palpable against him. He would gladly reward Sir Walter for his
services; but he had no money, and could only give him a piece of
advice, which might, perhaps, be serviceable hereafter. Sir Walter heard
him, no doubt, with some regret at losing his fee; but concluding to
hear what he had to say. "You are a housekeeper, Mr. Scott. For security
to your doors, use nothing but a common lock--if rusty and old, no
matter; they are quite as hard to pick as any others. (Neither Chubbs'
nor Hobbs' _non-pickable_ locks were then invented.) Then provide
yourself with a small rat terrier, and keep him in your house at night.
There is no safety in a mastiff, or bull-dog, or in a large dog of any
breed. They can always be appeased and quieted, and burglars understand
them; but a terrier can neither be terrified nor silenced; nor do we
attempt to break in where one is known to be kept." Sir Walter heeded
the advice, and, in his housekeeping experience, afterward, confirmed
the good qualities of the terrier, as related to him by the burglar.
He also commemorated the conversation by the following not exceedingly
poetical couplet:

  "A terrier dog and a rusty key,
  Was Walter Scott's first Jedburgh fee."

The terrier has a perfect, thorough, unappeasable instinct for, and
hatred to all kinds of vermin. He takes to rats and mice as naturally as
a cat. He will scent out their haunts and burrows. He will lie for hours
by their places of passage, and point them with the sagacity of a
pointer at a bird. He is as quick as lightning, in pouncing upon them,
when in sight, and rarely misses them when he springs. A single bite
settles the matter; and where there are several rats found together, a
dog will frequently dispatch half a dozen of them, before they can get
twenty feet from him. A dog of our own has killed that number, before
they could get across the stable floor. In the grain field, with the
harvesters, a terrier will catch hundreds of field-mice in a day; or, in
the hay field, he is equally destructive. With a woodchuck, a raccoon,
or anything of their size--even a skunk, which many dogs avoid--he
engages, with the same readiness that he will a rat. The night is no bar
to his vigils. He has the sight of an owl, in the dark. Minks, and
weasels, are his aversion, as much as other vermin. He will follow the
first into the water, till he exhausts him with diving, and overtakes
him in swimming. He is a hunter, too. He will tree a squirrel, or a
raccoon, as readily as the best of sporting dogs. He will catch, and
hold a pig, or anything not too large or heavy for him. He will lie down
on your garment, and watch it for hours; or by anything else left in his
charge. He will play with the children, and share their sports as
joyfully as a dumb creature can do; and nothing can be more
affectionate, kind, and gentle among them. He is cleanly, honest, and
seldom addicted to tricks of any kind.

We prefer the high-bred, smooth, English terrier, to any other variety.
They are rather more gentle in temper, and very much handsomer in
appearance, than the rough-haired kind; but perhaps no better in their
useful qualities. We have kept them for years; we keep them now; and no
reasonable inducement would let us part with them. A year or two ago,
having accidentally lost our farm terrier, and nothing remaining on the
place but our shepherd dog, the buildings soon swarmed with rats. They
were in, and about everything. During the winter, the men who tended the
horses, and cattle, at their nightly rounds of inspection, before going
to bed, would kill, with their clubs, three or four, in the barns and
stables, every evening. But still the rats increased, and they became
unendurable. They got into the grain-mows, where they burrowed, and
brought forth with a fecundity second only to the frogs of Egypt. They
gnawed into the granaries. They dug into the dairy. They entered the
meat barrels. They carried off the eggs from the hen-nests. They stole
away, and devoured, the young ducks, and chickens. They literally came
into the "kneading troughs" of the kitchen. Oh! the rats were
intolerable! Traps were no use. Arsenic was innocuous--they wouldn't
touch it. Opportunity favored us, and we got two high-bred, smooth,
English terriers--a dog, and a slut. Then commenced such a slaughter as
we seldom see. The rats had got bold. The dogs caught them daily by
dozens, as they came out from their haunts, fearless of evil, as before.
As they grew more shy, their holes were watched, and every morning dead
rats were found about the premises. The dogs, during the day, pointed
out their holes. Planks were removed, nests were found, and the rats,
young and old, killed, _instanter_. Hundreds on hundreds were
slaughtered, in the first few weeks; and in a short time, the place was
mostly rid of them, until enough only are left to keep the dogs "in
play," and to show that in spite of all precaution, they will harbor
wherever there is a thing to eat, and a possible place of covert for
them to burrow.

To have the terrier in full perfection, it is important that the breed
be _pure_. We are so prone to mix up everything we get, in this country,
that it is sometimes difficult to get anything exactly as it should be;
but a little care will provide us, in this particular. He should be
properly trained, too, when young. That is, to mind what is said to him.
His intelligence will be equal to all your wants in the _dog_-line; but
he should not be _fooled_ with. His instincts are _sure_. And, with a
good education, the terrier will prove all you need in a farm, and a
watch-dog. We speak from long experience, and observation.

  [Illustration: THE SHEPHERD DOG.]

The shepherd dog is another useful--almost indispensable--creature, on
the sheep, or dairy farm. This cut is an accurate representation of the
finest of the breed. To the flock-master, he saves a world of labor, in
driving and gathering the flocks together, or from one field, or place,
to another. To the sheep-drover, also, he is worth a man, at least; and
in many cases, can do with a flock what a man can not do. But for this
labor, he requires training, and a strict, thorough education, by those
who know how to do it. He is a peaceable, quiet creature; good for
little else than driving, and on a stock farm will save fifty times his
cost and keeping, every year. He is a reasonably good watch-dog, also;
but he has neither the instinct, nor sagacity of the terrier, in that
duty. To keep him in his best estate, for his own peculiar work, he
should not be troubled with other labors, as it distracts his attention
from his peculiar duties. We had a remarkably good dog, of this kind, a
few years since. He was worth the services of a stout boy, in bringing
up the cattle, and sheep, until an idle boy or two, in the neighborhood,
decoyed him out in "_cooning_," a few nights during one autumn--in which
he proved a most capital hunter; and after that, he became worthless, as
a cattle dog. He was always rummaging around among the trees, barking at
birds, squirrels, or any live thing that he could find; and no man could
coax him back to the dull routine of his duty. A shepherd dog should
never go a-hunting.

We would not be understood as condemning everything else, excepting the
dogs we have named, for farm use. The Newfoundland, and the mastiff, are
enormously large dogs, and possessed of some noble qualities. They have
performed feats of sagacity and fidelity which have attracted universal
admiration; but, three to one, if you have them on your farm, they will
kill every sheep upon it; and their watchfulness is no greater than that
of the shepherd dog, or the terrier. We have spoken of such as we have
entire confidence in, and such as we consider the best for useful
service. There are some kinds of cur dog that are useful. They are of no
_breed_ at all, to be sure; but have, now and then, good qualities; and
when nothing better can be got, they will do for a make-shift. But as a
rule, we would be equally particular in the _breed_ of our dog, as we
would in the breed of our cattle, or sheep. There are altogether too
many dogs kept, in the country, and most usually by a class of people
who have no need of them, and which prove only a nuisance to the
neighborhood, and a destruction to the goods of others. Thousands of
useful sheep are annually destroyed by them; and in some regions of the
country, they can not be kept, by reason of their destruction by
worthless dogs, which are owned by the disorderly people about them. In
a western state, some time ago, in conversing with a large farmer, who
had a flock of perhaps a hundred sheep running in one of his pastures,
and who also kept a dozen hounds, for hunting, we asked him whether the
dogs did not kill his sheep? "To be sure they do," was his reply; "but
the dogs are worth more than the sheep, for they give us great sport in
hunting deer, and foxes; and the sheep only give us a little mutton, now
and then, and some wool for the women to make into stockings!" This is a
mere matter of taste, thought we, and the conversation on that subject
dropped. Yet, this man had a thousand acres of the richest land in the
world; raised three or four hundred acres of corn, a year; fed off a
hundred head of cattle, annually; and sold three hundred hogs every
year, for slaughtering!

       *       *       *       *       *

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The American Farm Book;
  The American Farm Book; or, a Compend of American Agriculture,
  being a Practical Treatise on Soils, Manures, Draining, Irrigation,
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American Poultry Yard;
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Johnston's Agricultural Chemistry.
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The Complete Farmer and American Gardener,
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Chemistry Made Easy,
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Brandy and Salt,
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Practical Treatise on Fruits,
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Farmer and Emigrant's Hand Book.
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Farmer's Barn Book.
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Hind's Farriery and Stud Book.
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Stewart's Stable Economy.
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Sugar Planter's Manual.
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Ornamental and Domestic Poultry.
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Canfield on Sheep,
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Experimental Researches on the Food of Animals,
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The American Flower Garden Companion,
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The Farmer's Treasure.
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Spooner on the Grape.
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The Horse,
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The Fruit, Flower, and Kitchen Garden.
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Ladies' Companion to the Flower Garden.
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The Fruits and Fruit Trees of America.
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  Do. do. do. do. colored, 15.00.

Dictionary of Modern Gardening.
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The Rose Fancier's Manual.
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Parsons on the Rose.
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Hovey's Fruits of America.
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History, Treatment and Diseases of the Horse,
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Rural Economy,
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Liebig's Agricultural Chemistry.
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The Modern System of Farriery,
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Ewbank's Hydraulics:
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The Fruit Garden.
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Chemistry Applied to Agriculture.
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American Husbandry.
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Journal of Agriculture.
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Downing's Horticulturist.
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   Do.     do.      half yearly  "     2.00.

The Complete Produce Reckoner,
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The Principles of Agriculture.
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The Honey Bee.
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Elements of Practical Agriculture.
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Johnson's Farmer's Encyclopedia.
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Youatt on the Horse.
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Clater's Farrier. 50 cts.

The Dog and Sportsman.
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The Bird Keeper's Manual. 50 cts.

The American Herd Book.
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The American Orchardist.
  By J. Kenrick. 75 cts.

       *       *       *       *       *
   *       *       *       *       *
       *       *       *       *       *

Invisible punctuation has been silently supplied.

The spellings "chesnut" and "chestnut", "turkeys" and "turkies" are used
interchangeably; the forms "mantle piece" and "mantle-piece" occur one
time each. The spelling "Alleghanies" is used consistently.

Other errors are individually noted.

_Table of Contents_

  Indentation of the Contents does not always correspond to chapters
  and subchapters of the body text, and many entries have different
  names. All secondary indentations were added by the transcriber,
  representing text sections that have no distinct header.

  There is no separate list of illustrations.

  _in body text, "Prefatory" covers pgs. ix-xv_
Miscellaneous Details
  _indented in printed Contents, as if a subsection of "Design II"_
Tree Planting in the Highway
  _indented in printed Contents, as if a subsection of "Design IV"_
Design VII ... Miscellaneous ... Lawns, Grounds, Parks, and Woods
  _printed Contents shows Miscellaneous as a chapter heading,
  with Lawns... indented as a subsection_
Fruit Garden ... Kitchen Garden ... Flowers
  _all shown in body text as separate chapters_
Explanations (under Rabbits)
  _not indented in printed Contents_
The Butter Dairy
  _shown in body text as a separate chapter_
The Water Ram ... 337
  _text reads "237"_
Short Horn Bull ... 349
Short Horn Cow ... 352
  _pages reversed: bull is on 352, cow on 349_

_Body Text_

  _illustration is shown again on page 85_
its huge chimneys, its wide fire-places
the huge, deep fire-places
  _hyphens in original: normal for text is "fireplaces"_
The Swiss chalêt
  _error for "châlet"?_
their good farming neighbors didn't call on them
  _text reads "did'nt"_
an entrance door near the wood house
  _form "wood house" unchanged: normal for text is "wood-house"
  (but note title page)_
Within doors it is a work-shop too.
  _hyphen in original: normal for text is "workshop"_
so perfectly in keeping was it with propriety.
  _text has final comma_
In the front and rear roofs of this wing is a dormer window
  _text reads "dormar"_
  _hyphens in original_
The Lombardy-poplar--albeit, an object of fashionable derision
  _hyphen in original: normal for text is "Lombardy poplar"_
four stacks of chimnies
  _spelling unchanged_
dogwood, kalmia, and rhododendron
  _text reads "rhodendendron"_
while the fibrous-rooted perennials
  _text reads "perenials"_
a seeming humility
  _text reads "humilty"_
tool-house, piggery, poultry-house, corn-crib
  _text reads "con-crib"_
about the size of a common window button
  _text unchanged: error for "batten"?_
to support the comb as it is built
  _text reads "as  t is" with blank space_
and why not hen's?
  _apostrophe in original_
what she lays in winter must be subtracted
  _text reads "substracted"_
should then be placed one inch below
  _text reads "theu"_
the collections throughout the country
  _text reads "throughout the the"_
he applied to his turnep crop
  _spelling unchanged_
require the aid of education to develope.
  _spelling unchanged_
the finest Southdowns, Short-horns, and Devons
  _capitalization as in original: normal for text is "short-horns"_
but irascibly inclined
  _text reads "irrascibly"_
He will tree a squirrel
  _text reads "sqirrel"_

_Advertising Pages_

Punctuation of book titles is unchanged.

The Complete Farmer and American Gardener ... 2 vols.
  _numeral "2" unclear_
Rural Architecture ... Piggeries ...
  _text reads "Pigeries"_
Experimental Researches on the Food of Animals ... Thompson ...
  _name usually found as "Thomson"_
The Fruits and Fruit Trees of America ... colored, 15.00.
  _no $ sign_
The Plants of Boston and Vicinity.
  _text reads "o  Boston" with empty space_
Downing' Horticulturist.
  _missing "s" in "Downing's"_
The Muck Manual ... By Samuel L. Dana ...
  _text reads "Da a" with empty space_
The Dog and Sportsman ... cts.
  _price missing, with no extra space_
The American Herd Book ... $_.
  _number illegible, possibly "2"_

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Rural Architecture - Being a Complete Description of Farm Houses, Cottages, and Out Buildings" ***

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