The Planting of Civilization in Western Pennsylvania

By Solon J. Buck; Elizabeth Hawthorn Buck et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

XIV. Domestic Life

THE everyday life of the people of western Pennsylvania in their homes derived its characteristics of course from their cultural heritage and from their environment. Both of these elements, however, were variables. The cultural heritage of an individual or family depended not only upon the status of western civilization in general, which was constantly changing, but also upon the specific background of that individual or family; and the local environment was not only changing rapidly but varied from section to section at any given time in accordance with physical conditions and with the age and density of settlement. The outstanding types of cultural heritage that emerge from the welter of individual variations are the Virginian, the Scotch and Scotch-Irish Presbyterian, and the German; the major environmental types are the backwoodsman, the pioneer farmer, and the townsman. By the close of the period under consideration, the backwoodsman had vanished from southwestern Pennsylvania, except in some of the mountainous sections, though he was still an important element in the northern counties of the region. In the older counties, population growth and increased wealth had afforded to most of the people opportunities for more graceful living than was possible in the primitive "cabin in the clearing" of the pioneers.

Whatever the social or racial status of the first pioneers in any district, their early dwellings were very much alike. Many, after having chosen their land, put up as temporary living quarters the type of shelter used by hunters in the wilderness and called a "half-faced camp." This was a three-sided structure of light poles with brush interwoven to keep out the wind and rain. The open face of the camp was higher than the rear so that the roof sloped from front to back. Just outside of the shelter were kindled fires for cooking and, when necessary, for heating--the warmth of the fires radiated into the open


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Planting of Civilization in Western Pennsylvania


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 570

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?