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Blog Cabin 2011: Homebuilding in Mathews County

Homebuilding in Mathews County, the location of Blog Cabin 2011, tells a story of shipbuilding, shipwrights-turned-homebuilders, locally sourced materials and changes in construction methods precipitated by the Industrial Revolution.

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Tompkins Cabin. Photo courtesy Sara E. Lewis

Architectural Style Echoes Boat Design

Sara E. Lewis, author of Mathews County, Virginia recalls, “My great-grandfather Charles Leonard Lewis was a Mathews boat builder. He and my other great-grandfather Alpheous Lee Forrest, a carpenter, built my grandparents’ home in the Hudgins area of Mathews. The roof and second story of the small house mimic an upside-down boat. These men were part of a culture that moved easily from the water to the land. It was hard to draw the line between boat builders, watermen, carpenters and farmers in that day and age.”

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