When modern Americans think of winter in a log cabin on the frontier, they tend to have a romantic picture of a family sitting warm and comfortably, enjoying a relaxing evening as the snow gently falls outside making a peaceful, rustic scene that creates dreams of living in a “more simple time.”

The reality was just the opposite, for cabins on the frontier were cold in winter, not warm and comfortable. Log walls served as a windbreak, not an insulator, and once one got more than five or so feet from the fireplace in a cabin, it was as cold inside as it was outside. The only mitigating factor of the logs was that the cold blast of the winter winds was not as freezing to the inhabitants of a log cabin.

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