Dog-Run Cabins

Jeannette Holland Austin
3 min readJul 30, 2022
Gregg Cabin in Caldwell County North Carolina

The dog-run cabin was popular in the mountains of North Carolina during the 18th century. Today, it is part of the construction of cabins used for vacations and retirements. The plans shown below are two simple drawings.

Both the Saddle-Bag and the Dog-Run plans are shown — just two cabins under one long roof. It seems appropriate therefore, that they should be of simple log construction.

John Knox Cabin in Rowan County, North Carolina

Pictured is the John Knox cabin in Rowan County, built about 1752 but later destroyed by fire. This illustration shows interesting developments in design. At first glance the structure does not seem to be a log house at all, but rather a medium-sized clapboard house with a porch cut into one corner. But where the clapboards have been torn away one may see chinked log construction underneath. On the surface of this inner wall are vertical strips to which the clapboard siding is nailed. It is not uncommon for log structures to disappear beneath siding added at some later date. With the John Knox cabin, we know the siding was added after the porch and shed because the siding sweeps without breaking across the whole side of the structure. Also, this type of cabin eventually became popular in South Carolina.

The roof is usually built with a curve, so as to project eight or ten feet beyond the log wall; and a part of this space, exterior to the logs, is inclosed with boards, making an additional small room, — the remainder forms an open porch. The whole cabin is often elevated on four corner posts, two or three feet from the ground, so that air may circulate under it…. The porch has a railing in front…. The logs are usually hewn but little, and, of course, as they are laid up, there will be wide interstices between them. They are commonly not ‘chinked’ or filled up in any way; nor is the wall lined inside.

The dog-run cabin and saddle-bag cabin were constructed by the typical hillbilly, or farmer whereas poor people’s homes were described as “mere pens of logs, roofed over, provided with a chimney, and usually with a shed of boards, supported by rough posts before the door.”

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Source: Colonial Homes in North Carolina by John V. Allcott

Jeannette Holland Austin

Author of 100+ genealogy books. Owner of 8 genealogy websites available by subscription.