November 20, 2006

Home on the Range

O give me a home where the buffalo roam
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the sky is not cloudy all day
poem by Dr. Brewster Higley, 1876

In 1888, Pierce Cunningham settled in the valley of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and called his homestead in the new frontier the Flying U Ranch.
His log cabin, constructed of lodgepole pines, was built in the Appalachian"dogtrot" style which consisted of 2 large rooms joined by a covered breezeway or porch. Corners of the cabin were either saddle notched or squared fastened with thick wooden spikes. Cracks between the logs were filled in with dirt mortar. The roof was covered with sod and the floor was dirt packed.

It was here at the 160 acre ranch on Flat Creek that Pierce Cunningham and his wife, Margaret, made their home, raised their family and cultivated hay. Life on the ranch was hard. Harsh severe winters brought heavy snow that piled high on the low sod roof. In 1893 two suspected horse thieves were shot and killed at the cabin by an angry posse....a group of 16 men heavily armed on saddle horses. The cabin was later used as a barn and then a smithy.

I'm but a stranger here, Heaven is my home
Earth is a desert dread, Heaven is my home
Danger and sorrow stand Round me on every hand
Heaven is my fatherland, Heaven is my home
Thomas R. Taylor

Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it. Ps. 127:1