“An evolution of Upcountry S.C. artisanship and living.”
City Directories and History: This historic Cork home was recorded in 1983 by the historic survey team members in Fairfield County as one of the few remaining 18th
century houses. Little is know of the Cork family, but that they moved to the region (according to family history, also a John Cork was listed on the passenger manifest, is likely candidate Mr. John Cork outlined here), with the Rev. Wm. Martin’s congregation and were heavily involved in the construction of Concord’s original log church. It has also been reported by a long-term member of the congregation that Mr. John Cork, Jr., later constructed the pews for the current church, however no documentation has been provided to support this data.
Records suggest that Mr. Cork’s farm consisted of about 500 acres. A nice farm sandwiched between the Mobley’s Oakland Plantation and the vast holdings of the Patrick family at White Oak who are reported to have owned about 12,000 acres at the turn of the 20th century.
The house was constructed of large square logs. Much of the information provided for this dwelling came from Mr. M.T. Patrick and Jim Brice.
Also see Concord Pres. Church history.
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IMAGE GALLERY – James Young, Photographer 10.21.16
ARCHITECTURE IMAGE GALLERY – 11.2.16 (Architectural Forensics LLC – Preliminary Evaluation)
The Cork Cabin is a remarkable piece of architectural – construction work. It professes some of the finest log cabin construction technics viewed by Architectural Forensics, in studies of similar structures, over four decades. It is a extremely fine log house and one worth preservation!
Though there is no current evidence that pioneer settler, John Cork constructed the cabin, most individuals wish to profess the likelihood of his having done so. However, to the contrary, there is ample support pointing to the next generation, most likely his son, John, Jr. who was recorded in the 1850 census as a skilled carpenter, as the most likely builder or the subsequent individual to add to and remodel his father’s pioneer cabin.
The extraordinary workmanship shown in the finishing of this cabin does support a building from the late 18th as well as into the 19th century. Architecture and technical factors entering the equation via the late 18th century are:
- Log cabin construction itself became less frequent in the 19th century
- Quality of the hewn and planned interior features
- Rived boards covering the log openings
- Size of the chimney opening
- Use of board and batten doors
- Beading along the ceiling beams
Equally interesting is the sheer size of the structure, not something normally seen until the early 19th century. Factors that are clearly 19th century features include:
- Wide use of cut nails
- Sash sawn lumber through the additions and shed rooms
- Dimensions of the house itself
- Addition of the interior staircase
- Replacement of original window openings
It is inconclusive at this point, and rather unnecessary to determine, as to whom should be credited with the structure. Architectural Forensics LLC would suggest there is merit to both camps. The evolution of architecture over numerous generations is commonly found in the Carolinas, and until much further studies are available (upon more detailed inspections), on the surface it appears most likely, the cabin was built on a small scale by the senior John Cork, with subsequent additions of board walls, shed rooms, and second floor access by the next generation in the early 19th century. The wide use of cut nails in all sections of the house reinforces the theory that both father and son had ample knowledge and access to building and subsequently later improving the cabin.
Please enjoy this structure and all those listed in Roots and Recall. But remember each is private property. So view them from a distance or from a public area such as the sidewalk or public road.
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