history images Mound City on the Mississippi Home Page
image menu Buildings, Sites, and Objects People, Places, and Things Events, Incidents, and Occurrences Bibliography

4 kids only

What Are Buildings Made Of?

How a tree becomes a building

A French house built with vertical logsUnlike the northern Europeans, who stacked logs horizontally to make a "log cabin," the French traditionally built log houses with the logs set next to each other vertically. Many of the early houses in St. Louis used this form of log construction, with a wide porch.

Postcard of a sawmill with lots of wood Later, large sawmills were constructed. Logs are sawed into "dimensional lumber" (wood that has specified dimensions, such as 2x4) which is used to build the frame of a house. The sawmill pictured is in Michigan. Much of the wood used in St. Louis came from the northern forests via the Mississippi.

Rotting wood stump In 1849, much of downtown St. Louis burned down. Fire and rot are both problems that affect wood construction (see the burned and rotted stump at right) and most St. Louisans turned to masonry construction from that point forward. (Masonry means made of stone or bricks.)

wood Wood clay Clay stone Stone Identify It! Identify It!

More About Wood

Wood Home
Wood in St. Louis Buildings



about historic preservationnew entries4 kids onlymap it!

This site was made possible by: the City of St. Louis Planning and Urban Design Agency and
the City of St. Louis Community Information Network.

This site was funded in part by Federal funds administered by the Missouri State Historical Preservation Office, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, The National Park Service, and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Version 1.0