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Terry Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania 
Terry Log Cabin, Terry Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania
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Article transcribed and submitted by Dick McCracken

Original Date : 1936
Photo by Dick McCracken

Log Cabin Home of Captain Jonathan Terry and Abigail Terry (Her own name was same as his)

Terry Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania


Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record

Log Cabin, TERRYTOWN, Bradford County, PA.


15 measured drawings, 7 b&w photos, 5 data pages plus cover page




Documentation compiled after 1933 (note: October 1936)


Survey number HABS PA-227

Building/structure dates: Completed 1806

Building/structure use: House (initial use)





Terry,Capt. Jonathan



Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)


Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

First Page

Log Cabin

Terrytown, Pennsylvania

(penciled) Bradford County

HABS Pa. 227


Written Historical and Historical Data

District of Pennsylvania

(penciled) Reduced Copies of Measured Drawings

Historic American Building Survey

Ralph W. Lear, District Officer

311-312 Dime Bank Bldg, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Second Page

Log Cabin

Terrytown, Bradford County, Pennsylvania

HABS Pa. 227

Present Owner

Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Welles

Date of Erection



Capt. Jonathan Terry

Present Condition

Excellent. Some changes on interior of house

Little departure from original state

Number of Stories


Material of Construction

Log Walls, modern wood shingle roof, wood

floors, field stone chimney and fireplaces.

Third Page


Terrytown, Bradford County, Pennsylvania

HABS Pa. 227

Page 1

The Township of Terrytown was organized in 1857. Terrytown is a pleasant little village situated on the West side of the river, about two miles above the mouth of Wyalusing creek.

Captain Jonathan Terry was the first permanent settler. He was born in Connecticut in June 1758. The greater part of his early life of spent in the Wyoming Valley. He moved up the river from Wyoming Valley in 1786 to Wyalusing, where he remained for one year. In 1787 he built a house at Terrytown, and moved into it, thus becoming the founder of the village. He was a typical pioneer, and noted for his genial nature and social qualities of a high order.

In 1806 he constructed his "mansion on the river" after having purchased a tract of six hundred acres, which he occupied during his life. The log cabin which he constructed is still standing, and is in an excellent state of preservation. In early times, this was the election place, when citizens came from the wilderness to vote. Jonathan Terry was commissioned a Justice of the Peace in 1812 and held the office until 1821, when he resigned. During his term he was noted for his happy faculty of persuading litigants to settle their difficulties amicably.

On Terry’s farm was erected the first grist mill, saw mill, tannery and distillery. He also owned and operated the first ferry.

A description of the house as it appeared in 1878 follows: ‘It is a large, two-storied, hewn log house, with a huge chimney in the center of it, a small portico in the front, and in early times had large double doors about three inches thick. It is the oldest house in the village, and well merits the title "The Old Terry Castle."!’

Fourth Page


Terrytown, Bradford County, Pennsylvania

HABS Pa. 227

Page 2.

The house is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Welles, who are making every possible effort to restore the house to its original condition, and have succeeded to a great extent.

The small portico was removed sometime after 1906 when the house was 100 years old. Whether or not, this portico was built on originally, is not definitely known, but more probably, it was not.

Originally, there were double doors, at the south or main entrance to the Log Cabin. One of these doors has since been removed, and at present, one enters a small hall, with the original stairs leading to the second floor. There is a door on the landing which is used to take the furniture up stairs. This is original. To the right of the hall, is what was originally the kitchen, but is now known as the dining room. There is a very large fireplace, which is still in use for cooking. This is constructed entirely of stone. The original cranes and other fixtures have disappeared, but the cranes and andirons have been replaced, and appear (as nearly as possible) similar to what might have been there originally. The original hooks for the cranes are still in place. About the fireplace, are old candle molds, scoops, bellows, powder horns, and a pair of oxen’s horn coverings. The room is now entirely furnished in antiques, as is the whole house.

There are thick, hand-hewn beams, supporting the second floor which are exposed in the kitchen. These have been blackened by smoke. One log was used for all of the ceiling beams. They are not spliced. There is a tradition in the neighborhood, that it took one man six months, working ten or twelve hours a day, to make these beams. The floors are modern, as are all the floors on the first floor. The original window frames have been replaced by replicas of the originals, as they had deteriorated. The windows have small lights.

There is one interesting antique in the kitchen, a tavern table, said to be of Pennsylvania Dutch development, although this one is a Cape Cod original. The table, when opened, forms a chair, with the table top forming a wide, fan-like back. It was used as a sort of screen from drafts, when drawn before the fireplace.

Fifth Page


Terrytown, Bradford County, Pennsylvania

HABS Pa. 227

Page 3

The kitchen, originally, was somewhat larger than it is now, as a very small part of it has been used to make a modern kitchen.

To the left of the entrance hall, is the living room. This was originally a parlor and a parlor bedroom. The partition has been removed, however, and it is now one large room; the length of the house. When Mr. Welles took possession of the house, he found the walls in this room had been lathed and plastered. Most of the rooms were covered with hand planed board and covered with wall paper. Seventeen layers of wall paper were removed. This covering apparently, was used to make the house as warm and comfortable as possible. Since this has been removed, the beams and log walls are exposed. The chinkings in the logs were covered with clay to keep the house warm. Cement is now used.

The fireplace in this room is not quite as large as that in the kitchen. It has a native stone facing. Originally, there was no hearth as there is now.

From the living room, is a door, leading to what is now known as the den. This was originally, the dining room. It is somewhat smaller than either of the other two rooms. Originally, there was a small lean-to, used as a bed space, in this room, but this has been removed, and now forms an alcove. Even the lean-to was probably an addition to the original plan of the house. This room has a small fireplace. The corner stone of the house was used to fashion part of the hearth, and under this, Mr. Welles has placed a penny of the year, 1929, an arrow head, a fashion book, and a parchment paper, stating the names of the workmen and the owner’s names, so that in future times, some idea of the present times, may be had. One piece of stone is used for the shelf. There were cupboards on either side of the mantel, but these were so deteriorated, that they were removed, but they have been faithfully restored by the new owner. Here, too, the beams are exposed.

There were five bedrooms on the second floor, originally, but at present, there are only three, and a bath. There is but one fireplace on this floor. It is in the back bedroom, and is constructed of native stone, with a modern wood mantel.

Sixth Page


Terrytown, Bradford County, Pennsylvania

HABS Pa. 227

Page 4

From the stairway, one enters a hall, which connects the bedrooms. The partitions in the hall are original, except for the ones connecting the bath with the hall. There is a modern casement window in the hall. All floors are random width and are original.

There is a modern chimney and two modern closets on the second floor. The rest of the second floor is original.

Historic Material Obtained from: Mrs. Charles F. Welles; from: "History of Bradford County," Craft. From: "History and Geography of Bradford County" published by Bradford County Historical Society.

Author:: Bettie Toal Morrissey

Approved: Ralph W. S….

Date: October 1936

Transcribed by Richard J. McCracken, September 4, 2000

Towanda, PA