Cellar Hole Question

ToddsPoint

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Mar 2, 2018
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Did the pioneers in Cent. IL (1830's) have cellar holes? I've never seen one, but have really never looked. All the long gone houses I hunt are now in ag fields so that's out. Maybe an old place in the woods? Just curious how long the cellar holes were around. Gary
 

Tony in SC

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Down here I think there were cellars when the pioneers first started building houses. Some were under the houses, but most were out in the yard in a shady place. We had one that also served as a well house. Dug several feet into the ground it was cool even in hot summer.
 

Charlie P. (NY)

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Not sure but I would guess yes. Similar climate to Pennsylvania and cellars were a handy and cooler place to store over-winter vegetables and fruit.

Also, by the 1830's homes were starting to get "tin" air ducts (first produced in 1805) and a coal furnace in the cellar warms the whole house.

So, Illinois is warm enough to benefit from a root cellar and cold enough to benefit from central heating.
 

Lenrac2

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Illinois here. Yep, there are and were cellars. Some under houses, some filled in or plowed over but they can be found.
 

flinthunter

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Yep, I'm in Central Illinois. Most of the cellar holes you find are in pastures or timber. Don't forget to look for the outhouse depressions, they won't be far from the cellar hole.
 

CASPER-2

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they built log cabins with no cellars most of the time
in new england we have cellarholes but before spring melt if you hike the old dirt roads and theres still snow on the ground
if you have good eyes you can see depressions in the snow - square and rectangular where you can
tell there was a structure with no cellar - the weight of the logs make a depression
 

Tpmetal

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also keep an eye out for certain tree and plants that indicated a homestead. around me it is small groups of black wall nuts, or old large sugar maple trees lining the road or driveway from maple syrup, Day lilies, daffodils, lilac shrubs/trees, small apple orchards, and so on
 

caretaker

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add to what Casper said, in the fall, after the first snow, dust of snow is the best, look for squares in fields or woods, the rocks hold heat more than the dirt and they will melt the snow if they are buried, works well in fields to pin point exact spot
 

CreakyDigger

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also keep an eye out for certain tree and plants that indicated a homestead. around me it is small groups of black wall nuts, or old large sugar maple trees lining the road or driveway from maple syrup, Day lilies, daffodils, lilac shrubs/trees, small apple orchards, and so on

I always thought that apple trees in the woods were a good sign
 

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