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The house was constructed with carefully cut timbers and precise mortar joints between the timbers.
Initially a simple story-and-a-half house with two small rear wings, the structure was modified many times in the decades following until it became a massive and complex house of nearly two dozen rooms.
The house was set on approximately 7 acres in the center of campus and was known to have extensive gardens (including the first tropical plants brought to the Mountain) and numerous outbuildings.
Major Fairbanks, who had fought for the confederacy, was raised in New York but had made his early adult home in Florida where he was an attorney, prominent state historian, citrus magnate, newspaper editor, author, and politician.
Recalling his weariness from extended travels during the war, Fairbanks named his house in Sewanee “Rebel’s Rest.” The house ultimately became the hub of his large family.
(bottom image) Example of scaled elevation drawings prepared by Jane Millar including coded logs that are currently in storage.
Following the 2014 fire, University faculty and staff worked with Kerry Hix and his team from Antique Log Cabins to carefully deconstruct the remains preparing detailed maps and noting architectural features and materials as we went.” I’d just read some pick-up advice that told me to approach girls in bars with that question.They even began debating each other and trying to argue their viewpoints playfully to me.Using a combination of archival research, “forensic” architectural history, historical archaeology, dendrochronology, dendroecology, archaeobotany and archaeological chemistry, the project is currently illuminating aspects of the house’s construction and the everyday life of its occupants, building a picture beyond the limits and inherent biases of written records.The project is co-directed by the University Associate Historiography Gerald Smith and University Archaeologist Sarah Sherwood.What's more, there are thousands of mature singles in the same boat as you.