Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Agriculture

Degree Type

Master of Science


The 1815 Log House is located on the campus of Western Kentucky University. Built in the early 1800's by Archibald Felts, the house was occupied by his descendants until 1968. The dogtrot floor plan, V-notched logs, and stone chimneys are some of the historical architectural features that can be viewed. It was donated to the Kentucky Library & Museum at WKU in 1980, and now serves as an on-site exhibit of early frontier life in Kentucky. The new landscape design for the log house includes a kitchen garden with period-appropriate plants and outdoor demonstration areas. The inventories and journals of the Shaker community at South Union, KY provided the basis for the vegetables used in the kitchen garden, including 'Late Flat Dutch' cabbage and 'Long Scarlet' radish. Dye plants, such as bloodroot {Sanguinaria canadensis) and Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia). are included in the kitchen garden; the front of the house will be used to display examples of field crops, including 'Stowell's Evergreen" corn. An area close to the house has been designed for a native plants display. Construction of these gardens in the spring of 2008 involved the removal of grass around the house in keeping with historical accuracy. Combined with the house's location on campus, this will increase the potential for soil erosion. A fence and plants that are intended to act as vegetative filters are included in the design to help slow water runoff, and the use of raised planting beds and mulch to cover the bare soil will minimize soil loss. The native plant garden is intended to act as an introduction to the larger house exhibit, and provides a selection of plants native to Kentucky. Many plants are not typically seen outside of wild woodland settings, such as strawberry bush (Euonymus americana), bird's foot violet {Violapedala), and rattlesnake plantain {Goodyera pubescens), and should increase visitors' enjoyment of the entire display. A path connects the native garden to the house exhibit.


Agriculture | History | Landscape Architecture