Dwelling in History



(6 1/4 in. x 5 1/4 in. x 4 1/2 in.)

At the end of my Wordpress blog every week I read a disclaimer, “Occasionally some of your visitors may see an advertisement here.”  That’s just a fact for a free blog network, and it is fine.  But you will see an ad in the regular space this time, too.

Dwelling in History, LLC, is a venture my husband and I have begun in the last year.  It grew out of our enjoyment from learning about buildings in our country’s past.

At first, he designed scale models with CAD (computer-aided design), and printed the nets (flat patterns) on card stock paper.  They had to be cut and precisely folded, but they were very good likenesses.

We thought with all the Math involved in dimensions and the geometry of architecture, this would be a great opportunity for hands-on, across the curriculum learning for kids.  The trouble is, it was a little too difficult for kids.  And for non-model builders like me.

So, we investigated making them out of wood, and the most efficient way to produce parts was to acquire a laser to connect to the CAD program.   A business loan, some consulting with the SCORE office in Fort Wayne, and some redesigning, and we had our first model kit: the Maltese Cross log cabin which Theodore Roosevelt lived in in North Dakota in the 1880s.  It appears at the top of the page.  It looks great decorated for Christmas, too.


(7 1/2 in. x 6 1/2 in. x 5 1/4 in.)

Next project: the bunkhouse from the television series The Virginian.  We know, it’s not an actual historic building, but it was important to the show and to the memories of those who watched it.  We made them for a fundraiser called Cowboy Up for Vets in Ohio this spring, and donated some  for the tables at the banquet.


(8 1/2 in. x 7 1/2 in. x 7 in.)

The first brick home in Indiana is represented by the model above.  It belonged to William Conner in the 1820s, and has been restored for all to see at Conner Prairie Settlement in Noblesville.  The beehive oven is an interesting feature on this house.   Kits are available at the gift shop there.


(10 3/4 in. x 6 in. x 7 in.)

A similar model is the Chief’s House from the Historic Forks of the Wabash in Huntington.  Miami Chiefs Richardville and Lafontaine lived in it, and treaties were signed here.  It has been moved closer to the Little Wabash River with some log cabins, including the one below.


(6 1/2 in. x 7 in. x 3 1/2 in.)

This is a one-room log schoolhouse from Huntington County which was taken apart and reassembled on the Forks grounds.  Children on field trips troop inside to learn about how the three R’s were taught long ago.


(9 in. x 6 in. x 9 in.)

The 1877 Collins School from Steuben County is my favorite model thus far.  I posted its history a few months ago.   It could also be used as a church — the classic design was repeated many times in the Nineteenth Century.  On this particular one, the steps are at the left; the right door is non-functional since the chalkboard took up the rest of the interior wall.  Our newest version has cutout windows so the inside can be illuminated by a flameless candle.  Makes a nice table centerpiece!


(3 1/2 in. x 4 in. x 5 in.)

I’ll end with a photo of a non-historic model, our faerie garden house, which I had fun helping design this summer.  It has a clear enamel finish to help it withstand the outdoors where faeries come to visit at night.

Dwelling in History has more models in the works.  The ones you see above are available already built or in kits with instructions.  We’ll soon have a website, http://www.dwellinginhistory.com, but for the present you can email us at the address below.  We are also available for workshops, and can tie in Indiana Math and History Standards as we build them.

Prices range from $10 to $25, plus shipping if you are outside the Fort Wayne area.  Please contact us at lowmarg1@frontier.com if you’d like more information.



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