Jacob Wolf House - Modern Studies Support History - Norfolk, Ar.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
N 36° 12.619 W 092° 17.211
15S E 564103 N 4007511
Quick Description: This marker is on the northwest corner of the Jacob Wolf House located at Highway 5 and Fishermans Street in Norfolk, Arkansas.
Location: Arkansas, United States
Date Posted: 4/28/2014 8:31:17 PM
Waymark Code: WMKKYR
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member arkansas stickerdude
Views: 2

Long Description:
Text from the marker:


Historic documentation has been supported by archaeological excavations conducted in 2000 and 2001. Joseph M. Wolf, born in this house in 1842, left a map of the home site that showed the location of the courthouse, the family's first dwelling house, detached kitchen, cook's cabin, other slave cabins, and barn. Archaeology teams headed by Dr. Robert Lafferty and Carol Spears hoped to gain information about the changing use of the site through time. They were able to locate all outbuildings precisely as documented by Joseph Wolf's map. The first dwelling house served as the temporary "seat of justice" for Izard County when it was first formed in 1825. The grounds of the Wolf House are considered one of the state's richest historic archaeological sites.


Over the years numerous dates have been given for the construction of the Jacob Wolf House, & dendrochronology study (tree-ring dating), conducted by Dr. David Stahle of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, removed all conjecture. For his study, Dr. Stahle tested thirty logs scattered throughout all sections of the structure. The results showed that the logs were cut between 1825 and 1828. Since the dates were found randomly in all sections, he concluded that the structure was built all at one time and could not have have been built prior to 1828. A good log builder would have allowed the logs to season, or cure, before using them. Therefore, the dendrochronology supports a construction date 1829, which also corresponds with the territorial legislation creating Izard County's first permanent courthouse at this site.


The goal of therecent restoration has been to return the structure itself provided the best documentation. The White River was the main transportation route for early Arkansas settlers of the area. One of the hand-forged iron pins Wolf used to site the structure was found during archaeological excavations, proving Wolf knew the value of catching the view across the wooded hills of the valley. When Jacob Wolf built this structure, he constructed an impressive two-story porch facing the river where it would have been easily noted by all travelers. The ca. 1915 historic photograph, left, shows that the porch was removed after Wolf's ownership. In the 1930's a Works Progress Administration restoration added porches on both sides of the structure. Numerous other alterations had also occurred during Wolf's ownership and in later years.

In keeping with nineteenth century vernacular building traditions, the roof ridge features what is called a "turkey feather" edge. Shingles are extended over the ridge of the roof on the side of the prevailing winds to help carry the wind and rain up and over the edge. The treatment was highly successfully in keeping the structure dry.

From the National Register application:
(visit link)

"The Wolf House is a two-storey "Saddle bag" log structure built by Major Jacob Wolf after his arrival in north Arkansas.

The foundation is stone, supporting a hand hewn log sill system. The squared outer log walls are connected at the corners by the chamfer and notch method common to early 19th century construction. The average log sectional dimensions are 11" x 7". The original chinking material has been replaced with a cementitious mortar.

The first floor has two rooms of equal size flanking the open dog-trot breezeway. The upper floor also has two rooms. One room is larger as it extends over the one-storey dog-trot. The second floor is reached by a run of open stairs from the first-storey porch to the second-storey porch. Access to all rooms is gained from the full length porches front and rear. The overall dimensions of the building, including porches, are 30 x 45 feet.

The roof is bellcast gabled with the porch roofs pitched at a slightly lower pitch than the main one. The roof is covered with hand riven cedar shingles. The porches are supported by a series of eight peeled, rough posts, not squared.

There are two chimneys outside on the gable ends. They are constructed of stone up to a line approximating the eave line and brick from there up.

The windows are double hung with a pattern of 6 x 6 lights. They are shuttered with solid, vertically boarded blinds."
Additional Parking: N 36° 12.626 W 092° 17.202

Link to Marker: Not listed

History of Marker: Not listed

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