This hand hewn log cabin was built in Aquasco, Maryland around 1880 as a farm tenant house. This one up and one down design with one room and a loft was typically used for slave cabins during the early 1800s. By the late 1800s, it was the standard style for most low-income households in rural America. Notice that the chimney is leaning on a pole. This was a safety precaution adopted in response to frequent chimney fires. The pole could quickly be removed, allowing the chimney to fall away from the house, thus saving the cabin from fire.
The Trueman family's oral history attributed the construction of this cabin to the former slave, Charles Duckett. In 1864, Duckett enlisted in the Union Army, joining the 19th regiment of the United States Colored Troops, Company I. He was soon transferred to the Navy where he served as a landsman for the ships the Allegeny and the Vadalia. Discharged in March 1866, Duckett worked as a farm hand on the Trueman property in Aquasco. He built this cabin around 1880. Later, Duckett probably married Juliet Blake Cross, also a former slave.
The cabin was occupied until the 1920s. In the 1970s the Trueman family donated the abandoned cabin to the [Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission]. Restoration of the cabin was completed in 2002, using many of the original, hand-hewn chesnut beams. During the reconstruction and relocation of the cabin, staff used 19th century techniques wherever possible.