Written by architectural historian, Joan Berkey, the heavily illustrated book examines the forces that shaped the earliest wooden buildings erected in Cumberland County. Dating as early as the late 1600s, these heavy timber frame (also known as post and beam) structures are strikingly similar to those built in 17th-century Massachusetts. Years of research and examination of more than 40 extant buildings reveal important differences, however, and suggest a direct-from-England influence as well. While the book focuses on those built before 1750, it also includes others dated as late as ca. 1840 to demonstrate how timber framing evolved over a century and a half.
Berkey also encountered several log and Dutch-American frame buildings during her research and devotes a chapter to each in the 208-page volume. More than 230 photographs (many in color), drawings, and maps enrich the text.