Slab city

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Slab city is a somewhat derogatory term for an area which surrounded a sawmill in American frontier times. De-limbed timber was placed in the mill. The timber was cut from its somewhat rounded shape to a four-sided piece of lumber, which would be further sawed into lumber of useful sizes. The original pieces that were cut, along with the bark, was called "slabs" and discarded nearby until a use was found for them. Eventually, the slab piles became the most visible part of the area. Other specialists would construct businesses in the area, such as a blacksmith, a general store, a post office, and a wheelwright. Sometimes a village or town would form around the place and the sobriquet "slab city" was replaced by a place name.[1]

Vermont had nine such slab cities.[1] Massachusetts had at least one.[2]

The term persisted in the Western United States to 2017 as a name for an area considered unaesthetic by some observers.[3]

Citations

  1. ^ a b James Reid. "Diary of a Country Clergyman 1848-1851". McGill-Queen University Press. Retrieved December 13, 2017. 
  2. ^ Society, Shirley Historical. "mills". www.shirleyhistory.org. Retrieved 13 December 2017. 
  3. ^ "Slab City". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 13 December 2017. 
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