The Bark Covered House


  • First Hand Historical Account
  • Pioneer Life in Michigan
  • Printed by Townsends

The Bark Covered House by William Nowlin is a thrilling description of real pioneer life in the wilderness of Michigan. An account of events taking place from the 1830's to the 1860's. Facsimile text. This edition was first published in 1877. 250 pages, softback.

Made in USA

Item # C-7415

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Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
Robert Dungan
Describes Pioneer Life 19th Century similar to 18th Century just Farther West

If you like reading first person accounts of pioneer life this is a great book. William Nowlin describes his father taking his family into the wilds of Michigan in 1834. His father had a farm in upstate New York and was seeking better land and opportunities to advance economically. He bought land near Dearborne Michigan in virgin forest. I don’t think we can imagine the task of felling virgin forest and clearing the land to farm with an axe. Farming between stumps and plowing up the roots. The Nowlin’s were extremely had working men! Describes life, building cabins, the land, hunting, farming, building railroad and cost of necessities. How hard life was in the beginning. The only negative is at times William waxes poetic on subjects he is passionate about. Mostly at the end of the book. 250 pages.


Could not imagine going through half of what happened in this journal.


Love it!

NC Dave
"The Bark Covered House" is the flavor of Michigan

This book was easily read, enjoyable, and even illustrated providing a glimpse of Michigan not often recalled today. I found it hard to put down once I started because it made me feel as if I was (still) on the old homestead surrounded by land devoid of close neighbors and roads. Remember, Michigan did not become a state until 1816, and was primarily inhabited by native peoples. In the north this began to change following the War Between the States when land grants were taken by veterans who built their homes and cleared land. It was not uncommon to find large forested areas with one or two farmhouses in a township as late as 1890. Bitter cold, heavy snows, westerly winds, and hot summers were typical and often drove early settlers to move elsewhere. The book depicts many of the challenges they faced. Thanks for bringing this back into print.