When Joseph first built the cabin, it was just one room where the Rice family did everything from eating to sleeping. Joseph passed Room 1 to John in the 1860s. John and Nancy added wallpaper, and raised the ceiling as well as painted it blue, which some believe deters wasps from building nests.
During the years of 1828 and 1838, a second and third room, joined by a double fireplace, as well as the dogtrot, a popular architectural feature that emerged in the American South in the 18th and 19th centuries, were added. According to the Interpretive Guide to the Rice Family Log Home, having rooms joined by common walls is sometimes referred to as 'saddlebag
construction' because the roof of the house sits across the common
chimney like saddlebags on a horse. There are many 19th century
homes with dogtrots and some with saddlebag construction but the
Rice Home is one of few with both.