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Poteaux-sur-sol or post on sill is a building style common to European and North American vernacular architecture. It often know by its French name in North America as it was used in French colonial architecture used by French and French-Canadian settlers in North America. It was also used by Ukrainian peasants living in the 19th century on the open steppes or anywhere there was a timber shortage.[1]

United States[edit]

Houses in this style in the present-day United States can be found in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri; Prairie du Rocher, Illinois, and former French settlements in Louisiana, all former parts of New France (La Louisiane). Most are listed on the National Register of Historic Places; Maison Bolduc (see below) is a National Historic Landmark.


Red River Frame, post-and-plank, or poteaux sur sol (post on sill) was a popular building construction technique used in the Red River Colony in the 19th Century. The building style was characterized by a dressed timber structure with a horizontal log infill. The spaces between the logs were filled or 'chinked' with clay and straw. The exterior would either be whitewashed with a limestone/water plaster mixture, or in later years, the exterior would be covered by board siding. This style was popular because it could use smaller trees for logs — the longest trees needed were for the vertical logs. The Farm Manager's House at Lower Fort Garry, the William Brown House at the Historical Museum of St James - Assiniboia, the historical Fur Warehouse at Fort St. James National Historic Site of Canada and Riel House in Winnipeg, Manitoba are excellent examples of Red River Frame construction.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lehr, John C., "Ukrainians in Western Canada", in To Build in a New Land (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992) pp 309-330.