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Holy Family Church in Cahokia, Illinois was built of walnut timbers in the poteaux-sur-sol style in 1799 replacing a similar structure built in 1699.

Poteaux-sur-sol (Posts on a sill. Sol is also spelled sole and solle) is the name for a style of timber framing where relatively closely spaced posts rest on a timber sill by French settlers in the historical region of North America known as New France. Poteaux-en-terre and pieux-en-terre are similar but the closely spaced posts extend into the ground rather than resting on a sill on a foundation thus are a type of post in ground construction. Poteaux-sur-sol is similar to the framing style in the United Kingdom called close studding. Poteaux-sur-sol has confusingly also been used for other types of timber framing which have a sill timber such as post-and-plank, but is considered incorrect by some scholars.[1]

Poteaux-sur-sol is a part of American historic carpentry but is known 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.[2]

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.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kniffen, Fred. B. and Henry H. Glassie. "Building in Wood in the Eastern United States: A Time-place Perspective" Geographical Review. Volume 56, Issue 1. American Geographical Society, 1966. Print.
  2. ^ 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.