summerbeam

summerbeam

A large horizontal beam in the ceiling of an American colonial timber-framed house. See also: Beam

summerbeam

1. A massive horizontal beam in the ceiling of an early timber-framed house; usually joined at their ends to girts and supporting the floor above, or acting as a binding beam running in a transverse direction, connecting one post to another. After about 1750, they were replaced by a number of heavier floor joists, thus making it possible to plaster the entire ceiling as a single horizontal surface. Also called a summer or summertree. See illustration under timber-framed house.
2. Same as breastsummer.