We found this place on E-Bay! We were tired of city life, and had been searching for years for a ranch or farm to settle down and spend our time doing our internet things and spending time on our porch. The one (house and porch) we had was huge, and completely enclosed with a climbing hydrangea that draped us in privacy from April through October. But we simply needed room to stretch. We sold the house to neighbors who had craved it for years, packed all our stuff into "Bubba", a big, red, 24 ft. race car trailer and headed west.... or so I thought. Geoff fell in love at first sight with the "Dogtrot". The people have been warm and helpful, and the view from the porch is wonderful. We spend every evening watching the birds in the front yard, watching sunset after sunset, every one unique and beautiful.
This will be the first of many pages describing our dogtrot house - so named after the breezeway that separates thle two main front rooms.
Dogtrots are an early southern style of cabin building that provide natural cooling in hot weather. Below, is a quick outside tour of the house. As time passes, We will add indoor photos, as well as chronicle how we slowly turn this "museum" into our home. Check back and see how we do!
May 31, 2001
Arrival - a narrow country lane that turns left just as it reaches our drive. A drive that is simply two wheel tracks in the grass - tracks that we try to keep grassy (hard as it is to get to grow in this hot clime).
When you enter, the house is on your left, set back behind mature oaks and pines. The front yard also boasts old southern favorites - chinaberries and crepe myrtles.
This photo shows the kitchen, and "out-bath", that are separate buildings behind the dogtrot. The kitchen is connected to it by a covered walkway. Note the big pecan tree - hoping that it produces this year!
About 75 feet behind the kichen is a 1815 cabin, with its own porch. Dr. Crain, who reconstructed it here, built a little bathroom in it for his wife.
A closer look at the cabin, with the blacksmith shop behind it. The shop is filled with antique tools.
This view faces the opposite way from the last photo. You can see a scuppernon(?) grape vine - and another of the 10 or so pecan trees on the property. Between them is our "Sugar Shack", where cane sugar syrup would have been cooked down after grinding the cane in the nearby mule-powered cane press.
Again, from the same spot, this pole barn houses a collection of old farm implements, some doodle bugs, and, hopefully someday some livestock.
An example of the old farm machinery, near the barn. There's another in the 'privet' brush under the pines - when we excavaate it, we'll post a picture of it.
Standing by the barn and looking towards the front.
Looking towards The Sugar Shack from near the barn. Behind the Sugar Shack is the site of the future "Giverney West" - well, a girl can dream!
Looking towards the back of the house and kitchen from the same spot - we mow all this with a push machine about twice a month!
Here you can see those truck tracks I mentioned.
Well, we've walked back from the barn, and are looking at the shop, corncrib and smokehouse, which is right behind the kitchen. The smokehouse is the only original structure from the Crain home that burned down.
Looking back towrds the cabin -
- and here's a closer view.
This cabin was originally built by a Revolutionary War veteran.
Here's the view from the cabin porch.
Over by the corncrib, which we're using as a garden shed, is our first kitchen garden. The soil here is very "clayey" and because it has been so dry the past few years, it can be difficult to work. We have started a compost pile near it - and put Mr. Turltle (found along a back road) there.
Here's a view of the back side of the house. The front (on the right) rooms are still decorated with original antiques collected by Dr. Crain (click on the living room link). We use the space between the dogtrot and kitchen for chopping wood, and have the smoker/barbecue there, but will probably move it because of the fig tree growing there.
From the north front corner.
And here is the front of the house. The porch is the heart of the place - click here to see what we do when we hang out there!
(SUNSETS and other great moments - COMING).
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