c. 1830 – Warm Springs, GA

Added to OHD on 12/15/11   -   Last OHD Update: 6/28/20   -   21 Comments
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National Register

9318 Roosevelt Hwy, Warm Springs, GA 31830

  • $59,900
  • 3 Bed
  • 5 Bath
  • 2888 Sq Ft
  • 2 Ac.
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21 Comments on c. 1830 – Warm Springs, GA

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  1. John C says: 434 comments

    Of course, one wonders if FDR or any of his administration ever came to the house. No doubt they saw it; if memory serves me right, FDR enjoyed touring the area daily by car.

  2. Robt. W. says: 358 comments

    The narrow beaded board is late in date. It wasn’t popular until around 1860 or later, and then generally used in limited ways and spaces.

    Unless used in decorative panels, there is, to my eye, such a thing as “too much”, and the effect is usually a little too Walker Evans/Dorothea Lange-esque for me — more interesting than attractive. Here it’s a discordant contrast with the early, high-style chimneypieces (e.g., the blue and peach painted rooms.) Wider, flush-laid boards were sometimes used in antebellum houses, sometimes with one edge beaded depending on date, but usually in remote backwoods houses without much pretense, where lumber was plentiful and plaster relatively expensive and difficult.

    I think the place underwent a couple of major renovations: adding the beaded board, changing the interior window trim, lowering the roofline, adding the portico. Difficult to say exactly what, though, without a better sense of the interior (no photos of any stairs, for instance.)

    • John C says: 434 comments

      Those are all very good points. Would contacting the agent to ask for more history and more pictures might be productive? If the Airport Authority owned this for any considerable period, there might be someone familiar with the house and its possible past restorations. Robert, you obviously have the expertise to ask the right questions and I think the rest of us would find the results educational. (Hint!)

  3. Ryan says: 460 comments

    Sorry, I never heard of them…so who are Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange? Do you think the walls were originally plaster but that plaster was later ripped out and replaced with beadboard? Or would the beadboard have gone right over the old plaster? Seems like an odd thing to do, but who knows. It is a kind of odd house.

    In any case, the discordant nature of some of the mantels & adjacent beadboard is exactly what made me think of The Color Purple. If you ever take a look at the background in Celie’s house, there are some very federal-looking, quite high-style fireplace mantels, but almost every wall, floor and ceiling surface in the house is covered in laths of wood like this one. I really like that look – seeing those two things contrast – but then again, as I said, I personally believe there can’t be too much beadboard in a house. To me it makes everything so much less formal and more homey.

    • Robt. W. says: 358 comments

      I found some photos of the house from The Color Purple, and guess where? http://oldhousedreams.com/2010/09/09/the-color-purple/ The wainscoting in the kitchen and casing around the back stair, and upstairs in the center hall, the beaded board is all later than the house. Note in the upstairs hall that the partition walls are clad in beaded board, but that the narrow-end front and rear walls are the original plaster. Not sure why the beaded board is used in the upstaris hall, or whether it may have been done just for filming — for that “homey” effect. The other rooms, though, appear to have plaster walls, with one of the bedrooms having beaded board (as well as plaster – I think.)

      I’ve seen a good many Southern houses where beaded board was used to clad the interior walls a generation or more after the house was built — sometimes with the old plaster ripped out, sometimes just covered over and the skirting boards relocated. This taste for a practical and cheap cladding was much more popular in the South than in the North, though more decorative uses of beaded board can be found both North and South. The effects of damp can deteriorate plaster; sometimes beaded board was used as a simple way the mask the problem with a fresh, new look, just as sheet paneling in the 1950s-1970s covered up a world of sin (albeit with another form of sin.)

      Evans and Lange were photographers from the Works Progress Administration who documented many scenes of rural Southern poverty during the Depression: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/nightwaves/gallery/media/03-Fields-family-BW.jpg

      • Ryan says: 460 comments

        Interesting. So I guess southern beadboard was sort of the precursor to that awful faux-wood paneling people covered their old plaster walls with in the 1960s and 70s….and which has (unfortunately) been present in at least one room of every apartment/home I ever lived in. My current house even had it on most of the ceilings. What a PITA to remove and repair!

      • Ann says: 8 comments

        Thank you for posting this. I especially felt my heart twist for the person who’s grandmother lived in the Color Purple house when she was a young girl. Bitter sweet to have some history.

  4. John Shiflet says: 5358 comments

    Beaded board is an acquired taste for many folks. We have it for ceilings in our kitchen and dining room with traditional plaster in the other rooms but an added bedroom from 1897 has 1×8″ Yellow pine shiplap covered with muslin cloth and several layers of old wallpaper and still later, covered with sheetrock, (1940’s?) Southern yellow pine was so abundant throughout the South that in the Reconstruction period after the Civil War sawmills and logging were mainstays of the Southern economy. This period of intense logging lasted until about 1910 but Southern Yellow pine is a fast growing species and now second and third growth forests are being harvested. 1×4″ beaded board was used as a universal material for covering walls and ceilings and was chosen so often for railroad boxcar siding that one often still hears it being called generically by that name. The beaded board put on the walls of this house may or may not be original but with absolute certainty I can state they were cheap to buy and install. Shiplap, which is equally as common as beaded board (especially in the South) was covered with unbleached muslin (subsequently wetted to shrink and make tight) it was perfect for wall paper application. Unlike plaster, both types of wood coverings did not crack nor did they require picture rail moldings to hang framed art. Given the choice between beaded board or shiplap, beaded board wins but I still prefer plaster to either of them.

    • John C says: 434 comments

      The only tangent I would add to this is about yellow or southern pine. The first growth wood was prized in the north. I recall one house in one town built with it entirely about 1900, shipped in by the local lumber mill owner. The reason is that first growth pine was (despite being a fast growing species) dense and therefore resistant to weather, somewhat resistant to rot, etc.l, even in the north,

      As we discovered in one house museum I worked on, second or third growth pine just did not have the same qualities. Within four or five years, the “new” pine looked older and worse by far than the old pine. The closest we could come was cypress or cedar, and we opted for the latter — but we had to wait a year for the tannic acid to subside before preparing for paint.

      John, I know you are familiar with all this, but I just didn’t want someone else reading the blog to go out and repeat my mistakes of 30 years ago in trying to use new yellow pine to replace old yellow pine.

  5. RitaB says: 106 comments

    Always such an architectural education available here. Keeps me coming back (along with the great houses you post!). Thanks.

  6. Kenny says: 82 comments

    What is the reason for the two front doors? This house is out in the middle of nowhere beside an airfield and it is doubtful that a multi-family would be the reason. Strange. Noticed the same double door configuration on the second floor. It looks like there are two separate entrances into two separate rooms. The blue room and the yellow room, both of which have fireplaces. Also, the taxes seem very high for a rural area.

    If the beadboard were vertical instead of horizontal, it would be more tolerable I think. Also, it is possible to diminish the appearance of the beadboard by filling in all the cracks with spackle. Time consuming and you may have to repeat since the joints reopen at the change of seasons. Especially since this house does not have any heat.

  7. Kenny says: 82 comments

    What is the reason for the two front doors? This house is out in the middle of nowhere beside an airfield and it is doubtful that a multi-family would be the reason. Strange. Noticed the same double door configuration on the second floor. It looks like there are two separate entrances into two separate rooms. The blue room and the yellow room, both of which have fireplaces. Also, the taxes seem very high for a rural area.

    If the beadboard were vertical instead of horizontal, it would be more tolerable I think. Also, it is possible to diminish the appearance of the beadboard by filling in all the cracks with spackle. Time consuming and you may have to repeat since the joints reopen at the change of seasons. Especially since this house does not have any heat. Interesting house but I think I will pass it by.

    • Pam Bates says: 14 comments

      My Great Grandma’s house had two front doors and so did my Grandma on the other end of my family. I used to know several homes like that. I think it was a safety thing—-that there had to be an outside door to all the rooms—especially the bedrooms in case of a fire. My Great Grandfather insisted on it.

    • John C says: 434 comments

      Kenny, I don’t know anything about the Warm Springs area. In northern Illinois and Iowa I know one ocassionally saw two-door fronts because, said the locals, one was the coffin door: people could file in and out for the wake/funeral/”viewing” by one door and the coffin could be brought in and out by the other. Others here may be able to tell you.

      • John C says: 434 comments

        Wow, two replies to Kenny in one minute! I just saw that becasue I had gone to John Shiflet’s comment.
        The clockwork of the universe indeed runs smooth! I am off back to bed., though, and will let others do the night vigil!

      • Kenny says: 82 comments

        Wow John what a provocative comment (in a good way) about the home funeral angle. I dont think that is what we have here (?) due to the second floor double door configuration but you raised an excellent point and that was that most homes were used for funerals/viewings during that time period. After a little checking, some very interesting tidbits I found out were that the U.S and Canada are just about the only two countries in the world where the dead are “handled” by funeral parlors. Most other countries still have home funerals today. Apparently the funeral parlor industry lobbied for this social change (and won) given their self serving financial interests.

        The other thing I found out was that you can legally have a funeral/viewing in your own home in 45 states although funeral directors have exclusive rights to transport bodies for burial.

        My grandparents were laid out in the front parlor when they died and the custom you describe is very plausible. Interesting how you might actually construct a house in anticipation of the passing of the occupants.

  8. John C says: 434 comments

    Kenny, when my father went to college, one of his jobs was sitting up with the dead at the funeral home. The custom of having the dead at home was just in mid-passing, and people were afraid that the loved one might “wake up” at the funeral home with no one around. Thus, the funeral director would hire someone to take the place of the family relative who would sit up all night in the parlor. (No doubt that was better than describing embalming.) This was in 1934 in Oklahoma.

    You are probably also aware of how some homes have niches and landings on stairways, partly for coffins and gurneys Here is the Dutch viewpoint, set out in the Hudson Valley publication: ‘
    http://www.hvva.org/hvvanews7-6pt3.htm

    The possibility of coffin doors in a craftsman house was explored in : http://books.google.com/books?id=OlJgUnLSUWEC&pg=PA80&lpg=PA80&dq=coffin+door+definition&source=bl&ots=8p5g_RzeLW&sig=gSNTwMKKfl5j78gtpqB9ShjhLcc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=AfxZT6n9CYXbggfBwOmhCw&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=coffin%20door%20definition&f=false

    Of course, this might originally have been duplexed. Often brothers married sisters, etc., and weird duplexes resulted. I had two great-great-aunts who did that, to their sorrow, with two brothers out in Colorado. Living in a mirror-image duplex built for the purpose, the sisters discovered that one brother was a drunkard and a wife-beater. And he went on tearing benders on the town, locking his wife in her half. The only way she survived several of these episodes was that her sister, in her kitchen on her side, would make very, very thin bread, “French bread like rope”, and feed it through a knothole to her sister held captive on the other side. That was in the 1880s.

    I continue to think, BTW, that a look through the Roosevelt-Hyde Park and Warm Springs papers, along with the diaries of Ickes and others, might show if Roosevelt or his entourage came to this house.

    • John C says: 434 comments

      By the way, the two sisters eventually ran away from the brothers, there in Durango, and went home to Kansas. So far as I know, neither one ever ventured to Colorado again, but they did re-marry although to men nowise related.

      • Kenny says: 82 comments

        The imagery on the rope bread is great. You may have nailed this one (again) John, with the notion that the rural duplex was actually intended for relatives. Very plausible indeed. My last farmhouse restoration had lore that everyone over 80 yrs old within a 20 mi radius had been born in the front bedroom. The community was actually one big family. How things have changed. Today, families are a thing of the past and internet dating would have vetted your great great aunts plight.

  9. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11916 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    I happened upon an image of this home on a Facebook page (link. Someone on another site said the house doesn’t appear to be lived in. It is actually on the National Register, link to files and known as Oakland Plantation or Oakland Plantation Inn.

  10. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11916 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    2020 video…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA_gFvsnTBw

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