The Sunday porch: Austin, Texas

Austin dogtrot, 1935, via Texas State Archives“Remains of log dogtrot house near Webberville Road. . . Austin Texas,” 1935, probably by Fannie Ratchford, via Texas State Archives.

Unfortunately, it’s a little out of focus, but still beautiful.

. . .  I woo the wind
That still delays his coming. Why so slow,
Gentle and voluble spirit of the air?
Oh, come and breathe upon the fainting earth
Coolness and life!

— William Cullen Bryant, from “Summer Wind

The Sunday porch: somewhere in Texas

The Sunday porch/enclos*ure: unidentified Texas porch, by Fanny Ratchford, 1936, via Texas State Archives Commons.“Unidentified house,” probably by Fanny Ratchford, 1936, via Texas State Archives Commons on flickr. (You can click on the photo to enlarge it.)

It’s interesting to me that the roof of the house extends beyond the edge of the porch. The pretty columns are not attached to the railings, but come down to the ground a few feet beyond them.

There seems to be a word — maybe a name — on the wall above the chair on the left side, but I can’t read it.

ADDENDUM: The way the columns are set makes this a rain porch.

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Among a little wind grit, in a grid on a grid, somewhere
like the crossroads of outer space and Earth, Texas,
a handful of ragged elms withstand a long sway
of heat and wind. These old guards of a home haunt
the field but wither even as ghosts must. Honor them
with a walk among homesick bricks, and prophesy good.

John Poch, from “The Llano Estacado

The Sunday porch: the begonia

The Sunday porch/enclos*ure: woman with begonia, via Texas State Archives on flickr“Woman standing beside potted begonias on porch, message from Rosa to Alice on back.” Via the Samuel Bell Maxey Collection of the Texas State Archives Commons on flickr.

Beautiful plant. Conditions must have been ideal on the porch.  Or  was it recently evicted from the living room for taking up too much space?

Unfortunately, Rosa’s message to Alice is not revealed. A thank you note for the original cuttings?  Or just a little gardening conversation/showing off?

I’m also curious about whether the chicken wire all along the front railings was supporting vining plants or keeping animals (or even chickens) back.

The Archives’ photostream gives no information on the photographer, location, or date for this image.  The Samuel Bell Maxey Collection includes the late 19th and early 20th century photographs of the Maxey family of Paris, (northeastern) Texas.

The Sunday porch: dogtrot in Texas

The Sunday porch/enclos*ure: dogtrot in Texas, 1935, probably by Fanny Ratchford, via Texas State Archives Commons on flickr“Unidentified Dogtrot* House” in Texas (exact location unknown), 1935, probably** taken by Fanny Ratchford, via Texas State Archives Commons on flickr.

Fannie Elizabeth Ratchford was a librarian who worked in the rare books collection of the University of Texas at Austin from 1919 to 1957.  During the 1930s and 40s, she also began to put together a photographic and data survey of 19th c.  Texas architecture.

Unfortunately, she ran out of time and funding before the planned book could be assembled and published.  Her images, correspondence, questionnaires, and lists were donated to the Texas State Archives.  Only the photos are available online, but they are wonderful.  I’ll post some more in the coming weeks.

They sang Green, Green Grass of Home.
They sang Ne Me Quitte Pas beneath mesquite.

Ange Mlinko, from “Escape Architecture


*More about dogtrot houses in Texas here.

**According to an email from the Archives:  “Although the majority of the images within our Fannie Ratchford photograph collection were taken by Ratchford, she also acquired photographs from the Historic American Building Survey [HABS] as well as other photographers.”