“Garden – lot 9, block 11. . . . Garden of $20 a month home,” Fairfield, Alabama, 1917, via Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
Fairfield was a planned community built in 1910 for the workers of U.S. Steel’s plants in the Birmingham area. Its (mostly white) residents could either rent or purchase modern houses with indoor plumbing and central heating. There were also parks and playgrounds, churches, a public library, and 30,000 newly planted trees and shrubs.
The photograph is one of over sixteen thousand created or collected by Frank G. Carpenter and his daughter, Frances, to illustrate his geography textbooks and popular travel books.
“Kenneth Hall gives daughter Peggy a shower with garden hose in front of their [Tennessee Valley Authority] defense home, Sheffield, Alabama,” 1942, Arthur Rothstein, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
The Ramsey-Jones-Bonner House, Oak Hill, Alabama, March 24, 1937, by Alex Bush for an Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (all photos here).
A nice front porch, but not especially interesting — except that it is a Carolina (or rain) porch.
Its columns rest on masonry bases set “directly on the ground . . . in front of the foundation of the porch floor. This is a distinctive regional characteristic,” according to the registration form (1998) for the National Register of Historic Places for the Oak Hill Historic District.
The back porch, however, is more unusual.
“[The] rear wings have integral recessed porches facing inward and creating an atrium-like space which has been roofed [with] corrugated metal. . . . [The] . . . first floor [is] essentially an enclosed dogtrot. . . .”