The Sunday porch: Camden, Alabama

Front of the Robert Tait House, Camden, Alabama, 1936, by Alex Bush for an Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (all three photos).

Looking west on the south porch. It looks as though the ceiling has been painted the traditional blue. And note that the columns do not rest on the porch floor foundation, but on the ground just in front of it, making this a Carolina or rain porch.

The house was built for Robert Tait in 1855. It still stands.

Looking north on the west porch.

Verona, Italy

A group of children with flowers in the cloister of San Zeno, Verona, Italy, May 10, 1918, by Fernand Cuville, via Archives of the Planet Collection – Albert Kahn Museum /Département des Hauts-de-Seine.

Tradition has it that the crypt of San Zeno is where Romeo married Juliet.

The autochrome above is one of about seventy-two thousand that were commissioned and then archived by Albert Kahn, a wealthy French banker and pacifist, between 1909 and 1931. Kahn sent thirteen photographers and filmmakers to fifty countries “to fix, once and for all, aspects, practices, and modes of human activity whose fatal disappearance is no longer ‘a matter of time.'”* The resulting collection is called Archives de la Planète and now resides in its own museum at Kahn’s old suburban estate at Boulogne-Billancourt, just west of Paris. Since June 2016, the archive has also been available for viewing online here.


*words of Albert Kahn, 1912. Also, the above photo (A 19 474) is © Collection Archives de la Planète – Musée Albert-Kahn and used under its terms, here.

The Sunday porch: Williamsboro, N.C.

 “Blooming Hope” (also called “Cedar Walk”), Williamsboro, North Carolina, 1938, by Frances Benjamin Johnston, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

I like the way the vines are a little blurry from a sudden gust of wind.

The home may have been built as early as the 1750s by a Hutchins (or possibly Robert) Burton, who called it “Blooming Hope.” He may have operated a boarding school there. It also seems to have served as an academy for young ladies later in the early 1800s, run by the Rev. Henry Patillo. At some point in its first 100 years, there was a suicide in the house (either Burton or Patillo’s son), and it acquired a reputation as haunted. It was torn down in 1967.

The Sunday porch: Minden, Louisiana

The home of George and Rosa Lee Woodbridge, Minden, Louisiana, ca. 1907, via Tyrrell Historical Library (Beaumont, Texas) Commons on flickr.

A definite “best in vines” contender. I also like the trio of potted plants in the upper window and the decorative woodwork at the tops of the columns. (You may want to click on the photo for a better look.)

Detail of above.

George Woodbridge was a Presbyterian minister, and Rosa Lee was a former teacher. She died in the house in 1907, age 41.

Johnny and Edgar Winter, blues and rock musicians, are the direct descendants of Rosa Lee’s sister, Sarah.