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

Vintage landscape: ruins

Vintage landscape/enclos*ure: 1935 ruin, Lamar, TX, F. Ratchford, Texas State Archives“Ruins of unidentified concrete home,” Lamar, Texas, 1935, probably by Fanny Ratchford, via Texas State Archives Commons on flickr.

Beautiful matrix of wild plants. . . .  Be sure to click the photo and see it enlarged.

The wind that wanders, the weeds wind-shaken,
These remain. . . .

— Algernon Charles Swinburne, from “A Forsaken Garden

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.”