The Sunday porch: Cherry Spring, Texas

North (back) side of Rode-Kothe House, Cherry Spring, Gillespie County, Texas, May 29, 1936, by Richard MacAllister for an Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (all three photos).

South (front) side of house.

The HABS says the limestone house was at least partly built in 1855 by German immigrant Dietrich Rode. (He completed it in 1879.) Rode was one of the founders of nearby Fredericksburg, as well as Cherry Spring.  He was also a lay Lutheran minister and a teacher, first in his students’ homes at night and then on the second floor of his ranchhouse shown here.

Detail of front porch.

The house may still stand near Christ Lutheran Church, which Rode helped found, but I cannot find a current picture of it.

The HABS says the building was “[s]ited to dominate its surroundings.”

Uptown garden


“Artist’s uptown residence,” New York City, ca. 1860, via Robert Dennis Collection of Stereoscopic Views, New York Public Library.

Detail from above image.

Upper Manhattan at this time was rapidly transforming from country to city — as villages and small farms became blocks of middle-class rowhouses. This backyard, with its neat latticed sitting area and then large cabbage garden, seems to encapsulate the change.

Detail.

Unfortunately, we don’t have the name of the artist or the address. Is he one of the two men in top hats sitting by the door, or was she standing in front of them, balancing a small boy on the fence — or maybe taking the picture?

The Sunday porch: the Jones

crj00 006Calvert Richard Jones (on the right), with six women, a man, boy, girl and dog, standing and sitting in a colonnaded porch way,” probably Swansea, Wales, ca. 1860, via National Library of Wales Commons on flickr.

Jones was a member of Swansea’s wealthly, landowning elite.  He studied mathematics at Oxford and was ordained as an Anglican priest, but spent much of his time traveling and painting. Like many men and women of his class in the Swansea area from the 1840s to the early 1860s, he was a photography enthusiast. In 1841, he took a daguerreotype that is now the earliest accurately dated photograph in Wales.

The photo may include Mrs. Jones (Portia Smith) and one or more of their three daughters.