The Sunday porch: Georgia

House with picket fence, man and dog seated on the porch.“[H]ouse with picket fence, man and dog seated on porch and a dog lying on the sidewalk,” Georgia, ca. 1899, photographer unknown, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

This photo was in one of the several albums depicting African-American life that W. E. B. Du Bois compiled to exhibit at the 1900 Paris World’s Fair.

Click on the image for a little better view.

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: sewing circle

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“House Verandah. Mother, Winifred, Helen & Mrs Kingsmill,” Deseronto, Ontario, July 1908, via Harold McMurrich Rathbun’s Negatives album, Deseronto Archives Commons on flickr.

The Rathbuns were a prominent family in Deseronto.  About the time of this photo, The Rathbun Company owned a local shipyard and saw mill and a number of other businesses. At least two of its men had served as mayor around the turn of the 20th century. However, markets changed, woods stock were depleted, and fires destroyed their docks and other property. “[The] core timber and minerals resource businesses were dead by 1916 . . . . The company surrendered its charter in 1923,” according to Wikipedia.

Life in gardens: roof garden

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“Yonge St. Mission, Mr. & Mrs. J. C. Davis on roof garden,” Toronto, July 29, 1924, via The Globe and Mail Collection (Fond 1266, Item 3318), City of Toronto Archives.

John Coolidge Davis founded the Yonge Street Mission in the 1890s, handing out food and clothing to the poor from a “gospel wagon.” In 1904, the Mission purchased the building at 381 Yonge Street, now called the Evergreen Centre for Street Youth.

The Sunday porch: dance floor

notes of an old music pace the air. . .*

Woman and children dancing, 1935, Lomax Collection via Library of Congress
“Women and children on a porch,” in Georgia, Florida, or the Bahamas, 1935, from the Lomax Collection in the Library of Congress.

Woman and children dancing, 1935, Lomax Collection via Library of Congress

The snapshot photographs of the Collection document the expeditions by John Avery Lomax, Ruby Terrill Lomax, and Alan Lomax —  in the 1930s and 40s — to record and preserve the folk music and folklore of the southern United States and the Bahamas for the Library of Congress.


*From “A Poem Beginning with a Line by Pindar” by Robert Duncan.