The Sunday porch: Puebla, Mexico

Veranda restaurant of the Hotel Diligencias, Puebla, Mexico, between 1880 and 1897, by William Henry Jackson, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (both photos).

The veranda seems to go around the second floor of an internal courtyard.

I believe this is the same eating area from the other side.

Puebla was once a layover point for those traveling between Veracruz and Mexico City. In the 1880s, Jackson had a commission to take photographs of the Mexican Central Railroad.

The Sunday porch: Mount Toxaway

2 The Sunday porch:enclos*ure -- Lake Toxaway, c. 1902, Library of CongressThe Lodge on Mount Toxaway, Sapphire, North Carolina, ca. 1902, by William Henry Jacksonvia Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (all photos here).

The Lodge was part of the Toxaway System of Hotels, created by a group of Pittsburgh entrepreneurs who began to built resorts in the Sapphire area in the 1890s.

By 1903, they had dammed the Toxaway River — creating the 640-acre artificial Lake Toxaway — and constructed the luxurious 500-guest Toxaway Inn.  After 1904, when the Southern Railroad opened a depot on the lake, the area was known as “Switzerland of America.”

1 The Sunday porch:enclos*ure -- Lake Toxaway, c. 1902, Library of Congress

The Lodge was presented in a 1905  company brochure as a “nature kindergarten” for “children of the city” to learn about trees, flowers, and birds. Farm animals and poultry were also available for study.

4 The Sunday porch:enclos*ure -- Lake Toxaway, c. 1902, Library of Congress

At an altitude of over 4,500 ft., the views from the wrap-around porch and the lookout tower were particularly good. Guests from the other Toxaway hotels would spend the night in the house to see the sunrise or sunset over the mountains.

It was also used as a hunting retreat for wealthy industrialists.

3 The Sunday porch:enclos*ure -- Lake Toxaway, c. 1902, Library of Congress

The Lodge no longer exists — although it  was still there in 1920, four years after severe flooding caused the company’s dam to burst. (Some homes were destroyed, but only a mule perished.)

Lake Toxaway disappeared, and the Toxaway Inn emptied out as well. It never re-opened after 1916 and was demolished in 1947.

In the early 1960s, another group of investors rebuilt the dam. The lake re-filled, and a golf club and hotel were opened. The property around what was once The Lodge is now  Preserve at Rock Creek, an “exclusive” real estate development.

To scroll through larger version of the photos, click on ‘Continue reading’ below and then on any thumbnail in the gallery.

My mind was once the true survey
Of all these meadows fresh and gay,
And in the greenness of the grass
Did see its hopes as in a glass. . .

— Andrew Marvell, from “The Mower’s Song

Vintage landscape: Yorktown, Va.

More big (boxwood) love.  .  .

#1, Nelson Hse. garden, ca. 1930, FBJohnston, LoC“‘York Hall,’ Captain George Preston Blow house, . . . Main Street, Yorktown, Virginia. Table in boxwood garden,” 1929, by Frances Benjamin Johnston.*

The house is more often called the Nelson House for the family that built it in the 1740s and owned it throughout the 19th century.  George and Adele Blow purchased it and began to restore it in 1914.  In 1968, it became a National Park Service site.

#2, Nelson hse., 1903, WHJackson, LoCThe front of the house and Main Street as it appeared about 1902. Photo by William Henry Jackson for Detroit Photographic Co.

#4, Nelson Hse., c. 1915, HABS, LoC The front of Nelson House in 1915. This photo is part of an Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS).

(There’s a photo of the front of the house and the younger boxwoods in 1862 here.)

#5, Nelson Hse., c. 1915, HABS, LoCThe front door, inside the boxwood hedge, 1915, HABS.

#9, view from hall, Nelson house, ca. 1915, LoCThe center hall, looking out the front door, 1915, HABS (photo cropped by me).

#6, Nelson Hse., c. 1915, HABS, LoCThe side view of the house, ca. 1915 (I think it may be later), HABS.  The front boxwood hedge is on the left.

#16, Nelson Hse, ca. 1930s, FBJohnston, LoCThe side garden in the 1930s by Frances Benjamin Johnston.

The garden during the Blow’s ownership was designed by Charles Freeman Gillette, a landscape architect known for working in the Colonial Revival style. Today, little remains.  The giant boxwoods at the front of the house are gone.

#19, Nelson Hse, ca. 1930s, FBJohnston, LoCAnother view of the side garden in the 1930s by  Frances Benjamin Johnston.

More big boxwood photos here and here and here and here.


*All photos here via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.