An old House in the Fall

I love old houses; I know it’s some kind of a sickness… I just can’t help it.

They are drafty, have obsolete floor plans, lack modern conveniences and people think they’re spooky…

Here’s my old house:

Does it really look so spooky?  Well it may be a pain sometimes, but it is not scary!

It is part of the Highland Park Historic District in Rock Island, Illinois. It’s said that Mr. Frank Kelly built it in 1895, choosing the Queen Anne style in honor of his wife Anne. It is, I believe a design from  The Cottage Souvenir No. 2 (1891) by famous architect George F. Barber, and it appears to me that it is a modified Design 33, floor plan 2 from that classic catalogue.

Mr. Barber was a product of a time in which people believed that everything should be a work of art, houses, locomotives, furniture, and household items of every description.  It may sometimes seem to be a bit much to modern eyes, but designs and patterns were in everything. Note the detail in this photo (sorry for the pole!) and then take a look at the same view in 1899

Yes, those people back in the 19th Century may have used too much ornamentation, but I have a hard time condemning a people who put too much effort and craftmanship, not to mention art, into everyday things when I look at the lack of artistic effort and craftsmanship that we put into things now.  It’s like we always take the cheap and easy route… maybe we are the ones who should consider changes!

Well, I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you all that.  One last thing: There’s nothing better than an old house in the Fall, when the yard and the neighborhood, like Victorian exteriors and interiors, seem to be a little cluttered and somehow not quite perfect…

Way too many colors to be modern…

Way too many leaves on the old weathered steps…

…and on the old brick sidewalks.

Yes sir, Fall and Victorian houses have a lot in common, and I thank God for both of them!

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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12 Responses to An old House in the Fall

  1. Pingback: Antiques » Blog Archive » Queen Anne Style Blanket Chest

  2. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely beaytiful

  3. Pingback: Daily home & garden tip: Choose the right front door for a Victorian home | Greenhouses Give You Space To Grow

  4. Mary Ann says:

    One of my first reads from your archives. I love old houses, too, and this is a wonderful example of why. So lovely. Thanks for liking my blog, Stones and Feathers. I have a post on an old house that we once lived in in one of my other blogs, for the October 19, 2010 post. It was my favorite of all the homes we have had. My 41 year old son recently took a friend by it to show it to him – it is now a commercial real estate office. 😦

  5. Pieter Stok says:

    Don you are an old softy! Love the post and the photos. There are stories behind the walls – if only we could hear them!

  6. heyjude6119 says:

    You’ve captured a lot of my heart in this post. I love old houses, especially the Victorian types, Anne and Victorian are my favorites with all the ornate trim and details. If my body and finances would allow, I would convince my husband to live in one. Stairs and me would not work. 😦 Fall is also my favorite time of year and I love the tree with red leaves in front of your house. Sometime you should give us a tour of the inside. Gorgeous!

  7. heyjude6119 says:

    Oh I know. Even when I was younger and could do stairs, hubby would remind me of the financial commitment and impracticality of it for us. Especially since neither of us is skilled in DIY. So I just love them from a distance. Would love to find one and turn it into a B&B.

  8. Messenger At The Crossroads says:

    Lovely photos! I’m especially fond of old houses. Kind of reminded me of Tennessee Ernie Ford’s rendition of “This Old House”.

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