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Texas early home with windmill
A Home in Texas
Old postcared courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

  • To Build a House by C. F. Eckhardt

    Texas Log Cabins and Log Houses
    The first house a man might build, at least in East and Central Texas, was a log cabin. Log cabins, by the way, looked nothing like the log houses usually called 'log cabins' today. The most common size was 12" x 14", usually the logs were not dressed...

  • To Build a House II by C. F. Eckhardt

    Adobe Houses

    "...Indians did not build in adobe. Adobe was brought to the Americas by the Spanish. Adobe is mud brick, made with mud and straw-the same bricks the Hebrews in Egypt were told to make without straw. Finding the right kind of dirt to make adobe from was sometimes tricky..."

  • Texas Historic Homes

  • Hebbronsville - Martinez House
  • Stanton - Connell House

  • Industry - Lindemann - Ott House
  • Sebastopol
  • Sebastopol House by Mike Cox
    A limecrete structure in Seguin
    National Register of Historic Places
    Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
  • The Martin House on Hedwig's Hill by Michael Barr
  • Frisco - Crozier-Sickles House
  • National Register of Historic Places
    Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
  • Matador - Traweek House
  • Belton - Wedemeyer Home/Academy
  • Brambletye
    Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
  • Mount Blanco - G.W Smith House
  • Brambletye
  • Colonel DeMorse
  • Colonel Charles DeMorse Home by Bob Bowman
  • Gaines-Oliphint House
  • Historic Gaines-Oliphint House
    Acknowledged by the Texas Historical Commission as the oldest standing hand hewn log structure in the state. A double pen planked log story and a half building with a dog trot...
  • Downes-Aldrich Haunted House
  • Crockett, Texas - Downes-Aldrich Haunted House
  • Brock Cabin
  • Lockhart - The Brock Cabin by Jeffery Robenalt
  • Littlefield Home
  • Austin - Littlefield Home
  • Earl-Rochelle House
  • Texarkana - Earl-Rochelle House
  • A story of two homes by Bob Bowman
    Two historic buildings in East Texas: Sally Pratt's home, and Maplecroft
  • Saving Sallie's Home by Bob Bowman
  • Albany - Ledbetter Picket House
  • Amarillo - The Bivins Home
  • Amarillo - H. W. and Katie Galbraith House
  • Amarillo - Shuford-Killough House
  • Asherton, Texas - Bel-Asher c.1910
  • Ballinger - Mission Bungalow, Residence of J. Y. Pearce
  • Bayside, Texas - John Howland Wood House
  • Beeville, Texas - Mrs. A. C. Jones Residence, ca 1910
  • Big Sandy - The Ashley Phelps House
  • Big Spring, Texas - Potton House
  • Borger, Texas - Ace Borger Home
  • Cedar Springs - Reichenstein Home
  • Chico, Texas - Siddon-Barnes Log Cabin
  • Coldspring - McClanahan-Trapp House
  • Dalhart - Buffalo Rancher W. J. Blair Residence
  • Doans' Adobe Building
  • Decatur - Former Waggoner Mansion
  • Johnson City, Texas - L.B.J. Boyhood Home
  • Farmers Branch - Old Homes
  • Forney - Dick P. Moore House, 1910
  • Fort Ringgold, Rio Grande City, Texas - The Lee House
  • Helena - John Ruckman Home
  • Jonesville - Samuel Floyd Vaughan Home
  • Kermit - The Medallion Home
  • Kyle, Texas - Katherine Anne Porter House
  • Marshall, Texas - Maplecroft, Starr Famnily Home
  • Matagorda - The Culver Home
  • Matagorda - Dale-Rugley-Sisk Home
  • Morgan's Point, Texas - The Governor Ross Sterling Mansion
  • Orange - W. H. Stark House
  • Panhandle - Thomas Cree Homesite
  • Paris - Samuel Bell Maxey House State Historic Site
  • Perryton - The Victorian Norwood House
  • San Benito - Alba Heywood Residence
  • Scotland, Texas - J. H. Meurer Home
  • Snyder, Texas - 1883 Confederate Veteran & Pioneer Doctor J.C. Cornelius House
  • Troup, Texas - Samuel Smith Home Site
  • Vernon Historic Homes: Waggoner-Hicks House, W. D. Berry Home
  • Rockne, Texas - Philip Goertz Cabin circa 1860
  • Rockne, Texas - John T. Lehman Cabin circa 1858
  • Trinity, Texas - John Henley Hill House
  • Weatherford, Texas - The Baker Mansion
  • Winona - The Kay House
  • Wylie - Thomas and Mattie Brown House

  • Dugout
  • Unearthing the story of Dugout Homes by Murray Montgomery 7-24-23

  • The Good Old Days Bob Bowman
    Soap Making in East Texas after Civil War

  • Always take your come-along along by Delbert Trew
    Though some might look down on the common working man, he is actually an ingenious person. If you don't believe me search the U.S. Patent office files and find millions of tools, most invented by a working man to make his work easier or faster.

  • Fire, bricks and early chimneys by Delbert Trew
    Few of the tools needed by man equaled that of fire. He needed it to cook, heat, make light and to use for making other tools, like in blacksmithing...

  • Well water, in the past, was work - Settlers dug with crude equipment by Delbert Trew
    The most significant problem facing the first Panhandle settlers was lack of water for their families and livestock...

  • Preserving garden seed important by Delbert Trew
    A wise man once stated: "A person will do a lot of things he wouldn't ordinarily do if he is taking up a hole in his belt occasionally." Hunger and the fear of hunger has always had a way of leveling the various classes of the population and changing their habits...

  • Before Maw Bell - Rural Telephone Systems in the West by C. F. Eckhardt
    Alexander Graham Bell’s patent expired in the 1890s, and as soon as it did anyone could legally manufacture and sell a telephone. Almost instantly both Sears, Roebuck and Montgomery Ward began offering telephone sets in their catalogs... Across much of the west, to the west of old US 81 (present I-35) in Texas... there was already a network of wire covering most of the country, in the form of barbed-wire fences...

  • Quilting a family history by Bob Bowman
    If Teddy Ivy wakes up in the middle of the night, curious about a part of his family's history, all he has to do is consult the quilt on his bed...

  • The Banker, and Lightning Rods by Mike Cox
    In 1749, Benjamin Franklin became the first scientist to opine that lighting rods could protect buildings, churches, houses and barns from thunderstorm-generated electrical discharges better known as lightning bolts...

  • Lamp chores evolved by Delbert Trew
    A boyhood chore, learned at an early age, involved filling lamps with coal oil poured from a gallon can with a blackened potato pushed down over the spout...

  • Plumbing the Past by Robert Cowser
    My sons and daughters laugh about the shock they experienced the first time I told them about the galvanized bath tub that hung on the exterior wall of the two-room house where I once lived...

  • Old gardeners avoided 'feast or famine' route by Delbert Trew
    You can tell by reading my columns that I am fascinated by how people got by before the invention of electricity, refrigeration and all the other modern conveniences we take for granted today. Through research, I find they somehow managed quite well...

  • Dirt-moving methods improve through years by Delbert Trew
    Few readers under 60 years of age will understand this statement:'We installed a tin horn in our bar ditch.'...

  • The Coolerator by C. F. Eckhardt
    "To understand a coolerator and the need for it you have to go back to a time before the REA got to rural Texas."

  • Past can continue to serve the present by Delbert Trew
    No doubt time marches on with progress as inevitable as tomorrow's sunrise. This seems to be more evident in the rural areas as our small towns and older communities slowly disappear or change identities...

  • To Sleep Tight by C. F. Eckhardt
    The old expression "Good night, sleep tight" once had real meaning. Beds didn't have springs in early Texas. They had ropes...

  • Rollaway bed was favorite for sleeping, hiding by Delbert Trew
    My early day heroes slept in thin blankets, on the hard ground with their heads resting on their saddles. Later, my J. Frank Dobie heroes slept in canvas-covered bedrolls which had to be rolled each morning, tied with a rope and tossed on the chuck wagon. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the cowboys slept in bunks with rope bottoms and covered with ticks filled with hay, grass, corn shucks or cotton. Such stuffing seemed to invite insects so bed legs were stood in small cans of coal oil to keep the ants and other critters away...

  • Air Conditioning by Archie P. McDonald
    When someone asks my wife how people lived in Texas before air-conditioning, she says that no one did. That is partly true and partly false, but we can all agree that the a/c makes surviving Texas’ summers a happier experience. The old timers coped, however, and here is how...

  • Being in hot water actually a luxury by Delbert Trew
    "Today, we take hot water for granted, but not so long ago, plenty of hot water was considered a luxury. Memories about hot water, or the lack of it, crossed my mind. Some go way back to a teakettle sitting on the back of our kitchen stove, which was the only hot water we had available."

  • A look at wash day from early to modern by Delbert Trew

  • The Good Old Days by Bob Bowman
    Life in East Texas after the Civil War.

  • Wash day on the farm always fell on Monday by Delbert Trew
    "Down through time, as sure as death and taxes, Monday was wash day. Like the Ten Commandments, the event was carved in stone and postponed only by funerals or bad weather. Though family wash day routines varied, Mondays on the Trew farm proceeded as follows..."

  • The Most Famous Bathtub in Coryell County by Clay Coppedge
    "Thomas and Laquita Barton's house outside of town has the first bathtub in Coryell County, a hand-carved limestone classic...."

  • Fuel Fires Up Memories by Delbert Trew
    "Eb Patton, a cousin from Mobeetie, used to say he didn't know his given name until he was 12 years old because all the family had ever said to him since birth was, 'Go get wood.' " ...

  • Using concrete involved search for sand, much hauling by Delbert Trew

  • Things Worthy of Prayer by Delbert Trew
    Baling wire, duct tape, drywall screws and caulking

  • Limestone Fence Posts by Brewster Hudspeth
    Ten Things You Need to Know About Limestone Fence Posts
    (Besides their reluctance to take staples and that they can dull a chainsaw real quick)

  • Quilting was hub of family, social life by Delbert Trew

  • Mailbox was rural portal to outside world by Delbert Trew

  • Screen door was faithful fixture by Delbert Trew
    The most used, abused, repaired and mistreated tool on early farms was the back screen door.

  • Barbed Wire Telephones by Debert Trew
    "In this day of seemingly unlimited telephone services, it's hard to believe we once used barbed wire to carry our message."

  • Linoleum was family's first sign of prosperity by Delbert Trew
    "The only "linoleum expert" I've known was a 92-year-old neighbor lady born and raised in the Texas Panhandle. ... Her credentials as a "paint and linoleum expert" are presented here in her own words..."

  • The Church Lights by Bob Bowman
    When the church decided to phase out the old kerosene lights for safety reasons, Clark went to Jefferson Lighting Company of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and told them what he wanted. The reproduction fixtures were custom-made for the church down to the ornate decorations and adapted to electricity.

  • Ranch Life in Brewster County
    A typical day of Lilah Smith and Edith Kipgen As told by themselves and Barbara Kipgen. "Both women have recorded on paper a lot of their experiences on the ranch back in the 30s and 40s..."

  • Grandma's Daylilies by Bob Bowman
    My grandmother, who grew daylilies on the morning side of her farm home in Slocum, advised her newly-married daughter, "Annie Mae, if you can't grow daylilies you can't grow anything."

  • Small Town Tidbits: A Friend Indeed by Jeanne Moseley
    "If you're looking for a plumber, you won't find Mr. B in the yellow pages. That's because he's mostly retired at age 75...."

  • The Yo-Yo by N. Ray Maxie
    In my area of the Ark-La-Tex in NE Texas, the yo-yo was a manual labor work tool. Labor intensive!


  • Increasing the value of your home by Taylor Kovar 1-17-23

  • Should I Buy a House or Rent by Taylor Kovar 8-18-21

  • Buying a second home in another state by Taylor Kovar 2-2-21

  • Blind Drunk in Beaumont by Frances Giles
    Cleaning Day in Beaumont

  • Head to the Nursery by Peary Perry
    Here we are in the middle of winter and once we have one or two clear, warm and pleasant days, you can bet most of us are out doing what we normally do this time each and every year. Head to the nursery and buy new flowers and plants...

  • The Days of Attic Fans and Sun Dried Sheets by Peary Perry
    No one had a clothes dryer, we had clothes lines. Here’s a practice that we could bring back today and save some energy, except most subdivision rules won’t allow you to have your clothes drying on a line. Jumping into bed and smelling sheets that had been taken off the line earlier in the day was an experience you would never forget.

  • You Got To Know When To Fold ‘Em Maggie Van Ostrand
    When Kenny Rogers sang, “Ya got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em … “ in his hit, “The Gambler,” he was singing about more than playing cards, he was singing about housekeeping...

  • Moving Day Madness by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
    I am a nurse. I am organized. I am beyond organized. I am hyper-organized. But no matter how organized a person is, she cannot control every variable. Which is how I found myself not only driving a gigantic rental moving truck, but also driving it in the fourth largest city in the United States...

  • Whacha Gonna Do With All That Junk? by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
    "I know in general that things are in boxes. These boxes, however, could be anywhere. They could be in the old house. They could be in the new house. They could be sitting on the porch accidently mixed up with the things waiting to be picked up for donation. They could be in the trunk of my car or in the moving van or even mixed up in the mountain of stuff sitting on the curb waiting for Big Junk Day."

  • The Heat Is On! by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
    It’s summer and it is hot and we are using our air conditioner. In the winter we use the furnace. And every year, summer and winter, we fight the same old battles over what temperature is the right temperature and over who is and who is not old enough and wise enough to be allowed to change the thermostat...

  • For Sale by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
    What you don’t want to hear from your real estate agent are the following words, "Well, realistically?" What follows will never be good...

  • Spring by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
    "For me the very best part of Spring is playing in the dirt. I'm not a gardener. I plant stuff but only because it grows in dirt and I like to dig. I don't weed, fertilize, prune or tie things up. That's what my husband is for."

  • How Do I Love Thee? by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
    "I have been feeling extraneous lately and I am not used to that and I do not like it. You know, when my children were little I had a rich fantasy life. I might have looked like I was washing dishes or folding 10,000 tiny little tee-shirts or picking the gum out of the carpet, but in actuality I was someplace far, far away, someplace better. I was in my secret world ..."

  • Life without a Washer by Peary Perry

  • Remodeling Your House by Peary Perry
    "Have you ever seen one of those charts that show you what certain stressful situations do to you and to your body? ... Well, I haven’t seen one of these in several years, but I’d bet remodeling your house while living in it has to rank right up there with the worst of them. Moving into another house can’t be this bad. Moving into a tent can’t be this bad. Moving to Iraq can’t be this bad. Moving into your mother-in-laws house can’t be this bad…Well… we might rethink that one…"

  • Home Improvement by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal
    "It is the strong marriage that survives each spring without a tremor or two."

  • Pet Peeves: Coffee, Stereos and Thermostat by Peary Perry

  • A Home of My Own by Elizabeth Bussey Sowdal

  • Air Fresheners: Use at Your Own Risk by Peary Perry

  • A Man's Guide to Housework by John Gosselink
    "We here at the Unsolicited and Possibly Dangerous Center of Advice have come up with some helpful hints for homemaking for men. But before we start, let's review the male philosophy to housekeeping. Remember, you are a guy, so you don't sweat the details."

  • The Ten Years Are Up. It's Time to Clean the Refrigerator by Maggie Van Ostrand
    "Everybody's familiar with the Seven Lively Arts: Architecture, Dance, Drama, Literature, Music, Painting and Sculpture. But there's an unsung eighth Lively Art: Homemaking. If making a home out of a mere house is not an official Lively Art, it ought to be..."

  • Related Topics:
    Texas Architecture
    Texas Historic Preservation
    Texas Towns
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