Friday, January 31, 2014

Florida Vernacular Cracker House

Pam at White Ironstone Cottage asked if we know the 'style' of our house?

Early Florida Cracker houses were plain, rectangular shaped, mounted on stone or brick piers to let air circulate under the house. Steeply pitched shingled roofs were usual. The eaves extended out over house walls. Houses were framed with local pine, which becomes very hard and is so resinous that it deters termites. The lumber in this house came off the place on which it sits, milled in 1939.

Features of Florida Vernacular houses include front gable with slotted vents in the gable end, open porches with shed roofs and plain window facings. A variation of the Florida Vernacular house of the Tidewater tradition which features a central hall, our house was built in the Louisiana Creole style of two rooms wide, two rooms deep, with north-south orientation of the long walls. Mind you, we are not in Florida but we're pretty close.

As time passed after the house was built the family grew and rooms were added on the back. In later years, a carport addition necessitated another room which the county describes as an 'enclosed porch' so that the driveway did not run over the septic tank. A laundry room on the back replaced the laundry room in a separate outbuilding that also housed a smokehouse and fruit storage room for home canned goods and buckets of syrup. This structure is now a tool shed and storage.

Pam called her house 'Romantic Vintage style' -- what do you call yours?


  1. I think houses with histories are more interesting than new construction. Ours is a mid-century modern built in 1951 on the site of a former rock quarry. Its oddest feature is a built-in brick barbeque adjacent to the living room fireplace.

  2. Very interesting information.

    I don't know if a style could be applied to our old farmhouse. I know it started out as just a two-room cabin because of the limestone slab foundation. Also the rafters in the kitchen area are of timbers (not milled lumber). Then over the years it was added on to in a very helter/skelter fashion. Oh, how I woud love a central hall!


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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