The Elecktronick Tyger Roares
22 February 2006
  Living in the middle of history.
(click the picture for larger view)

In 1827, if you'll cast your minds back...

Someone built a "dogtrot" house near Milner, Georgia.

(For those not familiar with the term, a dogtrot house is. effectively, two small cabins side by side with a single roof spanning the gap between them, leaving an open sheltered area that a dog could trot through, hence the name.)

About fifty years later, my great-great-grandfather, a veteran of the War Between the States, who had been severely wounded in the right arm (and, incidentally, accidentally discovered for himself what is now a standard therapy for such cases, regaining at least some of the arm's use, even though the doctors had told him he wouldn't), bought the cabin and the land thatwent with it, and established himself there to farm.

(Note that, in the photo above, the original cabin is the part of the structure to the left; the original dogtrot area has been partially enclosed, with sliding glass doors, to make a sunporch.)

Somewhere along the way, an extension was added to the back of the cabin, with a door cut through into the kitchen area.

Later yet, the extension was torn down.

Great-great's children moved away, and, eventually, he was unable to run the farm himself, given his age and bad arm, so he sold out and moved into town.

And so, from about the 1890s or so, till the 1980s, one after another owner or share-cropping tenant lived in the house.

Until my mother bought it back, and began restoring it.

It was necessary to replace the chimney and do a lot of other restoration, but she found someone who could buld a new chimney as close to the told one as possible. She brought the electrical wiring and plumbing up to date, built a more solid (though concealed) foundation under the house, although she had the original support pillars the house was built on reguilt in place for appearance.

And so on.

At the same time she was living with and taking care of my grandmother, who was n failing health, so she invited my younger brother, Jim, and his wife Sally to live there rentfree in return withy helping with the restoration. (Jim also set up his pottery studio in a trailer in the back yard.)

With Nana's death in 2002, my mother spent some time wrapping up affairs and selling the house on Lake Jodeco, and finally realised her dream of moving in to the dogtrot a year or two ago.

And now she is almost finished with the ultimate part of the project -- rebuilding the rear extension to make herself a complete efficiency-type residential area for herself, so that she can move out of the single large room (effectively the ground floor of the cabin section nearest the camera, behind the red car), and reduce the strain that her living there has put on herself and my brother and his family.

It's very nicely done -- give it a couple of years to weather in and you'd probably think it was as old as the rest of the place -- and the covered walkway opens from the old door in the kitchen wall as before. It has a bathroom and kitchen facilities, and should be a good place for her to live with family to hand (after all, hard as it is for me to grasp it, she is 82 [or will be this July] and she is slowing down some).

(It's not quite complete -- i haven't seen the interior yet, actually, and they just got the sewer line in recently, so she isn't living in it yet, but she will be.)

"In Europe, 200 miles is a long distance. In the US, 200 years is a long time."

Well, 178 years and counting...
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My interests are broadranging -- comics, music, movies and good ol' science fiction mostly dominate. My Five Most Favouritest Films are (this week) Once Upon A Time in the West, Dark Star, O Lucky Man, Day for Night and Whatever I Watched Recently That Was Good. Currently that's Day for Night.

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Name: mike weber
Location: gainesville, Georgia, United States

Latter fifties, married, out of work (had knee surgery and haven't gotten back to work); my (step) son-in-law is back from Iraq, but a lot of boys are still over there. Support our troops -- throw the Republicans out!

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