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Tag: architecture

Lake Village Postcard shows Lakseshore homes ca 1950

We recently added this ca 1950 postcard to our collection at Lakeport. The mid-century scene clearly shows two homes along Lakeshore Drive.

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Roughly the same view of South Lakeshore Dr via Google Streetview (August 2016)

Looking closely, I believe I have identified both houses on South Lakeshore Dr., just south of downtown. The second home in the image is commonly called, the Reynolds House. “Lakeside,” as its owner officially christened it, was built for General D. H. Reynolds in the 1870s by Nelson Bunker. The home was significantly remodeled in the 1890s.

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Close up of “Lakeside,” ca. 1950

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“Lakeside” in 1990. Courtesy of Arkansas Historic Preservation Program

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first house (unnamed as far as I know) is also still standing, although modified a bit. The home is identifiable by the four sets of columns along the front porch.  Today the house has a brick exterior and the lattice work along the roof is gone; the dormer, now a window rather than a vent, is still a distinguishing feature for the early twentieth-century home.

The home was likely built in the first decade of the twentieth-century and appears on the 1912 Sanborn Fire Insurance map for Lake Village. D. H. Reynolds’ death in 1902 and the subsequent growth in Lake Village initiated new construction around the Lakeside homeplace. Sanborn Maps label the area, “Mrs. Reynolds Second Addition”

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The home is still identifiable by the four sets of columns along the front porch.

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Close up of “unnamed house,” ca. 1950

 

 

 

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The two homes appear in the 1912 Sanborn Fire Insurance map.

 

Updated November 22, 2016



Press Release — Lakeport Legacies — June 23 — Clean Lines and Open Fields: A Look at Mid-Century Modern Architecture in the Arkansas Delta

For immediate release 5/14/2016

Lakeport Plantation’s monthly history talk, Lakeport Legacies, will feature Mason Toms. In his talk, “Clean Lines and Open Fields: A Look at Mid-Century Modern Architecture in the Arkansas Delta,” Mr. Toms will explore the region’s most interesting Modern architecture. Structures like the old Dermott State Bank (now Simmons) and St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in DeWitt exemplify the optimism and booming economy of the decades after World War II. Today Modernist architecture is gaining the appreciation of both historians and architecture buffs for its clean lines, functional planning, and futuristic detailing.

 

McGehee Bank. It was not uncommon for banks to build grander examples of Mid-Century Modern architecture in smaller, rural towns. The architecture signaled trust and stability through "modern and up-to-date" practices. The Modernist-style McGehee Bank, built in 1960, was designed by Little Rock architect Edward Brueggeman

McGehee Bank. It was not uncommon for banks to build grander examples of Mid-Century Modern architecture in smaller, rural towns. The architecture signaled trust and stability through “modern and up-to-date” practices. The Modernist-style McGehee Bank, built in 1960, was designed by Little Rock architect Edward Brueggeman

Mason Toms currently serves as the Main Street Arkansas Exterior Design Consultant and Preservation Specialist. As such, he works with building owners in historic downtowns to preserve their facades and storefronts, while still making them visually appealing to a younger generation of consumers.  Mr. Toms also works closely with the National Register Department to research and survey Mid-Century Modern architecture around the state. Through these surveys, as well as social media efforts, lectures, and tours, Mr. Toms hopes to raise awareness of the unique and innovative Mid-Century architecture that Arkansas possesses. Mason is a graduate of the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies, a minor in history, and concentration in architectural history.
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, DeWitt. Lutherans in rural south Arkansas constructed several Modernist houses of worship in the 1960s. Photographed here is the framework eaves and stained glass at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in DeWitt. The church was constructed in 1966 and designed by architect Scott Farrell. In nearby Gillett is St. Paul's Luthern Church, a 1966 design by architect Raymond Martin. In Crossett, Huddleston-Emerson-Stiller Architects of Shreveport designed the 1968 St. John's Lutheran Church.

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, DeWitt. Lutherans in rural south Arkansas constructed several Modernist houses of worship in the 1960s. Photographed here is the framework eaves and stained glass at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in DeWitt. The church was constructed in 1966 and designed by architect Scott Farrell. In nearby Gillett is St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, a 1966 design by architect Raymond Martin. In Crossett, Huddleston-Emerson-Stiller Architects of Shreveport designed the 1968 St. John’s Lutheran Church.

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Dr. H.W. Thomas House, Dermott. Modernist residences in the Delta, like Dr. H.W. Thomas House in Dermott, emerged in the post-World War II ear. Built in 1954 by an unknown architect, the design is heavily influenced by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. The design is low and somewhat “hugs” the ground. The heavy use of natural materials in the exterior cladding ties the building to the earth in Wrightian fashion.

For more information and to RSVP, contact Blake Wintory 870.265.6031.

Clean Lines and Open Fields: A Look at Mid-Century Modern Architecture in the Arkansas Delta
 
presented by
 
Mason Toms (Arkansas Historic Preservation Program)
 
Thursday, June 23
 
Refreshments & Conversation @ 5:30 pm
Program @ 6:00 pm

 

Lakeport Legacies is a monthly history talk held on one of the last Thursdays at the Lakeport Plantation during the spring and summer. Each month a topic from the Delta region is featured. The event is free and open to the public. The Lakeport Plantation is an Arkansas State University Heritage Site. Constructed ca. 1859, Lakeport is one of Arkansas’s premier historic structures and still retains many of its original finishes and architectural details. Open to the public since 2007, Lakeport researches and interprets the people and cultures that shaped plantation life in the Mississippi River Delta, focusing on the Antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction periods. Arkansas Heritage Sites at Arkansas State University develops and operates historic properties of regional and national significance in the Arkansas Delta. ASU’s Heritage Sites include the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center, Southern Tenant Farmers Museum, Lakeport Plantation, the Historic Dyess Colony: Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash, and the Arkansas State University Museum.

Lakeport Plantation • 601 Highway 142 • Lake Village • AR • 71653 • lakeport.astate.edu • 870-265-6031



Belmont Plantation House: Some Facts

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1936 HABS Photograph, Library of Congress

When cotton prices rose in the 1850s, Delta planters like the Worthingtons and Johnsons built mansions like Belmont, Mount Holly, Willoughby and the Lakeport Plantation. While we have lost Leota (1883), Willoughby (1932) and Mount Holly (2015), Belmont and Lakeport still stand. Lakeport is restored and owned by Arkansas State University; and Belmont has new owners with grand plans for the 1857 home.  Below are a few  facts about the Belmont Plantation.
    • Belmont was built around 1857 for Dr. William W. Worthington (1802-1886) and Elizabeth (Stringer) Worthington along American Bend on the Mississippi River. The next year that bend would become Lake Lee.
    • Belmont’s name may have been derived from Belle Island, the island plantation surrounded by American Bend (later Lake Lee) and the Mississippi River. Belle Island was owned by Judge Benjamin Johnson was a native Kentuckian who became one of Arkansas’s Territorial judges in 1821.
    • The dominant architecture of the house is Greek Revival. However, Italianate brackets along the cornice and pediment show architectural tastes were in transition.
    • Belmont and Lakeport both feature double galleried, three-bay projecting porticos.

  • Belmont has some of the finest plaster work in Mississippi.
  • The entry medallion at Belmont is nearly identical to the the medallion at Lakeport.
  • William Worthington was one of four brothers from Muhlenberg County, Kentucky who settled in the Delta (AR & MS) in the 1820s and 1830s.
  • The land on which Belmont was constructed was originally owned by Alexander G. McNutt, who served as Mississippi Governor from 1838-1842. The land was later purchased by William’s brother, Samuel Worthington. William purchased the land from his brother in 1855 and then constructed Belmont around 1857.
  • Samuel Worthington built the Willoughby (Wayside) Plantation to the southwest of Belmont in 1858. Samuel’s daughter, Amanda Worthington, penned her diary there during the Civil War.
  • There is strong evidence that the same builders from Madison, Indiana constructed Belmont (1857), Willoughby (1858), and Lakeport (1859). The same evidence suggests the builders also built a home at Leota (likely for Isaac Worthington’s widow) and another at Grand Lake, Chicot County, Arkansas.
  • Samuel’s Willoughby Plantation home, then vacant, was razed in 1932 for the expansion of the levee. Samuel’s son estimated it cost $35,000 to build and furnish the Willoughby home.
  • Isaac Worthington and his wife, Anne Taylor Worthington, settled at Leota. The Leota home fell into the Mississippi river in 1883. Anne was the sister of Lydia Taylor Johnson at Lakeport.
  • Anne Taylor Worthington’s house at Leota was, according to a 1936 newspaper article, “a handsome two-story brick home facing the river [built] exactly like Belmont except that it had two wings whereas Belmont has only one.”
  • Elisha Worthington, who settled in Chicot County, was the largest planter in Arkansas. His prized Sunnyside Plantation also had a large home. One newspaper report described it as “magnificent,” but little else is known about it.
  • The 1860 Census for Washington County is missing (as are the county’s 1850s tax records), however in 1855 William Worthington owned 80 enslaved laborers. His holdings most likely increased during the next six years until the Civil War began.
  • During the Civil War, from 1863-1865, supply rich plantations like Belmont were often raided by troops to feed and supply the Union Army operating in the Lower Mississippi Valley.
  • North of Belmont, in the winding Greenville Bends, Confederates often attacked Union transports and gunboats. This prompted retaliation on planters and plantations along the Bends, including the burning of Old Greenville in 1864.
  • The Worthingtons owned the home and land until 1929.
  • Belmont was documented by the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) in 1936. The HABS photographs are in the Library of Congress.
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    1936 HABS Interior Photograph, Library of Congress

  • The Weathers family soon acquired the house and owned it until the mid-1940s.
  • In 1946, Belmont became the home of the Belmont Hunting Club. 
  • Most of the changes to Belmont in the upstairs and in the north parlor took place in the 1990s during the ownership of Fernando Cuquet, Jr.
  • Added to the National Register in 1972, Clinton Bagley’s nomination text is the best source of history on Belmont.
Fact sheet created November 2015 by Blake Wintory of the Lakeport Plantation, an Arkansas State University Heritage Site — lakeport.astate.edu. Updated 05/04/2016


Mount Holly burns

Mount Holly burned early in the morning on June 17, 2015. Mount Holly was constructed ca. 1856 for Margaret (Johnson) Erwin Dudley after purchasing the land from her father in 1855. The grand Italianate home was most likely built based on plans by Calvert Vaux first published in Harper’s in November 1855 and later in Vaux’s Villas and Cottages (1857). In the 1880s, William Hezekiah Foote became Mount Holly’s owner. His great-grandson, Shelby Foote, used Mount Holly as the setting for his first novel, Tournament, published in 1949. Foote told the Clarion-Ledger in 1973 “the house was erected by a transient architect in 1855, working from plans carried with him and with the assistance of one man who accompanied him and a construction crew of slaves from the Mount Holly plantation.” Mount Holly was similar to two other Italianate Mississippi houses, Aldemar, built for Victor Flournoy ca. 1859 on Lake Washington; and Ammadelle, built 1859, in Oxford. Ammadelle still stands.

At Lakeport, despite the differences in architectural styles, we often tell guests about how Lycurgus’s cousin’s house influenced Lakeport’s design–layout of the parlors and entryway, main staircase in a cross hall, the peculiar arch upstairs probably influenced by Mount Holly, attached kitchen, cast-iron stove set in brick, servants bells, brick walkway…….

 

Mount Holly, June 17, 2015

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More Pictures from June 17, 2015 

Mississippi Preservation Blog: Sad News from Lake Washington

Mississippi Historic Resources Inventory: Mount Holly

Bagley, Clinton. “Mount Holly,” National Register Nomination Form, August 1973.

Carl McIntire, “More on Mt. Holly,” Clarion Ledger, February 18, 1973

Erwin House [Mount Holly], Historic American Building Survey, Library of Congress, 1936.

 

Updated June 17, 2016



Lakeport Explores the Delta: Hollywood Plantation, Benoit, MS


Last Tuesday my wife and I made a trip up to Benoit, Mississippi to see restoration work on Bolivar County’s last antebellum plantation home–The Hollywood Plantation (Burrus Home or “Baby Doll House”) .

Overseeing the restoration of the ca. 1858 home is Eustace Winn, a descendant of the original owner. Eustace has visited Lakeport on several occasions to check on our progress and compare notes.
John C. Burrus began construction on the Hollywood Plantation around 1858. According to the 1860 Census, nine Burrus family members lived in the house–the 45 year old J. C. Burrus, his 39 year old wife, Louisa, and seven younger Burruses ranging from 20 to 2. The two-story Greek Revival, was likely unfinished as the Civil War began in 1861. Most notably, the second story door lacks a balcony. This is a familiar theme for a home built so late in the antebellum period. We tell a similar story about Lakeport and how its interior was likely unfinished–unpainted, bare plaster walls, a missing medallion, and an unfinished ceiling medallion.
As far as I could tell in my limited search, there is not a lot of academic history written about the home or the Burrus family. James Cobb in The Most Southern Place on Earth: The Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity (1992) mentions John and Louisa three times, citing the John C. Burrus Papers at the Mississippi Department of Archives & History, as well as a family account of the Civil War published in the Journal of the Bolivar County History Society in 1978. Citations of the Burrus Papers also appear in Harold Woodman’s King Cotton & His Retainers: Financing & Marketing the Cotton Crops of the South, 1800-1925 (1968).
The Historic American Buildings Survey documented the home in 1936 as the “Burris House.” In 1936 the house was likely vacant, but, from exterior photos, in decent condition.
Hollywood is most famous as the setting of the 1956 film Baby Doll. However, by 1956, Richard Sylbert, set director for Baby Doll, described the house as “a dilapidated, ramshackle, and hollow wreck.” Four of the columns were laying on the ground and the building “listed to the left about five or six degrees.” The interior was worse: “the entire stair railing, balusters, and curved handrail were gone”; “parts of floors burned away”; and “the walls had huge areas where the plaster had come free of the lathe.” According to Sylbert, the house was straitened, walls and ceiling were repaired “to exactly the state the story required.” (That last phrase definitely sticks out to me.) The stairway was also reconstructed. Sylbert claims to have found an original spindle sticking out of the yard; it was used to reproduce all the spindles you see in the film.

Until just a few years ago, Hollywood was again a shell, as evidence from this 2005 photo in Flickr. Even the Corinthian columns added by the set designers were gone. (Correction– The Baby Doll movie seems to show original columns, so Corinthian columns were likely added later by the Bolivar Historical Society by whom, then? .)

This image from the 1956 film Baby Doll seems to show the original Doric columns. It is not clear when the Corinthian order columns were added.

This image from the 1956 film Baby Doll seems to show the original Doric columns. It is not clear when the Corinthian order columns were added.

 

Eustace is making great progress since he began working on the family project three years ago. The new front columns, made of solid redwood from Washington state, replicate the originals and the interior is coming back to life again with new plaster, new woodwork that compliments what was left of the original, and, most recently, new stairs. When the restoration is finished, Hollywood will be open for tours and available for events.

After our tour, we headed up the road to Rosedale for some great food at the Blue Levee.

If the history and restoration of the Burrus House interests you, then you should visit the Lakeport Plantation across the river in Chicot County, Arkansas.  Lakeport is the last antebellum home in Arkansas along the Mississippi River.  Click here to learn about visiting Lakeport. 

Update (12/17/2012):  The Hollywood Plantation opened to the public in June 2012.  It is available for rentals and tours by appointment. We’ve had several groups schedule tours at Hollywood & Lakeport the same day. Visit their website — http://www.hollywoodplantation.com

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Bibliography
Cobb, James C. The Most Southern Place on Earth: The Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity. New York: Oxford University Press.
Sylbert, Richard and Sylivia Townsend, Designing Movies: Portrait of a Hollywood Artist. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2006.
 
United State Census, Manuscript Returns, Schedule of Population, 1860.
Woodman, Harold D. King Cotton & His Retainers: Financing & marketing the Cotton Crop of the South, 1800-1925. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press.


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