Archive | Colonial History

Door casing on private rooms.

Colonial House – Part 10

Colonial House There is a hierarchy to space and woodwork and it is designed to impress. Social status was important. Rooms used for entertaining had greater social importance than room used only by the family. These public rooms, such as the parlor and dining room, where the family status was being displayed, had more elaborate […]

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Gracefield Hall Front Door

Colonial House – Part 9

Colonial House. Historical Interior Details Now enter the house, close the door with the large brass box lock, and stand on the heart pine flooring which is throughout the house. You have entered a center passage that extends from the front to the back of the house with the back door under a transom window […]

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Colonial House Covered Back Porch

Colonial House – Part 8

Colonial House With the exception of the lantern lights on the back porch and the carriage house, you will also notice there appears to be no exterior lighting. A small recessed fixture in the ceiling of the front porch roof illuminates the porch for guests. There is an identical light fixture in the soffit about […]

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The brick foundation and siding on the kitchen outbuilding do not align with the brick foundation and siding on the main house addition. Note the security bars on the window in the English basement.

Colonial House – Part 7

Colonial House As you approach the front of the house, notice there is a vertical corner board to the right of the front porch door. This corner board is where the original house ended before the space between the house and kitchen was filled in. The seam continues down through the brick on the foundation […]

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Beaded siding weatherboards with hand-forged rose head siding nails.

Colonial House – Part 6

Colonial Plantation House – Part 6 Historical Exterior Details Our house looks as described above and has roof framing for a true gambrel roof. Modern gambrel roof houses today have the roof line kicked out beyond the exterior vertical walls to make it look like a gambrel roof house. The true gambrel roof was achieved […]

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Colonial House – Part 5

Colonial House This colonial plantation house is the house in which we now live, as though it had been built and expanded as just described. One important item we learned during our research is that there was no standard “cookie cutter” design; each property owner might have used the center passage plan but also applied individual […]

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Main House Expanded With a Dining Room and Study and Joined to the Kitchen.

Colonial House – Part 4

Colonial House The small house in which they live has become crowded so he connects the house to the kitchen building, which had to be raised to make the floor flush with the house floor, with a large edition for a new dining room and study. The study contained book shelves to house his extensive […]

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Stable Expanded Into a Carriage House.

Colonial House-Part 3

Colonial House His wealth steadily increases, as does the size of his family, and he becomes a middling farmer. A middling farmer would have been a landowner able to vote but just below the two percent gentry ruling class. With increasing wealth, he buys a carriage so he and his family can travel to the […]

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Main House (left)–Kitchen (center)–Stable (right).

Colonial House-Part 2

Colonial House First, he clears a house site in the middle of his property, erecting a rudimentary earth-fast cabin (an earth-fast building has no foundation and is built with vertical posts set in the ground). He marries, raises a family, and within a few years he has earned enough money from selling timber to build […]

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Colonial House = Part 1

Evolution of Gracefield Hall-a Colonial Plantation House Colonial House Imagine a young boy arriving in Norfolk, Virginia, from England during the first quarter of the eighteenth century. Unable to pay his passage, he signs onto a ship as a cabin boy, leaving the ship in Norfolk. Walking to Williamsburg, the new colonial capital, he soon […]

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