Texas County Map 1850 – 1852
Historic homes are beautiful, the craftsmanship is exquisite, handcraft. They also function as primary sources and historical evidence. These images account for the remarkable change in our environment and in some cases persistence of tradition. In either instance, they remind us that a particular future cannot be guaranteed. In essence, these images attest to the people who lived in and built these homes. The historical records relevant to the research of historic homes include plat maps, deed records, tax rolls, and census records. The census, especially, can offer clues as to whose hands may have built these structures. The census is a gateway to the lives of the people who lived at historic sites, especially antebellum sites, because, while flawed, it is still the most democratic record available, listing all members of society regardless of race, age, or gender. The structures in this body of work were all built before the Civil War, a testament to Texas’ rich, but unresolved history. Each structure bears marks of careful design considerations and sophisticated joinery, executed with astounding skill, usually with a broad axe or a drawknife. Eccentric decorative elements allude to the design sensibilities of each builder. The issues raised by looking at these sites over time has contemporary relevance as we continue the conversation of place and the effects of time.