By Texas Folklore Society
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Extra resources for Built in Texas
One stream extended across Pennsylvania and then broadly along the route marked by the Ohio River into Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas. Moving westward along this stream were two main types of houses. One was the English I house. 9 By the late nineteenth century the front wall was decorated with a portico or porch. Although sometimes two stories high in the beginning, the later and more common form of front porch was only one story high and only slightly wider than the enclosed central hallway. One- or two-storied gabled ells were often added to the back, giving floor plans resembling the letters "L" or "T" depending on where the ells were attached to the front unit.
When the building finally groans and falls under the weight of ice or snow or the force of a strong wind, the useable material is pulled to make hog pens and chicken houses or to make patching for other buildings suffering the inevitable vicissitudes of old age. A man keeps buildng with old materials just as rats and mice take parts of old nests to make new ones. Folk building is primarily utilitarian, and keeping a building functional as long as possible is as much a part of the folk building process as hewing the logs or quarrying the stone for the original structure.
Into Galveston and Indianola came Germanic and Slavic people from Europe. And from the south across the Rio Grande came the Mexicans, many of whom were on Texas soil before the outlanders even thought of coming to the state. Each group brought its own styles and methods of building, and each adapted the styles to the material at hand and began building to keep off the rain and to cope with the wild, new land. Page 2 A house becomes a barn Page 3 Built in Texas F E. Abernethy Man is naturally and genetically a builder, continually struggling to plumb and square life into an order that he can cope with.