Last Friday I made my rounds looking for interesting subjects to photograph and write about. I like to find the unusual -- like the photo above.
This photo rather tickled my fancy as it was a worn house in a pasture with a herd of cattle -- all very friendly and interested in what I was doing.
Actually, the worn house is a good example of a tenant house or what is sometimes called a double door house. It has a another name that is not used very often called the Cumberland type of house. For the sake of ease I will refer to it as the tenant house as that is what it is often called in these parts.
The tenant house does not mean it was only used by folks who were tenants. It was used as a common type of shelter by all types of folks in Kentucky -- about 10% of the population in the late nineteen to early twentieth century. This period was a time when log houses were being built less often due to the growth of sawmills providing finished lumber for house construction.
Tenant houses always have two doors but different configurations. The one above is only two doors yet symetrical with the facade. A popular configuraation that I have seen in many homes in my area is window-door-door-window, all symmetrical to the facade.
Probably the house in the above photo stood alone as part of a homestead. Over time, the house probably became obsolete for the household. In time another larger home might have been built. The owner, more than likely, thought it would make a good storage hold for the pasture. Result -- the pasture and house became fused together. This is my interpretation of how the above photo came about.
and Michael L. Moore