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Donald, I talked to some folks in Keokuk and identified the addresses of the 2 other Barber homes. My sources indicate maybe a 3rd house in Keokuk by him. I'm going back for the 4th and will take snapshots. Also got a bead on 6 barber homes in Mt. Pleasant, IA. There's another short trip with the camera...

Victorian house colors - as I understand it, the houses of the era were originally painted in dark rather drab colors. The 'painted ladys' of today don't at all represent these home's original look. Any comments on that? I'm still learning...
Donald Mitchell

Tim they were mostly earth tones with natural pigments like the red from clay. There are several books on the colors used. We made a trip to Murfreesboro Tn on the fourth hoping to see some Barber homes there, but the only queen ann`s we saw were probably after 1900 and I dont have much info on the later houses. Beautiful town though and even some log homes.

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Tim Harden
I've been doing some research on a couple of houses that were built in Round Rock, TX.  After doing a lot of research on George Barber and his houses, I'm excited to say that perhaps I'm on to something.

This particular house is only known to have been built in the early 1900's and was in south Round Rock.  Eventually, the house was purchased and moved to Kingsland, Texas and is owned by The Antlers where it is now a restaurant.  For as much as we do know about where it was built and who originally owned it, we don't know much else, except that it has evidence that it was a kit home.  There are a couple of places where the name, "Nalle" was painted on the wood, which refers back to the Nalle Lumber Company of Austin Texas that existed in the first 1/2 of the 20th century.

This house was also used in a very famous film, made in the 1970's, for which I'm very familiar with as well and is known world wide.  But I'd rather not bring it up on this board in fear that replies from film fanatics, rather than true Barber enthusiasts, will start posting and take away from the focus of this posting.

I've already downloaded the Barber Cottage Souvenir #2 and another .pdf file that contains many pictures of Barber houses, and none of them completely match this particular house.  But many architectural aspects of these houses matches the one I've been researching.

I'd like to get any information and/or opinions from other users on this board who are more experienced at the Barber house history than I am, and perhaps you may know more than I do, or can shed more light on this.  Primarily, I'm looking for the original floor plans to the house, if they exist anywhere.

Everyone's time and help is greatly appreciated.  I can be e-mailed directly at tim@timharden.com or called at 512-750-6726 if need be.  I'll be watching this thread for any replies as well.

Thanks again!

Tim Harden

Ah!  Might help if I actually posted the attachment! 

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Donald Mitchell

Tim, the roof crossing the lower gables to me says 1905 to 1910 which would be a later catalog than I have but in New model dwellings #17b looks very close to this one. It has the hipped roof in the center with the same chiminey placement and same dormer.

Tim Harden
Thanks for the info!  I have downloaded only one .pdf file, and that's the Cottage Souvenir #2.  It sounds like I don't have this book or file you're talking about.  Can you tell me where I can get this?  Or can you post/send me the drawings/floor plans you're talking about?


Donald Mitchell

I`ll send it to you!

Shirley Byrd
Donald, could you email me that info as well?  I have been trying to find the floor plans for the Foy-Beasley Hamilton house in Eufaula, AL and haven't found it in any of the floor plans that I have from Barbers No. 2 book.
Thanks, Shirley my email is tnsbyrd@comcast.net


Hi.. I will be traveling from Atlanta to Destin , FL this weekend and would like to see some Barber house in Alabama .  Does anyone have the addresses of any ?

Shirley B
blu, I don't remember exactly what street the Foy-Beasley is on, but it was on the main drag as you're going thru on your way to Florida.  I'm putting a link here for the Eufaula tour of homes.  They have some FANTASTIC pictures of the inside of this house on their Christmas tour of homes list.  Just click on that link and then click on the house and it'll show you a bunch of pictures from the inside.  http://www.eufaulapilgrimage.com/index.html  Its absolutely some of the most beautiful pictures I've ever seen of the inside of one of his houses.  Its absolutely suited to the Christmas theme...

Donald Mitchell

Wow, Shirley! Those are some great houses, Thanks for the link!  

Shirley B

I also just found an exhibit on Barber's houses that was at the University of Nevada.  Check out this link: http://www.library.unlv.edu/arch/events/alcorn/index.html  What I wouldn't give to go see that!  I've emailed Mr. Acorn and am hoping that he'll have some information on these wonderful houses.

Shirley B

I just heard from the University of Nevada and they told me that Professor Acorn was in the middle of writing a book about the Barber Houses.  Isn't that Great?!  They told me that they would contact me about when it would be published.  I'll be sure to let you all know!

Jodi Davis
We just bought the Rawl-Couch house in Batesburg SC. It's a George F. Barber - modified to use the existing one room school house that was on the site as a dining room.

We LOVE our new house.


Hello everyone:
I am new to this site and was hoping that someone could give me information to confirm if my home located in Roanoke, VA (The Star City of the South) would be considered a George F. Barber type home?  We have been restoring this magnificent home from 7 unit apartments back into single family dwelling.  I'd love to get a copy of the floor plans if anyone has information. Any guidance would be appreciated-  I have attached a photo dated 1900-
Tim Taylor
115 Mountain Ave S.W.
Roanoke, VA 24016

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Donald Mitchell

Jodie, thats one gorgeous barber house! Tim, you will probably have to find one of the latter plan books to verify. Looks to be built after 1900. I would love to see a current photo, Its a beautiful home!

Hi Donald-
Thanks for the tip on finding information on my home and for the compliment.  I've been able to find extensive information on the first homeowner (J.H. Marsteller) as well as a copy of a letter he sent to City Council regarding this home that he built in August of 1900 so I do know that it was constructed in that year. I am attaching a recent photograph of the exterior which was taken this past February.  You'll notice that the wrap around porch is gone and the porte-cochere.  In addition the two marble lions are no longer at the entrance where they lay guard until the mid 1980's when the previous owner gave them to the local Lions Eye Bank.  We are trying very hard to find a way to get them back where they once belonged.  I tried two years ago to communicate with Eye Bank and see if they would entertain the idea of allowing them to come home and offered several avenues of service to help raise money for their organization. They declined my request. We do not have the recources to replace marble lions with the original ones as a trade, but perhaps we can find some concrete lions that will be suitable for them.  The historic neighborhood we live in fully supports our efforts and they too hope that we will be able to bring the lions home. I am also attaching a photograph taken sometime after 1910 which has a house on each side of it.  You'll notice the wrap around porch and a porte-cochere to the left of the house.  The owner (Mr. J. H. which he was known as) was a huge automobile enthusiast and wanted to protect his car; hence the porte-cochere. He had a wonderful carriage house in the back of our home that claimed to hold 5 cars.  Unfortunately it no longer stands.  I will continue to search for the blueprints of our home.

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Tim Ice
I visited my hometown of Keokuk, IA over July 4th and tried to find and photograph all the George Barber homes that I gathered information on. Two of the homes had been completely redesigned and lost all their character. The other two I'm not too sure about but wanted to add them to this thread. Any information on design numbers or Barber catalog entries would be appreciated.

The older rundown house is right at the end of mansion row in Keokuk (Grand Ave/Park Place). It was hard to get a good pic of this house, and it has ZERO backyard as the 300 ft. river bluff is right off the back door! This does not strike me as a Barber house but sources indicate it is.

The other house is beautifully restored and sits right on a corner lot amid some magnificent trees - which unfortunately obscure the architecture. Sources indicate this really is a Barber home.

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Tim Ice
Again over July 4th I drove by several times the Grand Anne B&B, an outstanding Barber home in Keokuk, IA that I've mentioned in previous posts. I like the history of the homes as much as the builder.

My brother and I drove out to the National Cemetery in Keokuk (one of the 13 original National Cemeteries) to visit my father and grandparents God Rest Their Souls. After that we drove through the next-door Oakland Cemetery. I wondered aloud whether Clyde Royal Joy, the original owner of the Grand Anne home, was buried in this cemetery. Not 3 seconds later did my Brother say 'Theres a Joy headstone'. Sure enough, it was the family plot with about 6 markers. So of course I took some pictures.

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Donald Mitchell

It`s so neat to make the connections like that . Our PO`s are also interred in a local cementary which is also listed on the national register. It adds a lot of intrest to home research. I enjoy your photos too!

Donald Mitchell

OMG! You will never believe it! Last week a local newspaper did a small article on our home and today a man visited that had seen the article and had noted that we thought it may be a barber house. He was a decendant of the Barber family in Knoxville and his grandfather sent him to check us out and is going to e-mail me about the house. I`m so excited! I`ll let you know what I find out.

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Donald Mitchell

The guy called back and is so suprized that so many people are intrested in his ancestors works. He said that his grandfather is the grandson of Georges brother and will give us a personal tour of the Barber houses in Knoxville and thinks he can get us inside of some of them! The guys aunt lives in Jackson Tn. and saw the article in the paper and called him and he in turn called his grandfather. Is this spooky or what! He said his mother did paintings of three of the houses and he would try to bring them with the next time he comes this way. He also said that he had some coins that George barber designed that he would bring and he had lots of tales handed down thru the family.

Donald Mitchell
http://orig.jacksonsun.com/homesgalore/20070819mitchell/index.htmHere`s a link to the article. It is temp so check it out.

Jodi Davis

That is a great story about you and your wife. And your house, of course.

Your stained windows are a lot like mine with the same colors - only my house seems to have been painted with a paint ball gun. It looks nice from a ways, but the detail work is not so great and there is some paint over on the glass right now. I was really inspired by your stripped and repainted patio work.

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Jodi Davis
Oh, and these ones too.

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Donald Mitchell

Hi Jodie, I love your house and especially the fabulous woodwork inside! Those window`s arn`t to bad either!   We ( well actually) Christie is reglazing some of ours. We pulled the really bad ones out of our attic and are restoring them and I also made screens for them to use in the warm months. Love your pics!

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Kim Trent


90-Minute Tour Highlights Barber Homes in Knoxville’s Historic Neighborhoods,

Including the “Restore America” Houses on Washington Avenue

KNOXVILLE, TN – Knox Heritage announces the George Barber Trolley Tour on Saturday, September 15.  The tour, sponsored by Blaine Construction and with volunteer assistance from the Junior League of Knoxville, features twenty homes designed by renowned Knoxville architect George Barber in the historic neighborhoods of Fourth & Gill, Old North Knoxville, and Parkridge. 

The 90-minute tour will be guided by Knox Heritage staff and volunteers and will focus on the histories and architectural details of the selected houses, and provide information about their prolific designer.  The final stop on the tour will be a sneak peek inside two houses on Washington Avenue, a Knox Heritage project in partnership HGTV’s “Restore America” program and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  The houses are nearing completion, and tour attendees will witness the impact of community revitalization through these restorations.

The George Barber Trolley Tour will be offered three times on Saturday, September 15 – at 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.  Trolleys will depart from the parking lot of the John T. O’Connor Center, located at 611 N. Winona Street, across from Caswell Park.  Tickets for each tour are $10.00 for Knox Heritage members, and $15.00 for the general public.  To make a reservation for a specific tour, please call 523-8008.  Reservations also will be accepted on site, thirty minutes prior to each start time, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Becky Hancock, 523-8008    bhancock@knoxheritage.org
Kim Trent, 523-8008        kimtrent@knoxheritage.org

Knox Heritage advocates for the preservation of places and structures with historic or cultural significance.  For more information, visit http://www.knoxheritage.org

# # # # #


Wow, what a fantastic site.  I have gone through evey posting.  Love old houses.  Someone posted a pic of a big old house with worn paint that took me by surprise.  At first I thought it was a pic of a house in my hometown.  It's exactly the same.  Now I know that great old house is a Barber home.  It's located on the NW corner of Jefferson and Brown steets, catty corner from the post office, Knightstown, Indiana.
Someone is working on it, trying to restore it.  It was a boarding house for many years.  I hope whoever owns it gets on with it before the house falls down!!!!

The house posted on this site is on page 5 , written by Donald Mitchell on 12-22-06.  It's a beauty.


Did barber build Dutch Colonial homes?


I guess now I am signed into this site.  It's a very interesting place to visit.  From looking at all the photos of Barber homes, I now know that my hometown and Historic Irvington in Indianapolis have Barber homes. 

Donald Mitchell

Yes Ruth, He designed one at 1620 washington in Knoxville for his brother Manley Dewitt Barber. I think these came about after 1900 so they would have been in the later catalog`s.


I wonder if anyone knows where copies of the Barber published magazine "American Homes" could be located.  My parents' 1895 Queen Anne house, having many of the trademark Barber design details, came complete with a clipping showing a more elaborate version of their house under the title "American Homes".  The clipping can be viewed on page two of this forum as posted by Patricia. Thanks!


Correcrtion to the above: That clipping is found on page four.

Donald Mitchell

Hi Scott, Do you have a photo? Always love to see another. We had another visitor last week. James Barber from Arkansas, who is the GGGGgrandson of Manley Dewitt Barber. Lovely people with a great deal of interest in their ancestors work. he thinks he will bring his grandfather sometime for a visit. At 82 he still loves to research these homes. He had some record that showed a Barber kit shipped to Jackson Tn. about 40mi from me.  As far as we know there has been no barber house in Jackson so he thinks it might have been our house. Would love to see the records on the rail shipments for these houses. the Jerihmiah Nunan house was shipped in 14 boxcars and included the draperies and plumbing.


Hello Donald.  Thanks for responding! The only photos that I have immediately available are found in an earlier posting on this site. I will post the direct links below.  The attention your home has attracted is terrific!  I am always relieved to hear of plans to remove vinyl and aluminum siding. It's great to see good work. We need more preservation minded people out there!

My parents purchased their Queen Anne home in 1999 from the family that constructed the house in 1895.  It came with a few family photos, original Eastlake styled furnishings, and the aforementioned magazine or pattern book clipping depicting an architects rendering of a much more elaborate version of the house under the title "American Homes".  I recently discovered that Barber began publishing a magazine of the same title in 1895, further substantiating the idea that the house is actually derived from a Barber design. 

The rendering shows many of the trademark Barber details and the typical massing. As you will see, the house is a greatly simplified version.  My guess is that it was not ordered from Barber but, rather, adapted from the publication and customized by the original owners using local materials and a more vernacular aesthetic. I have not been able to find any information about this "American Homes" periodical other than that it did exist. I would really like to find the issue from which this house came or some information on the publication. No luck so far!  I would be very interested to hear your thoughts. Again, thanks for your interest!



Rena Goff

Here is an abridged letter I wrote responding to a request I previously had for a location of a George Barber house in the town of Princeton, Illinois. 

For the record, the Eva Mears house is located on South Church Street and may be in disrepair, but looks as if it could be a Barber design:

Thank you for looking up Eva Mears in the directory. I hope to photograph the house in October 2007. I will try to catch its best side!

In 2005 I gathered a list from online National Register, Bed & Breakfast ads, etc. and traveled Maine to Mobile, Alabama photographing 30 of the George Barber houses. 

Along the way, people told us of more Barber houses, and we added them to the list. "Victorian John" from Seattle area and I exchanged addresses, and that brought my list of Barber houses to 402 locations. The professor Michael Alcorn has a list of over a thousand Barber houses, but we have not shared addresses. When I spoke to him, he mentioned his list was unorganized, and since then I have missed his displays 2 years running, although they came and went in our very small town of Fairfield Iowa without me or the Barber-house owner in town hearing about them! 

Merrymeeting Archives LLC sells the George Barber ebook as a downloadable file for $12 and I enclose the pictures and partial list of Barber houses with it for $5.  the link is http://www.housemouse.net/ebooks/plan0104.htm

Best Regards,

Rena Goff, manager
Merrymeeting Archives LLC



P. S. to Michael Alcorn :
Michael, if you're reading this -- do you also live in Fairfield part-time? Please post when you are having another exhibit -- we're at the edge of our chairs.  Congratulations on your new book!
Donald Mitchell

Hi Scott, I think its the same house plan, only not quite as elaborate. Barber custom designed these houses to fit his coustomers needs and I have seen some that have a lot less ornamentation than others. Think of ordering a plain 6cyl Camaro from Chevrolet and the cost difference to upgrade to a Z28. In rural areras they may have not wanted the extra upkeep required with lots of gingerbread.

Merrymeeting Archives LLC

I was hesitant in emailing out a copy I had from microfilm of the Modern Dwellings for free to past customers, because I am conservative about copyright -- and being from a microfiche in a library may not have been allowed.

So I'm glad people brought it to my attention, and feel free to write about this GREAT NEWS on the message board: 

* * * * *

George Barber's other book:

Modern Dwellings: A Book of Practical Designs and Plans for Those who Wish ... By Geo. F. Barber & Co. Architects
can be found for FREE on Google Books -- Full View
* * * * *
P. S.  Merrymeeting Archives LLC is located in a house adapted from the design on page 127 and page 239 of Modern Dwellings.

Tim Ice
Thanks to Merrymeetings Archives LLC for posting the info on the 1903 George Barber catalog. Here is the actual link: Modern Dwellings and Their Proper Construction

RE: my posts #99, #100 and #102, the Grand Anne in Keokuk is specifically mentioned in the Modern Dwellings catalog, pages 172-175 (Design #29). Its twin, the Ferris House in Rawlins, WY, seems closer to the original floor plans, especially in relation to the 1st floor porch off the sitting room (with the stairs moved to come off to the front of the house instead of the side). The Grand Anne moved this porch further back off of the library, doubled its size, using two big double doors replacing the middle window of the library bay window, and the porch stairs coming off to the rear of the house. This screened-in porch look outs to a fully half-block of open grass area that belongs to the Grand Anne estate, making it ideal for casual gatherings, a smoking area, or alfresco dining.

TIm Ice
Ooops! A correction on the link in my last post: its a 1901 print, not 1903. And its the 3rd edition.

That link again: Modern Dwellings and Their Proper Construction

Donald Mitchell

Love the plans in this book! Thanks for sharing it!

Merrymeeting Archives LLC

There is a Modern Dwellings, 1896, 2nd edition by Geo. -- it's not as large as the 1906 version, but there are additional plans and designs.

Hi everyone. I am an old house nut ... don't own one, but am fascinated by old architecture.

Anyway, there is a modified Barber #2 in the historic Boyd's Creek community (just outside Seymour, Tennessee). I say modified because the builder, Archibald Napoleon Cardwell, chose a brick exterior over the weather boards specified in the plan. Because of this, the tower is more of a hexagon shape rather than circular. He also changed the roof of the tower to a kind of bell shape instead of the "witch's hat" style of the original.

That tower roof was literally the death of Mr. Cardwell, as he fell while working on it toward the end of construction. He died a few days later of his injuries.

I believe the house was originally built as an inn, as it sits along the route of the old Knoxville/Sevierville Pike which connected those two towns around the turn of the century. The current owner used to run it as a B&B, but I don't think she does this anymore.
John S.
Greetings, fellow Barber enthusiasts,
It's a rainy day here in western Sonoma Co. California so I finally had time to read all of the Geo. F. Barber thread postings on Rena's site. Nearly seven years ago I founded and moderate an online Victorian architectural group but out of respect for Ms. Goff's hard work here, it would be discourteous to mention the name.
From the 10 pages of postings, it appears this is THE de-facto active Barber discussion group. On Yahoo there's a Barber's Cottages group which has been mostly moribund for several years. I don't know of any other discussion groups specifically devoted to Geo. Barber, which is sad, because obviously there's rising interest in his work and newly discovered examples seem to pop up on a regular basis. He's certainly one of the most under-appreciated architectural figures of the 19th century and only in recent years has Barber been getting some much-deserved attention from scholars such as Dr. Michael Tomlan at Cornell U. and Dr. Michael Alcorn at U. of Nevada
 I'd wondered when Micheal Alcorn's new Barber-themed book would appear and it looks like this will be one of the first places it will be announced. I'm eagerly looking forward to reading it. I have a copy of Texas Houses Built by the Book and there's a chapter devoted specifically to Texas-built Barber designs.
 Another reason I was motivated to check in today is I have a good friend living in Lafollette, TN who also is a Barber enthusiast. It just so happens that he was going to visit the Lafollette house today (where the town's founder and namesake lived) with an out-of-town visitor to take some photos which he promised to share. The Lafollette House is the largest known extant Barber designed house and is a custom design. It has been altered with vinyl siding, asphalt roof, and is missing some detailing but is largely intact. The town of Lafollette once had many commercial buildings designed by Geo. Barber as well but most were lost in a turn-of-the-last century fire. (alleged to have been started by sunlight shining through a stained glass window's bull's-eye roundel which acted as a magnifying glass) When I receive the Lafollete House photos, I'll try to share a few here.
Kind regards,
John S.

John's online message board is Vicarr.  Please all come back now.


Rena Goff, manager
Merrymeeting Archives LLC



Donald Mitchell
Lafollette HouseHere is a pic I recieved form Dean Barber of the Lafollette Tn. Barber house. It has vynil but still proudly displays its beautiful gingerbread. It is supposed to have 27 rooms making it one of the largest designs. Enjoy!

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Donald Mitchell

 Hi, everyone, and Happy holidays! I just wanted to let you know that we got to meet Dr. Michael Alcorn today. You can imagine my surprize as we were working on a room for my wifes home office and I was covered in  diirt and plaster dust. Christie said she saw a man taking photos in the street and invited him in for a short visit as he was also traveling to the house in Dresden Tn. You never have company when the house is clean!

Merrymeeting Archives LLC

Donita emailed me today. Her most wonderful Geo. Barber house is for sale, but not with a real estate agent yet. 

This photo is BEFORE the 5 years of GREAT renovations. 

Our little house is to the right.

Fairfield, Iowa, anyone?!

George Barber Sloca Mansion


How can I get information on the property in Fairfield Ia, my husband and I were in IA and took pictures of this house. So how do we find out if we can afford it? 

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