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 I hope Donita's email reached you

I wanted to update you with recent information regarding my parent's Queen Anne house in Comer, GA (pattern illustration and photograph below). We are finally getting closer to understanding its origins.  I purchased a copy of the Cottage Souvenir #2 as a Christmas gift for my mother.  We have now discovered that the house is Design No. 45.  Though it is very much lacking in the elaborate detail, plans and massing are a nearly perfect match with exception of an altered service wing. Barber's homes appear to have been largely designed for more urban/suburban locations and featured servants quarters and this plan has been altered to adapt to the rural southern vernacular of a single-story kitchen and dining wing to one side of the rear of the house. 

I wonder if any other readers have design 45?  Please email me if you have or know of any other examples of this pattern.  We would very much like to compare. This has really been an exciting find!

I just wanted to include another George Barber residence located in the Thomas Square Streetcar Historic District in Savannah, GA.  This appears to be Design No. 33 from Cottage Souvenir #2.  The link to the photograph is below.

Terri Olsen

I received the email, but couldn't reply.  I am sending a note this week by US mail with our contact information.  Thanks for your help.  Terri

Donald Mitchell
That`s a pretty one, Scott! I have to tell that we started off the holidays with a real surprize. Christie and I have been doing a lot of work in the dining room due to an upstairs bathroom leak, and I was taking a lunch break in the kitchen when I heard Christie talking to some one. So I`m thinking she was on the phone. In a little while I heard her call me to come up front and when I got there it was Michael Alcorn, who had stopped to take some photos. He said his book wasn`t ready yet and that he had located over 1200 Barber homes. He didn`t stay long as he was going to Dresden Tn. to photograph the house that we found there. He thought ours was a custom design off of plan 36. He also saw a later cottage on the street behind us that was one which is the blue one pictured below.The white one is almost a twin that our friend owns and there are a couple more similar to these in town. His book should provide a lot of useful information in identifying these homes

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Donita Woodruff

Hello from Iowa.  I just spent 3 days painting a small room off the carriage port that we made into a 1/2 bath. George Barber did not design it that way but it sure is handy.  Thanks to Rena for posting the picture of our house.  It sure is fun to see people stop and take pictures of it.  Even teenagers stop and ask for porch spindles when we replaced 80 of them on the porch last fall.   Only 80 more to go.   It's fun hearing about other This Old House experiences.      Donita

Tamara Taylor
Ok, I am slower than...well, you get the point.

The prof at Cornell University in New York that is the expert on GF Barber is Michael A. Tomlan.  He is the one that wrote the preface to the revised version of Cottage Souv. #2.  There is also Richard Engeman at the University of Washington who worte a paper on Barber.  Both men were a great help to me when I had my house put on the National Registry.  Another resorce was Richard Guy Wilson, commonwealth prof of architectural history at the University of Virginia.  Also, the Society of Architectural Historians and the Fine Arts Department of Cornell University.

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Our old City Hall building here in Sheffield, IL is a George Barber building, I understand he didn't design many municipal buildings.  In our town is also a Barber home....we are trying to get a committee together to restore the City Hall and are looking for information on a possible connection between the original owner of the home and why Barber would design the minicipal building.  We have a picture of the Park City High School in Knoxville, IL and looks strikingly similar to our city hall.  Any information would be greatly apprceciated...
Chanda Keith
Does anyone here have more information on the house built by Archibald Cardwell that they could share with me, please? He was my great-great-great uncle, and I'm very interested in this.

I just stumbled across this discourse as I was doing research, and read of the interest in the Joy Mansion, now the Grand Anne Bed and Breakfast, in Keokuk Iowa. My wife and I run the Grand Anne, and fell in love with the house, both in design and history. One of the things we do is tours of historical homes in Keokuk, and the Grand Anne is of course a beautiful starting point.  I will get back soon on some of the history of the house, as well as the Ferris house in Rawlings WY, and the other sister house on the East Coast.  Iv'e really enjoyed reading so far!

Christa Taylor
Visted the Barber House in Lafollete Tn. on the !st of Jan.  It took my breath away. Did not realize who had designed it tilll just a few minutes ago. Wow! I have some wonderful pics. I was taking A walk down the block caught the house out of the corner of my eye. I was like a kid in a candy store I just fell in Love.

T M Thomas
As a child, I fell in love with a G F Barber house on E Main St in Mt Vernon, OH and can't get it out of my mind.  Three stories, wraparound porch, turret on the right (facing house), originally built for C W Armstrong about 1895 (?). 
Any information about this particular house, or link to information about it, would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you!

Alissa Gutierrez
Does anyone know if this home is still standing? It is listed as design #30 in Barber's Modern Dwellings, and says that it was a "residence at Winchester, VA."

I've tried many internet searches, but can't find any George F. Barber built homes in Winchester. I'm attaching the page from Modern Dwellings with the house's sketch.


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Chris DiMattei
As far as I know, it still exists.  It is the Baker House and you'll find it on Washington St.  Do you live any where near Winchester?  I would love it if you could photograph it for me.  Please let me know.  Thanks.


Tim Ice
Rick, nice to see the owner of the Grand Anne in Keokuk on this forum. Its right where you belong.

Found another picture (a postcard actually) of the Grand Anne online. I don't have a date for it.

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Alissa Gutierrez
Hi Chris,
Thanks for the information re: the Barber in Winchester, VA. I've contacted Preservation of Historic Winchester, and hopefully they'll be able to let me know whether or not it still stands. I've also asked them for a current photograph.

I'll let you know what I find out! I actually live in Florida, but am an ardent "Barberite."
Alissa Gutierrez
Thanks to Sandra at Preservation Historic Winchester, we have a current photograph of Barber's design #30 from Modern Dwellings.

According to Sandra, the house, located on the corner of Washington and Boscawan Streets in Winchester, VA, was built in 1899. It was built for the Baker family. Most of the houses on Washington Street were built for the Bakers – as they were quite a large and prosperous family in the town, specializing in groceries, flour, and later, chocolate. According to Garland R. Quarles' biography on William Henry Baker (the mastermind behind W. H. Baker's Chocolate), he died in this home in 1915.

The Baker mansion is currently being used as apartments and goes by the name
"The Gables." I've also heard it called "The Chocolate House."

The black and white photo was taken in 1976 and it offers the
best view of the house before the shrubbery became too tall for a clear
photo. The color photo was more recent.

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Donald Mitchell

 Cool house! How nice to have so much documentation form the beginning.

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Donald Mitchell

I located several possibles this week unfortunatly didn`t have my camera. A very grand one in martin Tn. which my attenion was drawn to by a drawing by an uncle in 1977 that he gave me as a christmas present this year. It led me to try and find the house. I found it today and it has a similar floor plan to ours on the front of the house. Also found one in Sharon Tn. thats also in great condition. The two below are in Rutherfort Tn.

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Carl J. Peters
I bought the History Channel star.  It really is a treat, they did a great job on the house.  Victorian Architecture with all the modern amenities.  Great Job Historic Salisbury Foundation, Lowe's Corporation, and the History Channel.

Carl J. Peters
It is neat to find so much chat about our home on the Net.  I must tell you all the McCubbins McCanless house was a great buy and we thouroughly enjoy living here.  Spread the word because there are many more grand beauties in Salisbury NC.

What a deal, thanks to HSF especially.

Carl and Robbie Peters owners of the MandMhouse.
alissa Gutierrez
We saw the History Channel special on your home – what a terrific renovation! You must be so excited.
Tim Hanson

Hello everyone,

As a child I fell in love with what was called the George Cromer house in Savanna IL.  Unfortunately this house was torn down several years ago but I have since been trying to discover its origins and possibly the architect.  All I have is an old photograph that was published in a book titled “Savanna Yesterday and Today” The house sat on what was called Cooley Point overlooking the town of Savanna, IL and the Mississippi river. In my research I have found this website and the work of George Barber.  While I found nothing similar in “The Cottage Souvenir No. 2”, a link posted here lead me to “Modern Dwellings and Their Proper Construction” and Design No. 23.  I reversed the image and while it appears to be close, I welcome any thoughts.  Could this have been a Barber house? Sorry for the quality of the picture but that is all I have to work with.  I hope I figured out how to attach the photos.



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Tim Ice
Tim Hanson, looks like your research is correct.  The basic design of your Savanna IL. home is #23.  Keep in mind that architects of this time allowed for customer preferences in their designs - a porch moved back or forward, walls moved, exterior changes, etc.  And just like car makers of today, you had a choice of options depending on how much money you wish to spend.  The houses in the book could come out different based on the customer's selection.

For your Savanna (IL!) home I see a different entrance porch due to the slope of the hill, different windows on the cupola, and simplified porch columns throughout.

Good research here!  There are two houses in KEOKUK, IA I want to study and I'm going back there this Easter to do just that.

Tim Hanson

Thank you Tim Ice. Since the Cromer house is only a fond memory, I will need to find some #23's that are still standing so that I might photograph them to gain a better appreciation as to the custom changes that were applied by their owners and builders. It does make sense that this would have been a Barber house given that Savanna was large rail road hub around the turn of the century and few local architects were available to the merchants wanting to build a home that spoke to their success.

Chris DiMattei
Tim Hanson,
I have a few suggestions.  First of all, do you live in Savanna?  If so, you can probably obtain some very useful info at the local library or the local historical society.  Here is how I would proceed.

Most of Barbers work was built between 1890 and 1900.  See if the Library has any of the old directories for that 10 year span or shortly thereafter.  Look up the original owner (I assume that is George Cromer) and get the address of the house.  Then get in touch with a researcher at the county or local historical society.  The more you look into the original owner the more you will find out about his house.

If you found an old picture of this house in a book, more than likely it exists somewhere in a collection at a library or an historical society.  If you can get a better copy of the house then more study can likely determine if this is in fact a Barber design.  Hopefully these tips help you in your research.


there is a Barber house that recently sold in NC...  It was the Charles Holt house, Longview.  Simply beautiful!

Margaret Kowal
In 2006 we purchased an old home dated 1901 in Moss Point Ms  we think this is a Barber house but we are not sure.  We recently visited one of his homes the Sheppard House in Mobile Alabama and the resemblance to our home home is uncanny.  Our home was built by the Dantzler family which owned the largest lumber mills on the gulf coast.   Should anyone have any information on our home we would appreciate the help.  

Thank you Margaret Kowal

Chris DiMattei
Can you post some pictures of your house?  Then the viewers of this forum can check them against the various resources we all have spread out throughout the country.  I am looking forward to seeing your house.


Tim Ice
Here is a link to a picture of the Sheppard House in Mobile.


And here is the website for the Kate Sheppard B&B


This should give the Barber fans something to work with for Margaret's request.

Tim Ice
Here is a first try at identifying this Barber design. The catalog I make reference to here can be found for download at a previous post.

'Modern Dwelling and Their Proper Construction' by Geo. F. Barber, Architect (1901)
page 217
design 3-E(?)

The porches on the first and second floor are very similar, the porch on the side of the house is there, and it has that neat little distinctive cupola on the very top. The floor plans are in the catalog, so you can use those for a further comparison.

Tim Ice
A couple of things: it's the 'Shepard' House (with one 'p'). I just want to make sure I'm accurate in my posts I emailed the Shepard House to see if they could lend Margaret a hand.

Margaret, referring to the catalog in my previous post 'Modern Dwellings', please make note of Design 37, pgs 196-197. This home is similar in exterior design to the Shepard House.

 Victorian John just called Merrymeeting, and he would like the Barber information in these webpostings to follow his uniform format of info about Barber houses, so he can compare apples to oranges. 

 I like the flavor of these postings, and have no deep urge to change anything.   But maybe he has a point.

 He asked me to post his guidelines for him, but I don't really have the time right now, or inclination, and I'm hoping he'll learn the "how to" of posting. 

  If you want to help him post, here is his contact info:

i know of two geo. barber homes...one is in meadville pennsylvania--it has the brick wrap around windows and turrets and the other, which needs work, is in sagerstown pennsylvania.  i love barber, he did such fantastic, almost a fantasy take on the victorian designs.  i may be preaching to the choir here but he as books of his designs that can be ordered from any library if not purchased at amazon.

what an amazing man--also, in that he wanted to make nice homes available to almost everyone.  in the books there are different version, some scaled down for those less affuent--my kind of person...
Tim Ice
THE LEISY HOME in Keokuk, IA. - Research led me to this house.  So I walked right up on the porch, rang the doorbell, and asked "Is this a Barber house?"  The answer was Yes.

The family that lives there told me that part of the porch was burned off in some sort of an incident, the coach house was gone, and some redesigns like the upper porch being enclosed and a garage attached.  The house seems to have had extensive renovation.

A few days later at the Keokuk Public Library, while combing through some old photos, I came across a picture of the Leisy home in its original configuration, with full porch and coach house and all.  So far I've been unable to find the Barber design number for this house.

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Jill Dyer
Good evening,

I was told today from our preservation society that our house was designed by George Barber.  It was built around 1885 and is  in Jeffersonville Indiana.  It is of Victorian design.  Could this be?

Donald Mitchell
I like the direct approach, Tim!  Thats a beautiful house and the changes didn`t take away any of its charm. 

Jill, If you can, please post a pic. We love to see these houses!
Chris DiMattei

Is "Victorian John" the same John S. that moderates the Vicarr Yahoo group?


Donita, I wanted to comment on how beautiful your house is!

I'm from Omaha, NE and I was traveling around eastern Iowa this week for my job.  I drove through Fairfield heading west on 34.  I always like to look at houses when I drive through these small towns.  I spotted yours and I couldn't help but stare!  I noticed the realty sign so last night in my hotel room I looked it up on the net and then did more searching and found this website along with a few others talking about the house.  Are you the 3rd or 4th owner?  Is the pool table still in the upstairs level?

If you could post or e-mail me interior pictures of your house I would really appreciate it.  I sent the links to my wife and she also thinks it's an amazing home.

Thank you,

Hi Chris,  John S., 'Victorian John' is not the same John who runs the Yahoo Group

Hi Steve -- http://www.housemouse.net hosts this 'Old House' message board and is located next door to Donita's house in Fairfield!  I'll wait for Donita to post to tell you about the cool interior.

We're all busy replacing our sidewalks this spring.


Sounds good.  Thanks

Donita Woodruff

Steve,          Busy spring. We just replaced sidewalk and drive way section and spent this months painting budget.  The ERA web page for Fairfield, IA shows some interior shots.  They are not the best. So I'll try to send some later.   It is amazing to watch people drive by the house and gaze up, some stop to take pictures and if we are outside they often stop to talk.  Some even want a tour.  This is a dream house for me. I have loved it since I was 12. So owning it has been a fairy tale for us.  No nightmares in 6 years so we are lucky. We even have great neighbors!!    Thanks for you message.  Donita  

Donald Mitchell

Hi, Donita. I Looked at the photos on ERA, Very beautiful home. I noticed that your staircase is similar to ours. I posted ome photos, the first is when we moved. The green is where we are still experimenting with colors before buying wallpapers. Would love to see more of yours, Thanks Donnie

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The neighbor's (Rena) flowers and red bud tree and our pink almond bush and lilacs were extra special this year.  No offers on our George Barber home for sale but we have had 11 "tours" we call them. One said "too many steps" well yes the pictures show it would have alto of steps............But we are on the fence to sell anyway after putting so much work into it. So no worries. Hope all of you, Steve and Donnie, are having a great spring.   

Hey Donita.  Sounds like you've had lots of "tire kickers".  Selling a big victorian is probably harder than a regular house.  Owning them is a constant project and labor of love!

I have to run down by Burlington this week to meet with a customer.  I'm not sure which direction I'll head back to Omaha, but if I go through Fairfield I'll be snapping some pics of your place!  I told my wife all about it after the last time I drove by.

Take Care,
Mary A
I just moved into my beautiful home in Edgefield, South Carolina a little over a week ago and heard that it might have been ordered from a Mr. Barber in Tennessee in the late 1890's. After discovering your site and spending the past 3 hours in the middle of the night in a state of euphoria, I am quite sure it is a version of plan 37 in the new Modern Dwellings, similar to the house in Attleboro, Mass, and also the Shepard House in Mobile. I have attached a picture. So glad to have found you!

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Rena G.
Hi Mary,

It certainly looks like a Barber, positively!

I looked up in the circa 1896 revised version of New Model Dwellings and there is a Plan 37B (no 37 in this revised ed.) and it isn't the same house, so I am wondering what edition of New Model Dwelllings you have (and where can I get a copy    )

Rena Goff, manager
Merrymeeting Archives LLC


Mary A
Thank you so much for the response! The reference I used was in the 1901 third edition of Modern Dwellings, a Book of Practical Designs and Plans for those who wish to Build or Beautify their Homes which I downloaded from the google site as referred to in messages 141 and 142. Do you know if there are copies available of the first or second editions (dates?) as I believe my house was constructed in the1890's. My floor plan has a larger central hall running front to back on the first floor.

Rena G.

Hi Donita!

The flowers were fabulous to behold this Spring -- I decided not to run upstairs and get my camera. Now I wish I did, for the group.

The flowers were out all at once this Spring because of the colder temperatures. The lilacs were there with the red buds and whatever the names of the salmon colored ones were, etc.

Here is Plan 95B from 1896 New Model Dwellings which I thought had similarities to my neighbor It would make a great library for Merrymeeting Archives -- just in case some funding arrived --

Rena Goff, manager
Merrymeeting Archives LLC


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What a beauty. Makes me want to paint ours yellow.   Wow, to move into an already painted Barber home makes me jealous......gorgeous

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