At the Manatee Village Historical Park there is a prime example of a house built in the “Cracker Gothic” style of architecture. Originally built and owned by the Stephens family, who lived in Hardee County, it was constructed of pine timber and heart pine blocks that were cut on the homestead. A fireplace supplied heating for the family. By raising the house about 2 1/2 feet, air circulated from under the house into the interior through cracks in the floor. Porches on three sides of the house cooled the breezes as they entered the house. A high-ceiling, central front hallway (called the “dog trot”) channeled the cooled air through the house. The pitcher pump on the back porch supplied water for the occupants.
This type of house was typical of a rural Florida home between the 1870’s and WWI.
Front entrance looking into the long “dog trot” hall.
North porch of Stephens’ house.
Front porch is shown complete with rocking chair and swing. The bunting seen on front porch is part of a Halloween party the sponsoring group was having.