Saving The Shotgun Houses of Rocky Mount – Part 1

We’ve lost our minds, you do know that, right? For instance, I feel strongly about the removal of monuments…. the editing of our history….but I’ve mostly banged my head on the floor like a child getting a lot of mileage from a temper tantrum.

I’m trying a new strategy when it comes to the preservation of The Shotgun Houses of Rocky Mount hoping to garner support and love for these structures.  I won’t ask you to carry a placard or throw your body across the threshold as I am considering.  Not unlike the monuments that mirror the complexities of our history, I hope to remind you that “The significance of the shotgun house rests not only on its unique architectural form but as an artifact of cultural memory.”  These Shotgun houses carry our stories. The nature and design of these homes helped strengthen the African-American community. Shotgun houses in close proximity and with porches helped build tight-knit neighborhoods. First erected in New Orleans, Shotgun houses have made a major contribution to the American architectural landscape.

Identifying a Traditional Shotgun house: long and narrow, one story high with rooms in a single row, with no windows on their sides. Rooms in shotgun houses are usually 14 square feet. A modified version of the shotgun house, the double shotgun, was later developed for larger families. These homes are the same style as the traditional shotgun house, except that the double shotgun is essentially two single shotgun homes fused together side by side. They share a single roof and doors that connect the adjoining parallel rooms. With a little basic information, we can now think about OUR very own inventory of Shotguns.

WATCH FOR  – PART  TWO                                                                                                                                      SAVING ROCKY MOUNT SHOTGUN HOUSES


WATERCOLOR ART BY JOHN BOLES

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About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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One Response to Saving The Shotgun Houses of Rocky Mount – Part 1

  1. pwarner4 says:

    Hi Stepheny,

    When Mike and I first lived in NOLA, we lived above a double shotgun house. Some called our apartment a “piggy back”; others called it a “camel back.” There were four spacious rooms plus bathroom. A narrow walkway led to the back of the house where we entered a curving stairwell. Each of the front rooms had fireplaces. There were large windows in each room. We were near the “Big Muddy”, so we left the windows open to catch the river breeze.

    We were two blocks from the St. Charles streetcar which Mike took to Tulane U. We were a block from Magazine Street where we shopped for old, inexpensive furniture. There were neighborhood restaurants along Magazine where we had delicious New Orleans gumbo and red beans and rice.

    We loved living in New Orleans, my spiritual home.

    Polly

    Like

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