21
Oct
08

Batesville, Arkansas Tour of Homes

I visited my hometown, Batesville, AR last week to see my family and do some writing there. Folks from Batesville, including me, are uncommonly proud of their town. Being the oldest functioning settlement in Arkansas, you might think historic domestic architecture would look something like this backwoods example from the 1850s (now at Lyon College), which I love:

Lyon College Dogtrot Cabin - c. 1850s

But being a prosperous river town meant that there were more refined homes built in the “city.” Batesville is still a beautiful place even though right now there are FAR too many cheap aluminum buildings popping up on the landscape. My parents got sick of hearing me moan about them. They are the small town version of suburban sprawl, I guess, but I still hate them. Oh, and Riverside Park looks pretty skanky at the moment, too. Get on the stick city council!

The older parts of town are still very fine. For a break one day, I parked at the top of Main (beginning of the standard parade route for you homeys out there) and walked Main, College, and Boswell Streets. I tried to photograph at least most of my favorite homes.

The next few posts will be a tour of some (not all, there are actually many more that I didn’t photograph) of Batesville’s fine home and church architecture.

Garrott House – 1842

Garrott House - 1842

The church I went to as a child is across the street from Garrott House. Once we had an “old-fashioned day” at church. The entire congregation dressed up in old costumes. We had dinner on the grounds of the Garrott House. Even in the heat, it was the perfect setting.

Glenn House – 1849

Glenn House - 1849

Glenn House was not only a residence. It was once a Methodist school and served as a Civil War hospital. At one time it had a full porch across the front with double ionic columns. I love the side balcony.

Morrow Hall – 1873

Morrow Hall - 1873

Once part of Arkansas College’s (present day Lyon College) original campus, Morrow Hall is now part of First Presbyterian Church, most of which I did not photograph, though I should have. In my opinion, it is the most beautiful church in Batesville, and I’ve never even been to a service there! First Baptist, where I went, was catty-corner to First Pres. We used to all pray that our service would dismiss before theirs so tables at restaurants would still be free for lunch.

Wycough-Jones House – 1872

Wycough-Jones House - 1872

This home was originally three stories with fancy dormers and a tower. But the third floor was struck by lightning long ago and burned off (happened a lot). With its bungalow-style roof, it is probably more humanly scaled, at least in my opinion.

Moore-McCaleb House – 1872

Moore-McCaleb House - 1872</a

This house started off as a one story straight line home. Like a lot of houses it was both added to and subtracted from (by fire again) until it reached its present t-shape style. I like it’s simplicity.

Handford-Terry House – 1888

Handford-Terry House - 1888

This house was built in 1888 along with its exact mirror image across the street. They were owned by two brothers. Now they are restored to period colors. They were featured in the book America’s Painted Ladies in 1992.

If you weren’t bored by the tour, check back in a few days and I’ll try to post more.

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14 Responses to “Batesville, Arkansas Tour of Homes”


  1. October 21, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Bored? Are you joking? I say, “Bring ’em on!!!” I really enjoyed the tour Troy.
    Would love to see more photos of Batesvull.

  2. October 21, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Gorgeous pics! I really should pay more attention when I’m home. I’m missing out on a lot of cool stuff.

  3. 3 juliebelle
    October 22, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    I remember hearing that the mirror homes were built for twin daughters. the one with the darker shades of paint was the one on the shady side of the street.

    thanks for sharing.

  4. October 22, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    I think Batesville is beautiful. I love that first huge swoopy curvy hill that brings you almost into town. Love the photos and look forward to more!

    • July 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm

      That “swoopy curve” is something I still remember coming around while anticipating seeing Main Street once again, as if its a welcome and says, “Welcome Home, Earlene Brokaw!”……”What took you so long?” I love Batesville and especially enjoy seeing these beautiful historic homes that hold so much history of the wonderful town of Batesville, place of my birth, and the first little town in the State of Arkansas.

  5. 6 Carla Johnston Culbertson
    November 2, 2008 at 1:17 am

    The twin Victorians on Boswell Street were built by my great grandfather and his brother. They were in the lumber business.
    I grew up in Batesville, too. My mother, Virginia Handford Johnston, once had an antique shop at the Garrot House. We lived in the red brick on the corner of Ninth and Main Streets.
    Nice pictures.

  6. November 3, 2008 at 4:21 am

    Carla, thank you so much for commenting. I love living histories.

  7. February 17, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    My sister-in-law’s family is from Batesville. It’s been a few years since I’ve visited but it is a lovely part of the state. 🙂

  8. December 3, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    I like the valuable info you supply for your articles.

    I will bookmark your weblog and take a look at once more here frequently.
    I am reasonably sure I’ll be informed many new stuff proper right here! Good luck for the next!

  9. 10 Meredith
    March 23, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    I loved this. I lived in Batesville as a little girl and always wanted to have my mom drive me up and down those streets liking at the beautiful homes. As an interior designer now I find that I still gravitate to those memories for my inspiration.

  10. May 4, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    I am sure this paragraph has touched all the internet users, its really really fastidious piece of
    writing on building up new blog.

  11. May 31, 2014 at 1:31 am

    My father Howard Johnston and my grandparents Oza Hill Johnston and Ernest Johnston were from Batesville. I visited as a child and would love to return. I wish I knew if I still have family there. Thanks for the beautiful tour.

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