Do you know what a dogtrot house is? If you live in the South, you very well might! Since I am originally from Maryland (which is still technically south of the Mason-Dixon Line…) this wasn’t a style I was familiar with. Yet I had actually been in a “dogtrot” house—my aunt and uncle’s home outside of Baltimore.
The concept today is known as a breezeway, where two separate sections of the dwelling are connected by a floor and roof, and possibly doors/windows at either end. But in the 1800s, the space was left open at either end to encourage airflow for homes in the South. Keep in mind there wasn’t any air conditioning yet in that time so building a space where the family—and the dog—could dine on hot evenings, or simply sit and work on whatever project needed doing was a huge benefit.
When my hubby and I visited Burritt on the Mountain a few months ago, I came across the name of this style of residence and decided to incorporate it into my new series.
In my Fury Falls Inn series, I have chosen this basic style made into a two-story structure. It’s also far more refined since it’s constructed of brick and stone instead of logs and chinking. The owners, Reginald and Mercy Fairhope, want to make a statement about the desirability of the inn’s lodgings and menu. Reggie strives to make the furnishings and the appearance of the place welcoming and inviting to travelers and locals alike. So he takes off to oversee the crafting of the furniture he envisions, leaving Flint Hamilton to take care of the inn and Reggie’s wife, Mercy, and daughter, Cassandra. A tall order for the young man!
I really think this style is fascinating and would evoke a sense of the past in a modern home. As well, it would allow for a cool place to hang out with family and friends without being subjected to the hot sun. My aunt and uncle’s home had a finished breezeway connecting the main house to the two-car garage. The breezeway was enclosed with doors to the backyard, the garage, and the kitchen, and windows across both front and back. My cousin and I spent one very hot summer sleeping on that breezeway. Fond memories from my teen years, let me tell you!
So, have you ever seen or lived in a dogtrot house? Would you want to?
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Innkeeper’s daughter Cassie Fairhope longs for only one thing: to escape her mother’s tyranny. But in northern Alabama in 1821 marriage is her only escape. Even so, she has a plan: Seduce the young man acting as innkeeper while her father is away and marry him. He’s handsome and available. Even though he has no feelings for her, it is still a better option than enduring her mother.
But Flint Hamilton has his own plans and they don’t include marriage, even to the pretty temptress. Securing his reputation in the hostelry business and earning his father’s respect are far more important. He did not count on having to deal with horse thieves and rogues in addition to his guests.
When tragedy strikes, Cassie and Flint must do whatever it takes to rid the inn of its newly arrived specter—who has no intention of leaving…