Lost to Katrina: Farnsworth Summer House, Pascagoula (1898-2005)

Photo early 20th century, source: National Register

Photo early 20th century, source: National Register

Photo 1986, source: National Register

Photo 1991, source: National Register

from the 1918 Pascagoula Sanborn map

from the 1918 Pascagoula Sanborn map

from the National Register of Historic Places nomination, 1991:

Originally from Kentucky, [R.A.] Farnsworth acquired the Hunter-Behn Lumber Company and renamed it Farnsworth Lumber Company. . . .901 Beach was built as a summer home or beach house, as the Farnsworths lived in an elaborate Queen Anne cottage (now demolished) in town. Farnsworth owned the first automobile in Pascagoula, which enabled the family to travel between the two houses. As a summer home, the house was geared to casual living. It is only one room deep with a full wrap-around gallery, so as to take advantage of the gulf breezes and cross ventilation. The service wing is isolated, but attached by a gallery. The turned wood spandrels and porch columns are products of the local lumber industry. This decorative porch imparts a very light and fanciful feeling to the house, and is its distinctive feature.

This long, narrow, one-room-deep house is in a tradition going back to the 1830s, if not earlier. The Cottage in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, and some early nineteenth-century Natchez houses seem to be in the same vein, and the wraparound gallery suggests a Louisiana Colonial ancestry. Since neither the Farnsworth Lumber Co. or R.A. Farnsworth’s town house still exist, 901 Beach is the only surviving structure associated with this prominent lumber magnate.

. . . .

The interior plan of the Farnsworth cottage is a series of five rooms across the front, which was originally separated from the rear wing by an open porch that was enclosed after the 1947 hurricane. Interior doors have five-panels, no transoms, bull’s-eye corner blocks, elaborate casings, and Eastlake screens.

The Farnsworth Summer House was completely washed away in Hurricane Katrina.

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This post is the 6th in the week-long Katrina’s Lost Landmarks series. Read other posts in the series:

See also Katrina Survivors series:

  1. Katrina Survivors: Beauvoir
  2. Katrina Survivors: Randolph School, Pass Christian
  3. Katrina Survivors: Charnley Houses(s), Ocean Springs
  4. Katrina Survivors: Regular People Saving Their History


Categories: Demolition/Abandonment, Gulf Coast, Historic Preservation, Hurricane Katrina, Lost Mississippi, Pascagoula

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