by Molly Noble Bull
The Dog Run House
Below is a photo of a home in Del Rio, Texas near the Rio Grande River built in the late nineteenth century by one of my ancestors, Richard Potter, and his two sons—no relation to Harry Potter of storybook fame. Richard was a farmer, married, and the father of four children. One of the children was my grandmother.
I do not know the identity of the young man standing in the dog-run area of the house, but you will notice a stairway going up to the second floor. The second floor had a dog run down the middle, too, and every room opened onto a wooden wraparound porch on both the upper and lower levels.
Potter relative standing in the opening at the center of the dog run house.
In constructing the house, my ancestor built two wooden walls twelve inches apart and filled the space between the walls with clay from the
John Potter was Richard’s oldest son, and he worked for the railroad. A line of railroad tracks ran right in front of the house, and I was told that every day when John drove the train in front of the house, he would pull the whistle and give the family a special “toot.” Then everyone would run out of the house and wave at John as he drove by.
“My grandmother would say to her friends something like, “My brother was an engineer for the railroad.”
Today, we might think that she meant that her brother had a degree in engineering. What she really meant was that her brother drove the train.
When my great grandfather died, my great grandmother sold the place. The new owner tore down the wraparound porches and filled in the dog run, making two extra rooms.
To them, I am sure it made sense. But in my opinion, the house looked much smaller and less impressive than it had in Richard Potter’s day.
Molly's Potter relatives with dog run house in the background.
Trivia question to win a copy of Sanctuary by Molly Noble Bull: Who burned down the house in my novel, Sanctuary?
To find the answer, go to my blog. http://MollyNobleBull.blogspot.com
You will need to read the prologue and the first scene in chapter one. To post your answer at Bustle and Spurs.
Here's the trailer to my book Sanctuary:
Molly Noble Bull