Tag Archives: Carpenter Gothic

Spring Villa-Opelika, Alabama

Side view of Spring Villa featuring white painting and details

On the outskirts of Opelika is a Carpenter Gothic home built by Horace King, master bridge builder, for Mary Ann Godwin Yonge and her husband, William Penn. Mary Ann was the daughter of John Godwin, the man who enslaved Horace King.

Carpenter Gothic is an offshoot of Gothic Revival. They share steep roofs and decorative woodwork that sometimes resembles lace. Carpenter Gothic is usually light in color, frequently white, and made of wood.

Spring Villa was built in two parts. First, in 1850, it was a one-and-a-half-story home for the Yonge family. Then in 1934, the city of Opelika added the rear ell with the help of the Civil Works Administration, a job program created as part of the New Deal. It now serves as a clubhouse and event space for Spring Villa Park.

The rear ell features four pitched windows.

The buildings were once connected by a breezeway, but it was torn down.

Window detail

1934 HABS photo showing the original house being restored
The staircase in a 1934 HABS photo

James Bailey House-Blackjack, Georgia

Coweta County

Located west of Senoia is this gorgeous, neglected home. James Bailey and his wife, Sarah, were married in 1855. They are indentified as one of the founding families of Coweta County.

In searching the history of the house, I discovered that several generations of the Baileys are buried in the cemetery next door, the White Oak Associated Presbyterian Church. From what I can pull together, descendants of the family occupied the house until the 1990s.

According to the 1860 Slave Census, the Bailey family enslaved 16 people, and there were 3 slave houses located on the farm. Those structures seem to be long gone.

The Carpenter Gothic details make this one of my favorite homes. I hope someone can restore the house. You can see additional photos on Old House Love and an old Redfin listing.

St. Andrews Church-Prairieville, Alabama

Hale County

This Carpenter Gothic church is located in Prairieville, Alabama. The congregation of St. Andrews Episcopal Church was founded in 1834. Enslaved laborers built this incredible church in 1856. These builders were loaned to the church by members who were slaveholders.

The cemetery contains a significant amount of ironwork and fencing. Many posts featured common symbols found in a cemetery. The upside-down torch represents a life that has ended or snuffed out. The arrows represent mortality. If you look closely at the road, you will see three leaves, and that represents the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Calvary Episcopal Church-Glenn Springs, South Carolina

Spartanburg County

Founded in 1848, the Calvary Episcopal Church is in the former resort town, Glenn Springs, started by John B. Glenn who had a mineral spring on his property. This Carpenter Gothic church was built in 1897. It lists as part of the Glenn Springs Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.