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Old 11-12-2007, 02:57 PM
 
Location: ~Palm Coast, Florida~
460 posts, read 2,144,837 times
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Could someone please tell me what a Florida Cracker House is? I hear it on this forum and also around down here at times. I dont mean to sound silly, but I wish I knew what everyone was talking about?
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Old 11-12-2007, 03:03 PM
 
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I'm assuming it's one of the old style Florida homes...
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Old 11-12-2007, 03:21 PM
 
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A cracker house is a wooden shelter built by the early Florida and Georgia settlers. The pioneers arrived with few provisions and needed to erect shelter quickly and cheaply. The brush provided abundant supplies of cedar and cypress. Rocks or bricks made of oyster shell and lime served as pilings to keep the shelters off the ground. A wide shade porch wasn't just an embellishment. In pre-air-conditioned Florida, the porches provided relief from the relentless sun. You don't build a house on the ground in a wet area and never build on a sand bar !. Cypress was used for floors due to the fact it won't rot and gets hard with age and bugs don't like it. Cedar would be used for trim and cabinits.(bugs don't like cedar) Roofs would be made with tin to reflect the sun and keep water out. My great grandfathers house still looks great and has been knocked around by a few strong storms.It still has the same roof! If you look around cracker houses are still their. Some had to be jacked up after the pilings sank but look how long they have been in Florida. If people would have learned from the history of the state a monoslab home would have never been built south of hogtown.

Last edited by firemed; 11-12-2007 at 03:36 PM..
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Old 11-12-2007, 03:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemed View Post
Cracker house is a wooden shelter built by the early Florida and Georgia settlers. Lured to Florida by cheap and plentiful land, these pioneers arrived with few provisions and needed to erect shelter quickly and cheaply. The brush provided abundant supplies of cedar and cypress. Rocks or bricks made of oyster shell and lime served as pilings to keep the shelters off the ground. A wide shade porch wasn't just an embellishment. In pre-air-conditioned Florida, the porches provided relief from the relentless sun. You don't build a house on the ground in a wet area and never build on a sand bar !. Cypress was used for floors due to the fact it won't rot and gets hard with age and bugs don't like it. Cedar would be used for trim and cabinits.(bug don't like cedar) Roofs would be made with tin to reflect the sun and keep water out. My great grandfathers house still looks great and has been knocked around by a few strong storms.It still has the same roof! If you look around cracker houses are still their. Some had to be jacked up but look how long they have been in Florida.
I will add they were also built, there was no Home Depots around back then, from a lot of recycled stuff. I owned one and when you went in the attic there was wood with labels it that had been cut from some kind of crates or something.
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Old 11-12-2007, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Jax
8,204 posts, read 32,163,153 times
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There is a professor, Ronald Haase, who is considered one of the experts on the subject.

He wrote a book called: Classic Cracker, Florida's Wood-Frame Vernacular Architecture

There are some beautiful examples in Micanopy, Florida - just outside of Gainesville .

Here's a nice article:

http://www.oldhouseweb.com/stories/Detailed/12106.shtml
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Old 11-12-2007, 05:58 PM
 
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It is basicly a long house with a large front/back porch. It isn't unique to Florida, either. In the summer people would sometimes sleep on them as it was cooler. This was pre-air conditioning. The awning also provided shade over windows and you could open windows and get some air flowing through them.

Also, on old style houses they had awnings over windows, this helped keep houses cooler. Modern colonial/modern houses used in alot of Florida are pretty energy-inefficient- cielings are very high, windows don't have awnings, no real porches. Older ranch style houses actually seem to be cheaper to cool in Florida.
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Old 11-12-2007, 06:52 PM
 
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Check out this website for pictures of a florida cracker house

Exploring Florida Florida Cracker Homestead Photograph Gallery
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