Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Painted Ladies of Vicksburg

I'd like to introduce you to the Painted Ladies of Vicksburg.

No, not those kind of painted ladies, although they are beautiful.

I'm talking about the colorful Victorian-style houses that grace the streets of Vicksburg.

The term "painted ladies," first used by writers Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen in their 1978 book Painted Ladies - San Francisco's Resplendent Victorians, refers to the thousands of Victorian and Edwardian houses and buildings in San Francisco, that are painted in three or more colors that embellish or enhance their architectural details.

[Photo borrowed from the Internet]

Several years ago, while visiting San Francisco, I took a walking tour featuring the famous Painted Ladies, and after marching up and down the hills of the Pacific Heights area for two hours (they don't call it "heights" for no reason!), I was never so happy to get back to a hotel room.

I didn't realize that there are several kinds of Victorian-style architecture until I did a little research before writing this post. Some of the styles include Queen Anne, Folk Victorian, Eastlake, Victorian Stick Houses, Italianate, and Gothic Revival.

Although Vicksburg's "ladies" aren't all in a row, I was surprised at how many I could find by just riding around for an hour or so (you can click on the pictures to enlarge them if you would like to see the details up close).

My favorite Victorian is this huge old house which is a bed and breakfast, and is always decorated for the seasons and holidays. It is all decked out for the 4th of July, and I like the flags, but especially like the "yellow ribbon tied around the old oak tree" on the corner.

This is a view of the side of the house. I love that fence, too!

I'm not sure which category this house falls in, but I love its red, white, and blue colors. It reminds me of Texas, because of the big star on the porch.

I love this old house, and I think if all that beautiful trim was painted in contrasting colors, it would really be stunning (click on the pictures to see it up close).

This is one of my favorite cottages in Vicksburg. I love its two entrances, and it always looks so pretty during the summertime, with its pots of red Geraniums welcoming visitors. Notice the shingles on the roof ...

Here are a few more of the houses I saw during my "drive-by tour."

This beautiful old Italianate style house was probably a showplace in its prime, but, sadly, it is literally falling down now. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, it is called the Beck House, and was built in 1875.

It makes me sad to drive by it, because every time I do, it seems like it is in even worse condition.

I hope you enjoyed meeting our "painted ladies." Have you ever noticed the ones in your town? I think you would be surprised by how many there are.


Deb said...

I love your painted ladies....such detail to the one that reminds you of Texas...

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Neat, Janie!

You know, my favorite element on Victorian houses are fish scale shingles. I just love them. Vicksburg has some wonderful homes! Thanks for sharing them with us...


Sheila :-)

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

I just love the old homes, I wish more folks would buy and remodel instead of buying and tearing down and building big model monsters. You pictures do them so much honor.

Loui♥ said...

just a beautiful post!!
loved it..
thanks so much for sharing!!
I know you had such fun putting the post together!
warm sandy hugs..

RachelD said...

Painted ladies of all sorts are quite interesting, don't you think?

The Yellow-Ribbon oak has a graceful sway a bit like a teapot or a sconce, and the white house on the hill with the porch balcony---those spindles always remind me of "steamboats" for some reason.

And the lawn of that one---I always envision some gardener with a rope tied round the handles of the mower, letting it down the side of the hill, hauling it up, again and again til the job's done.

Just lovely---my favorite kind of house in the whole world.

Carolyn said...

Beautiful old homes..I don't think their character can be matched. My favorite is the one with the blue, red & gray fish scale siding on the eaves. The B&B was just grand as well.
I'm glad someone loves these houses enough to care for them so we can still enjoy them.

Kris said...

This was a beautiful post. Love seeing older homes and you captured them in a beautiful post! I can just imagine the decorations on the B&B, beautiful in all seasons. Sincerely, Kris