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“Frog Level,” William Frazier House

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1852. Columbia Rd. 148 at Columbia Rd. 27 S, 7 miles west of Magnolia
  • (Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, A Division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, Ralph Wilcox, photographer)

One of the region’s most impressive antebellum frame houses follows the traditional form of the one-room-deep, central hall I-house, with exterior end brick chimneys and a central two-story pedimented portico. But the house’s size, scale, substantiality, and especially elegant portico make it a showplace with a strong Greek Revival flair. The porch features two sets of four square columns with simple capitals connected by upper and lower balustrades made with slender lathes forming a delicate diamond-shaped pattern. Of braced frame construction, the house features four main rooms, each measuring twenty-two feet square, and the central hallways on both lower and upper floors are each fourteen feet wide. William Frazier, a native of Ireland, is recorded in the 1852 tax assessment lists as owning 480 acres and fourteen slaves. After the war his land acreage had increased, but its value decreased by 10 percent.

Two theories exist about the origin of the colorful name, “Frog Level.” One suggests it was owing to the nocturnal cacophony of croaking frogs in the nearby bottoms. The other suggests the whole surrounding rural settlement was called Frog Level, a fairly common name for older communities in southeastern states. As the little settlement disappeared, the name adhered to the house as the only part of Frog Level remaining. A short distance from the house is a historical marker designating the former location of the Ferguson-Morgan Store, where the first term of the newly formed Columbia County Court was held in March 1853.

Writing Credits

Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors


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Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors, "“Frog Level,” William Frazier House", [Waldo, Arkansas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Arkansas

Buildings of Arkansas, Cyrus A. Sutherland and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018, 193-193.

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