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Stephen W. and Mary Blount House

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1839, Augustus Phelps; 1855, 1859 additions; later additions; 1950s and later, restored, Raiford Stripling. 501 E. Columbia St.

This small house is a significant Greek Revival building in Texas. Phelps took advantage of a new sawmill south of San Augustine to frame the house in wood and to provide the rough stock for his finish carpentry work. The house was built in five stages. The central block is the original house of 1839, a 37 x 18–foot two-room, hall-and-parlor cottage with unequal-sized rooms. The house was transformed into a Greek Revival design by the addition of a two-column pedimented portico that is centered on the end-gable block, creating a symmetrical, classical appearance despite the plan. The chimneys are set on the interior of their end walls and thus do not interrupt the pedimented end gables. The portico’s two fluted columns are Greek Doric, the house’s corners are marked with pilasters, and an entablature wraps the entire house. The entrance door is round-arched. An inverted five-pointed star in the keystone is a motif repeated by Phelps in the pressed metal of the downspout collection boxes. Inside, the two fireplace mantels were faux-marble painted by Phelps.

Based on conversations with Blount’s son, Thomas W., the Historic American Buildings (HABS) team’s architect, Charles B. Witchell, noted in 1936 that both Phelps and Blount were from Brandon, Vermont, and that the house closely followed one there. Blount may have sent Phelps to Texas to build this house for his new family. The house’s Doric entablature follows the diagram on Plate 8 of Owen Biddle’s Young Carpenter’s Assistant (1805).

Two additions (1855 and 1859) form a one-room-wide enfilade across the rear of the original central block. The east and west wings have square-columned porches of unequal bays and much simplified classical detail. The two wings that extend behind the earlier additions are later structures. Raiford Stripling purchased the house in the early 1950s and spent thirty years restoring it while living here.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Stephen W. and Mary Blount House", [San Augustine, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 55-55.

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