Emmons Cottage, a Restored 1886 Folk Victorian Pioneer Cottage in Ormond Beach, Florida
The historic Emmons Cottage is a Florida Cracker Cottage. It is near the parking for the Ormond Memorial Art Museum & Gardens. The Art Museum is just past The Casements, the Rockefeller Estate near the beach on Granada Blvd.
It is 994 square foot 2-story board and batten Shotgun style house built of Florida pine around 1885. It has two rooms downstairs and two small bedrooms upstairs.
It is called the Emmons Cottage because Julia T. Emmons is the earliest known resident, listed in 1924.
Emmons Cottage original location, on the corner of Dix Avenue and Palmetto Street, now North Beach Street.
The house overlooked the Halifax River.
The house was originally on the other side of the bridge. It overlooked Halifax River at the corner of what is now 150 North Beach Street.
‘The concentrated settlement of Ormond Beach began in 1873. That year representatives of Phillip Corbin, owner of the Corbin Lock Company, New Britain, Connecticut, visited to find land for a colony of workers. (I guessed canal locks, but no, it is decorative hardware locks.) He bought land that had been cleared for timber and named it New Britain, too. A dozen employees were moved into bunk beds in a 14×24 wood shanty with a palmetto thatched roof. They dug wells and planted orange trees.
In 1875, Corbin Lock Company divided the land into lots running east-west and put in eleven streets with four to eight lots per block. The held a drawing to distribute the lots to employees and their families. One of these families, “the McNary family became one of the most influential in New Britain.”
Emmons Cottage, a “small frame vernacular residence” was just across Dix Street from their house, which still stands at the corner of Dix Avenue and North Beach Street.
In 1881 a six-foot wide sidewalk was built on the west side of Palmetto (now Beach) Street. This sidewalk would have passed in front of Emmons Cottage. By 1886/1887 the population was 300, with a post office, two stores, a blacksmith shop and a school. Three times a week a stage coach could take you along a sandy trail from St. Augustine or Volusia for $5.
Excerpted from Historic Properties Survey of Ormond Beach Florida
In 1998, the Emmons Cottage might have been torn down. A local artist bought the cottage for $5000. She had 40 days to move it. With help from local residents, organizations and businesses, the house was moved to where you can see it now.
Newspaper reports say they began by separating the roof and the porch. The house originally stood on 12 piers, so a new foundation was built to receive the house. (I read discussion of footers, brick and block piers, but I can’t find which they settled on. It looks like piers.)
It only took 30 minutes to move the house from its original location, across the bridge, to the new setting behind the museum. The house was re-assembled and renovated.
In 2000 Emmons Cottage was further restored by the Garden Club of Halifax County with a refurbished porch and a new roof of five-crimp aluminum.
The house has been painted inside and out and furnished with period furniture.
Later heat, a ceiling fan and a window air-conditioner were added, the original windows restored and re-installed with new flower boxes.
This Victorian pioneer cottage (circa 1885) was constructed of termite-resistant Heart of Pine and relocated from North Beach Street. It was renovated by the Garden Club of the Halifax Country in 1998.
Near the cottage is a little library to share mini art projects.
Cute idea! Instead of sharing books, sharing art!
Folk Victorian Design
The cottage is Folk Victorian design. The Emmons Cottage was built by the Halifax River using native Florida Pine.
Folk and Vernacular Victorian
Folk Victorian refers to a style of American home that is relatively plain in its construction but embellished with decorative trim….
These home were usually square or L-shaped, and often sported gables and porches. However, they did not have turrets, bay windows, or other complicated construction.
What gave these plain homes their Folk Victorian nomenclature was the prefabricated trim, which was machine produced and could (and was) shipped by rail just about anywhere. These machine-made embellishments appeared as brackets under the eves of gabled roofs and as spindle or flat porch railings and trim. As the railroad expanded, it brought Folk Victorian to American small towns.
You can find PDFs online of plan books with very small houses just like this. They were distributed by architectural companies. They have a description and a drawing of each house with a basic floor plan and often front and side elevations. I’ve shared some of them.