Stephen F. Austin State University

The Weaver House (January 2017)

The Weaver House

by Jonnie Miller

It is said that the dog-trot house actually was from a contribution of the Creek Indians of Alabama. They built two log houses side by side under a single roof with a breezeway between. The breezeway was used for a summer residence and for receiving company. A fairly large percentage of Newton County families came from Alabama or Georgia where the Creeks were moved after almost twenty years in Alabama. It is not surprising that some of their homes would be in the dog-trot style. Both single and double-crib or pen-houses were common. In double-crib they were called dog-trot or dog-run houses. The rooms were separated by a breezeway. Ordinarily log cabins had only a single story but occasionally attics were included. Not all dog-trot houses were log houses. Roofs were finished with boards, shakes or shingles.

The Weaver House between Hemphill and Burkeville in Newton County is one such dog-trot house. At least until 1979 it was occupied by David and Arrie Weaver. David was the last of the clan that began with John Weaver and Louisa Garlington. The home was built on the old Garlington house foundation. David was the last of thirteen children born in the house. He was born in December of 1903. He had no children alive (his only child died at the age of five). The house was built prior to 1860 with two stone chimneys and had been in continual use until at least 1979. It was a convenient stopover for travelers where they could get a good meal and/or spend the night. School teachers boarded there and the long dining table was always loaded with home grown food. The house itself was in great condition as of 1972 with only a few changes made. One chimney was removed and one room was redone as well as the old kitchen "ell" removed. Inside plumbing was added but many of the furnishings were still in use. It is a tall house on blocks with long wooden steps and a cistern in the yard.

From this house the clan gathered annually for a cemetery working and dinner "on the ground" as it was and is still called. Called a double-pen house it has a fifty-one foot gallery and a nine foot wide hall through the middle. The house itself is not a log house but believed to be made of yellow pine. The setting for the house was and is inviting and unchanged over time except that tree roots are more exposed and the wind has eroded dirt away from the bases of stacked stone house blocks. At one time there was a rope swing dangling from an old oak tree in the front yard for all the grandkids that came to visit. The house still stands but is not owned by Weaver's anymore.