The Underwood House
223 Dodge Street
In the Area Once Known as "The Hammock"
A classic example of a Queen Anne Temple-form Homestead house, this frame vernacular home was built during the tourism boom of the early 1880's on land previously owned by Judge James Burt (county judge who helped plan the original city layout) and his wife, Fannie Horton Russell Burt (Palatka's first schoolteacher, who was accused, arrested, and transported as a Confederate spy.) This decorative style is characterized by a steeply-pitched roof forming a front gable, overhanging eaves with ornamental trusses, embellished gable peaks, and single-story porches supported with diagonal braces. Although the exterior paint has not yet been restored, if you look closely, you will see all of these characteristics in this house. Also of interest, the house is crowned with one of the few surviving examples of patterned pressed tin roof tiles.
With the exception of the tiger oak newel posts and turned spindles on the staircase, the interior woodwork of the house is simply styled and made of cypress and oak. The living room, dining room and "under-the-staircase" room are wainscoted with hand-planed cypress panels (note the original finish in the "under-the-staircase" room.) The kitchen and laundry rooms are encircled with oak beadboard.
The current owners, Dan and Marylou Johnson, purchased this home in December 1993, after it had been used as rental property for many years and had fallen into general disrepair. They are painstakingly restoring the home to its original splendor, stripping down and refinishing the woodwork, an effort they expect will take several years to complete.
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Last updated 03/27/02
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