Several weeks ago, my friend Sandy and I visited the Duval House, the oldest house in Citrus County, Florida. It was built in the mid-1860s, which just goes to show you how recently Florida was settled.
We were given a tour by Frank Peters, a former coworker of ours, and a most interesting storyteller. Frank is directing the renovation of the house, which entails undoing many 20th century "improvements."
Frank directed our attention to this old fireplace, which is very shallow in depth, as you can see. The style was known to the locals as a "French fireplace." Contemporary Americans who buy vintage houses with similar fireplaces end up not using such fireplaces because they'll smoke up the whole house.
That's because they don't know a secret, which is that the original occupants built fires with the logs stacked vertically.
Blogging friend Jim of Road to Parnassus has sent this image of the Farris House, built on the St. Johns River. The Duval House will probably look a lot like this when the renovation work is finished. Thanks, Jim! .