This fine farmstead near Snowball, Arkansas, looks like the kind of place where I’d like to spend several years– if I had a high-speed internet connection so that I could make a living.
My reference book, A Field Guide to American Houses, by Virginia and Lee McAlester, indicates that the pyramid hipped roof, in contrast to the hipped roof with ridges, can be found in styles called National and Folk Victorian. The main roof consists of four triangles of equal size, which means that the house is square. Sometimes this type of house is called a “hipped box,” for that reason. The dormer lets light into the attic.
The two front doors are common in houses of the last half of the 19th century, and there is a lot of speculation about why. My guess is that the front porch of a small house serves the same purpose as a hallway or split foyer in a larger house. I grew up in a couple of houses with two front doors and learned from my father that having an extra front door takes the urgency out of fixing a door knob. Visitors were confused: they rang the bell on one door and somebody opened the other. My mother quit baking pies in protest, and finally a screw was found to replace the stripped one that held the knob.
Two front doors helps with maintaining the symmetry of a square house. A single front door couldn’t be centered, since there’s usually a load-bearing wall in the center of a square house. So two doors keeps a visual balance.
Houses of this general structure were built all over the United States between the Civil War and 1940. There are a bunch of them in the old residential parts of Springfield, west of the square as well as north of Kearney in the central part of town.
Snowball is in Searcy County, not far south of the Buffalo River, just west of US 65. Jimmy Driftwood, the folksinger and songwriter (whose songs “Tennessee Stud” and “Battle of New Orleans” were big radio hits in the 1950s for Eddy Arnold and Johnny Horton, covered countless times by others) was born in Snowball, Arkansas and in Mountain View, Arkansas, according to successive sentences in his Wikipedia entry. His name when he was born was James Corbitt Morris, and Jimmy is also spelled Jimmie. Now this two-door thing is beginning to make sense.