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The dogtrot style cabin is one of the oldest buildings in the area. Built in 1828 by Joseph Rice, the home was a popular resting place for travelers passing through East Texas. Originally, the home was constructed on land about 16 miles southwest of its present site, but after being passed through the family line for years, Nancy Rice, donated the log house to the Mission Tejas State Park in 1974 where it was restored and now is opened to the public for educational tours.


Joseph Rice Sr. and his wife Willie Masters were some of the very first settlers in East Texas. They moved from Tennessee in 1828 and built their log home sometime during the decade. After obtaining 1,237 acres of land from the Republic of Texas in 1841, Rice became a successful farmer in Houston County. He lived out his life with his family of 13 in the cabin until he passed away in 1866. Willie, too, lived the rest of her life in the cabin until her own death in 1881. The home remained in the family and members lived there until 1919 when it was handed down to Joseph Sr.'s grandson John Rice; he moved the house sometime during the years of 1919 and 1928 with plans to use it as a garage or barn. After John's death, his wife Nancy donated the home to the Mission Tejas State Park where it was restored and currently stands today.

When Joseph first built the cabin, it was just one room where the Rice family did everything from eating to sleeping. Joseph passed Room 1 to John in the 1860s. John and Nancy added wallpaper, and raised the ceiling as well as painted it blue, which some believe deters wasps from building nests.

During the years of 1828 and 1838, a second and third room, joined by a double fireplace, as well as the dogtrot, a popular architectural feature that emerged in the American South in the 18th and 19th centuries, were added. According to the Interpretive Guide to the Rice Family Log Home, having rooms joined by common walls "is sometimes referred to as 'saddlebag construction' because the roof of the house sits across the common chimney like saddlebags on a horse. There are many 19th century homes with dogtrots and some with saddlebag construction but the Rice Home is one of few with both."



http://www.texasescapes.com/DanaGoolsby/Mission-Tejas-State-Park.htm http://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_br_p4508_0037a.pdf