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The DeMorse Home in Clarksville


Old House
The Texas Historical Commission documented the Charles De Morse home in Clarksville, Red River County, Texas sometime in the 1980s. This is the front of the house. Built as a two-room log cabin in 1833, de Morse purchased it in 1842 and expanded it into a federalist style, with a short gabled porch and dormers on the added second story. Note the Texas State Historical Marker nex tto the door (THC).

Clarksville (Red River County, Texas) is an old town with some old homes, and one of the republic/state's oldest, continuously used courthouses. It's also the home of one of the republic/state's oldest newspapers, the Northern Standard, which began publication in 1842. Its founder was Charles D. Morse, whose name became "Charles Demorse (or, Charles de Morse)" as he didn't bother correcting people's misspellings.


When he moved to Clarksville in 1842, he bought a two-room log cabin from Isaac Smathers, which had been built in 1833. Over the decades, De Morse hired carpenters and used slave labor to expand the house into a larger home. Descendants continued to live there until the 1970s. At one point, the home was acquired by the Red River County Historical Society and continues to be restored as funds become available.


The black & white photos posted were taken by the Texas Historical Commission in the 1980s (they are not labeled in the Portal to Texas History). The color photos of the Charles DeMorse Home in Clarksville were taken by me last year. I peaked through the windows and walked around a balmy July evening. Worth the trip, even if you can't go inside.


Bay window and dormer
Another angle of the Charles de Morse home, taken by the Texas Historical Commission in the 1980s, reveals a bay window structure on the side of the home. Note the cast iron work at the upper story windows.
Three dormers above a small porch
The back sides of houses are almost always more interesting than the fronts, and the Charles de Morse home proves it. Built in 1833 as a log cabin, de Morse added to the structure after he bought it in 1842. His improvements included a second story and a kitchen, seen here as the "add on" beneath the tree. Say hi to the lady sweeping the kitchen porch! (THC)
Decorative chimney next to dormer
According to the Red River County Historical Society, Charles de Morse was an "Anglophile" who bought English-style chimneys to adorn his cabin-federalist-etc style home (THC).
Tree stump foundation
In 2023, the Charles de Morse home is... let me calculate... uh... 190 years old! And the bois d'arc stumps used to raise the foundation and mitigate insect infestations are still there
Cross section of notched logs
The original construction of the 1833 cabin is visible because the kind folks at the Red River County Historical Society made a helpful, educational cut out for us. Log cabins stem from a northern and central European building style that Europeans brought with them to the colonies and then, to all corners of the United States... if forests were available to harvest.
Walpaper and wooden walls and brick chimney
I could only take interior photos through the window of the Charles de Morse home, built in 1833 and expanded after 1842 in Clarksville, Red River County, Texas. The house is not open for touring. The boards that you see might or might not be shiplap... not all vertical boards on walls have the grooves, regardless what certain TV designers say.

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