View Map

Living Block

Yancey Dogtrot circa 1840s

Historical Significance

This dogtrot was originally located on a large plantation to the east of town once owned by William Lowndes Yancey, who was a Montgomery journalist, lawyer, orator, politician, diplomat and a leader in the southern secession movement. As a member of the “Fire-Eaters”, he was an effective agitator for secession and defender of slavery with the ability to hold large audiences under his spell for hours at a time. During the Civil War, Yancey was appointed to head a diplomatic delegation to Europe to gain formal recognition for the Confederate State although his efforts were unsuccessful. He was also a member of the Confederate States Senate. He acquired this building in 1859 as a summer home and died there at the age of 48 in July 1863.

Architectural Significance

In the early 19th century, the dogtrot type of home was a common form of southern vernacular architecture because it was so well suited to our warmer climate. This type of structure got its name because the family dog could “trot” through the open passage. Those first generation dogtrots were log, evolving from one pen (room) log cabins when the occupant needed more space. By adding another room of the same size and connecting the two by a passageway, the family would more than double its home. This passage provided a cool, shaded open room for working, eating, and even sleeping. With the doors and windows open, breezes would flow through the house to cool it.

Landmarks moved the home to Old Alabama Town in 1979 for preservation because it is one of the few surviving houses of a style that was once so common in Alabama.