Tiny housing is not just a popular current trend. Tiny houses, known colloquially as shotgun houses, of Apalachicola and the Gulf Coast area of Florida helped shape the area in a time when commerce and the port lifestyle was flourishing. These utilitarian homes were created to be practical and cheap, and have now become a symbol of our little corner of Florida.
Preserving and Embracing Apalachicola’s Rich Legacy
Shotgun homes sprang up in the early 1900’s as homes for mill workers along the Gulf Coast. The homes were built to be simple and straightforward. Each home had three rooms: the living room, kitchen and bedroom. The floor plan was not fancy, with one flowing into the other. The term shotgun home was coined because if you left the front door and the back door open, a shotgun blast could go through the home and not hit a single wall. More simply, a shotgun home was designed with oversized windows and when everything was open a nice cooling breeze would flow right through the home.
In the mid to late part of the 20th century, shotgun homes fell out of favor. These homes were too simple, too boring and were not thought of as adding to the aesthetic of the neighborhood. Many homes of this style were demolished. Homes were abandoned and the lush Florida fauna took over. Today there is a revitalization of these kinds of homes and the shotgun homes along the coast of Florida are being preserved and celebrated for their simple luxury and artistic efficiency.
PEARL’s Shotgun Houses
Not only a part of Florida history, but a part of Americana, the shotgun homes are a part of the Pearl’s latest exhibition. This local non-profit is made up of dedicated individuals working to preserve the rich history of the area, the people who settled here, and the way of life that made our little neck of the woods what it has come to be today.
When you are staying in the area at one of the fantastic St. George Island Resort Vacation spots, take a day to tour the area and see some of the restored historic homes. Once covered by brush and perhaps fallen into a bit of decay, the shotgun homes of Florida are being restored and being lived in and loved by families that may not otherwise have a place to live. Walking tours, photo exhibits, and interactive maps will help you navigate through the once booming mill town that helped our area flourish.