What Would The Front Porch Looked Like Back In 1920

by Annamayo2001
Hubby and I just bought this house. It is on the National Historical Register, built in 1920 by Judge Joe Ralls and we have seen the work, inside and out, needing to be done. I an see that it was grand in it's day and can be again. My thing is, the first thing people see is the front of the house and that porch with the RED door (lol). The porch is just screaming for help and I would love to give it the original 1920's look again. Any suggestions???
  28 answers
  • Ennarual Ennarual on Aug 16, 2017

    I think there should be a railing. Also, porch furniture should move- swing, rocker, table on wheels etc.

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    • Isobel Allan Isobel Allan on Aug 16, 2017

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  • This is a beautiful house. You can use Dixie Belle Paint inside and outside to revamp this older home into a modern masterpiece.

  • Barb Brown Barb Brown on Aug 16, 2017

    I can't see the details, but is that asbestos siding or cedar shakes? I think that would have to be addressed first as asbestos is hazardous waste and needs to be professionally removed. But, yes a ornate railing and beef up the posts (maybe) with some corbels.

    • Annamayo2001 Annamayo2001 on Aug 16, 2017

      I did see where in 1979 a description in getting the home on the National Historical Records stated asbestos siding, but home inspections since have not said anything about asbestos. So my fingers are crossed that its not because, sadly, I've already been exposed to asbestos. I was thinking a railing too, but didn't think about beefing up the posts, I'll look into that.

  • Alyssa Alyssa on Aug 16, 2017

    Whatever you do with the rest of the porch, I hope you'll paint the ceiling "haint blue," that lovely light blue-green that's supposed to protect those in the house from restless spirits. It's not only good luck, it's also on trend. Sherwin Williams "Rainwashed" is a lovely color.

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    • Annamayo2001 Annamayo2001 on Aug 17, 2017

      Karen, right now the ceiling of the porch is this horrid super dark forest green..But I'm definitely going to go with Alyssa's thing on the Haint Blue to ward off "uneasy spirits" (due to hubby's horror movies) and the good luck, cuz good luck has been something Ive never really had. (lol).

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Aug 16, 2017

    The house is gorgeous, I would research "porches from the 1920's" on-line and download photos of porches you love. Then I would pick out the features you love and would work with your house. I would do it little by little until it is exactly the way you want it. It is too hard to give advice from this one photo and you want it perfect so doing research is what I would do.

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    • Annamayo2001 Annamayo2001 on Aug 19, 2017

      Thanks Teri, Ive never even heard of or know about "old house forums" or Kelly@oldhousedreams. But will definitely check it out!!

  • Ptrish Ptrish on Aug 16, 2017

    i love the house and I love porches so i would prob go large... any chance of looking st old town records to see if pics

    • Annamayo2001 Annamayo2001 on Aug 16, 2017

      This grand puppy is in Atoka Okla. ( the center of Choctaw Nation). I need to take myself down to the courthouse to see if they still might have anything on it. I have google the town archives and nothing. I've google Judge Joseph G. Ralls house ( Joe Ralls House/Home) and not got much. So my only hope is with the courthouse. Supposedly his daughter Marie is still alive and was the one living in the house in 1979. She MIGHT have pictures...if she can be located at this time.

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Aug 16, 2017

    I know you will

    Keep in touch!

    • Annamayo2001 Annamayo2001 on Aug 16, 2017

      As I do things to the house I will post pictures here. I just set up my account page on this site. Wasn't sure I'd like this site so I didn't set anything up, but I think I will like this page as much as I like Pinterest.

  • Ben27899473 Ben27899473 on Aug 16, 2017

    I would look for old photos or some type of historical description of your beautiful home.....

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Aug 16, 2017

    I'm new but so far I like it 😉

    • Annamayo2001 Annamayo2001 on Aug 16, 2017

      I wrote out my profile thing this morning (I'll probably edit it later again and again.. lol) but it made me stop and think..I dropped 4 other sites for this one and Pinterest because these two are so much more than those 4. So yes I like...love it.

  • Annamayo2001 Annamayo2001 on Aug 16, 2017

    Ohhhh Benttree79,'ve spent so many hours trying to find old archived pictures of this house or descriptions my fanny feels like it has formed to this chair!!  The only thing I have found is the description and I think it was 5 pictures from 1979 from when it was being submitted to be registered for the Historical Records. And the pictures from 1979 show some sparse, unkept hedging around the house and in front of the porch and there was three lawn chairs on the porch. It shows a big AC unit right in the big middle of the bay windows. (The wiring has all been redone since 1979, now there is no electrical outlet by the bay windows). I was thinking about putting some kind of greenery around the house and in front of the porch, but I've been told coral snakes are bad in this area and so are black widow and brown recluse spiders. I think I want to go with some kind of shrubbery that produces some kind of pretty blooms every year, you know. Not some plain bushy hedge. And NO AC units are going into the Bay Windows, the Christmas tree, yes..lol. I will be taking myself to the courthouse to see what they have on the house, hoping I get lucky.

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    • Annamayo2001 Annamayo2001 on Aug 17, 2017

      The posts are in excellent shape, No rot! (Thank God.). Hydrangeas..your right, those would look beautiful out front. I was also toying with Moon Flowers, but I see those are a climbing, vining plant. My dad gave me a bunch of Moon Flower pods before he passed away, so I do want to get those going somewhere on the property.

  • Pat Ruge Pat Ruge on Aug 16, 2017

    I hate to sound like Captain Obvious, however, I can't help but wonder if you have checked the attic? Oftentimes, previous occupants leave things behind and pictures is one of them, if they do.

    • Annamayo2001 Annamayo2001 on Aug 16, 2017

      No, Don't think your sounding like Capt. Obvious!! But if there had been anything up there the previous owner got it when he went up and redid all the beams and insulation. We were hoping he could give us info on the house. Somewhere in the timeline of the house being built in 1920 and 1979 the tower/turret was sealed off and my hubby wants to reopen it with a staircase. That is going to be his thing and I know I'm going to get tossed in on some of the work. We were hoping that the previous owner could tell us if he had seen the opening of a staircase up there, but he only owned it for 3 yrs. as a rent house and when the renter left they had been hearing horror stories about renters and renter damage and they felt fortunate that their renters left with just scratching the hardwood floors. So he and his wife decided they didn't want to rent again and run the risk of getting "bad renters" so they put the place up for sale and that's when we got it.

      I would LOVE to see pictures of how that house was back in its hayday. From what Ive read, this house was built when Judge Ralls was married to his 2nd wife. They had 10 children, only 4 living to adulthood, 2 dying before their second birthdays, I noticed one dying at 17. But Judge Ralls was a "busy" man because he had a lot of children by his first wife as well (lol). I'm sure that tower was built for and used by Judge Ralls for peace and quiet.

    • Annamayo2001 Annamayo2001 on Aug 17, 2017

      Thank you Sharon. These were very interesting to look at, especially the ones from google.

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    • Annamayo2001 Annamayo2001 on Aug 19, 2017

      These pictures are pretty cool. I'm thinking about going with a Patriotic blue, white trimming and maybe a lighter blue on the fish scales. All I know is this greyish color and deep dark forest green has to go!! lol.

      MMM, I have found that Okies (I can say that) are Notorious for keeping things confusing.

  • Meghan Henderson-Mans Meghan Henderson-Mans on Aug 17, 2017

    Beautiful, I would suggest doing the porch around the side too almost an l shape from the door and up on the right side. Will really add more space for those lovely swing set and beautiful wicker chairs.

    • Annamayo2001 Annamayo2001 on Aug 17, 2017

      MMM, I hadn't thought about wrapping the porch around the side. That's one way to cut down on the mowing. I mean seriously, we ARE looking for ways to cut down on the mowing of this ALMOST one acre piece and adding an addition 4 to 5 feet out to the right side would be one way. That's a great idea Meghan!! Thank you.

    • Annamayo2001 Annamayo2001 on Aug 17, 2017

      I love the Wicker furniture she used. I'm more of a Wild West Frontier/ Pioneer Woman myself and we just happened to fall into this house. My thoughts on it were "I guess the Good Lord meant for me to be a more 'Turn of the Century Woman' instead..lol. But wicker has always stuck out in my mind as a 1920ish kind of furniture/ item, ie: like the 1920's wicker baby buggies and stuff. Don't get me wrong, I love wicker and will probably use a lot of it thru out the porch and house. Thank you so much for this link.

  • Jan Loehr Jan Loehr on Aug 17, 2017

    I have not read all of the comments on here, but just thought of something...if the house is on the Historical Register, can you paint and renovate any way you please or do you have to follow certain colors and styles to restore it to its original look? You may want to check that out before you do anything...

    • Annamayo2001 Annamayo2001 on Aug 17, 2017

      According to the relator we can "do what ever we want"!!! But we are wanting to keep it as original as it was anyway. I'm wanting to get to the court house and see if the Blue prints to the place are still there.

  • Dande,OR Dande,OR on Aug 17, 2017

    I hadn't noticed if you mentioned if you did any research at you local library. Since the original owner was a Judge one would think his building a house may have made the newspaper,

    • Annamayo2001 Annamayo2001 on Aug 17, 2017

      Thank you. No I had not mentioned or even thought of the library. Amazing and sad how such a valuable tool as the library is so quickly and easily forgotten. Again, Thank you for that reminder.

  • Jessie Jessie on Aug 18, 2017

    First of all, congratulations, and I am sooo jealous! It is beautiful and I hope you have many years of happiness and peace in your new home !

  • Sharon Sharon on Aug 18, 2017

    I would plant a nice row of Marigolds, they repel snakes




    Well have fun redoing your new Victorian house, I used to do this when I was young and working my way through art school. Working on Victorians was always my favorite. I especially loved all the ornate wall papers and restoring all that fabulous woodwork, and lighting fixtures. Keep us posted when your are doing your projects.

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    • Sharon Sharon on Aug 19, 2017

      LOL, I live on the coast, no wagon wheels here, but they did have lots of ships in there day and a few of the wrecks still exist. And the only farms/ranches are up in the valleys. But I have lived that off-grid lifestyle in Canada for many years as a wildlife biologist. Its long hours and lots of hard labor, and I'm too old for that sh*t anymore. Plus you get sick of having 2 hours of daylight a day for many long winter months.

      Personally I would plant as many flowering shrubs as possible. And many Victorian gardens did, most I've seen have wonderful peony, hydrangea, rhododendron, azalea, butterfly, camellias, roses, fuschia bushes, I like the sound-deadening quality, the height for privacy, and there relative ease of care, Flowering trees like lilac, dogwoods, cherry trees and other fruit trees. And once their established not too much watering. The deer love my yard and don't eat much except the grass and I have so many birds and permanent resident population of hummingbirds. Some of these plants are rescued from properties where they were tearing down houses or bulldozing land to build, and my neighbor sure has let me take cuttings of her shrubs and roses. If you join a local plant group, they all share cuttings and baby plants. My friend just built the most beautiful fern garden with many types of ferns under huge douglas firs with a reclining buddha she brought back from Thailand.

  • Michelle Michelle on Aug 18, 2017

    If the house is on the historical register they should have pictures of the house back in the day also some communities offer grants to homeowners for fixing up historical home, try city clerk for pictures or the oldest living person in the neighborhood for pictures

    • Annamayo2001 Annamayo2001 on Aug 19, 2017

      My aunt lives in Roanoke Va!!!!

      I'm definitely going to take a trip to the court house.

      We wont do the grant thing..hubby and I will just take one room at a time, keeping the house as original as we can.

  • Molly Anmar Molly Anmar on Aug 19, 2017

    Your home is still on Zillow. What a nice interior. LOVE the stained glass!

    The kitchen's a little odd, isn't it?

    Have you tried the local newspaper archives, the Oklahoma Historical Society or the Atoka County Historical Society for photos of the home? The Atoka Historical Society published a book (with pictures) called Tales of Atoka County Heritage that might be helpful. If you can't view the book at the Society, give the local library a try.

    Here are some archives about Judge Ralls: https://okhistory.cuadra.com/starweb3/l.skca-catalog/servlet.starweb3


    • Annamayo2001 Annamayo2001 on Aug 19, 2017

      Hi again Molly..

      yes the house is still on Zillow and Ive talked to the relator whom I am beginning, no I AM miffed with! She isn't taking off Zillow yet, her HUGE sign is still in our yard (its not some reg. size realty sign..this is almost billboard size) AND she was NOT all on the up and up with us about the house. Let me set stuff right..The House is BEAUTIFUL, it SOLD ITSELF, she could have stood out on the porch and kept silent. But she rushed us thru the house and then off to go sign paperwork and me writing her a check. But there were things hubby and I never even noticed about the house until we took possession. Those sliding doors between living room and dining room..she only slid one of them half way out and then slid it back and said "Well they all work" And she talked real fast so hubby was catching half of what she said and I was catching the other half. Those sliding doors..ONLY the one that she slid half way out was the only one that slid and only half way out, the other door and the other set DO NOT work, they are so stuck I'm thinking they have been nailed in place. I am NOT happy with her. She listed the house with 10ft ceilings..WRONG, the ceilings are 12 ft and the windows are 8ft. The house sold itself, not her, she truly knew very little about the house. Then she took off on some vacation before finding out if everything had been done and taken care of and come to find out hubby and I and the mortgage company were all waiting on her to get the appraiser over to the house and get that taken care of and she hadn't even bothered till I called her when she got back and she KNEW I was not happy with her. But we are thrilled with the house!!

      Yes the kitchen is odd. The 3rd bedroom is off the kitchen and we call that our kitchen annex because that's where we have our fridge and deep freeze at (lol) because the kitchen has been kept in its original state there is no room/ wall space for a fridge. Back in that locale is where the chimney is at so I'm assuming at one time they did the old fashioned wood cooking in the kitchen. But its a BIG kitchen and I love the walk in pantry, that is AWESOME! I LOVE IT because I spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen.

      Thank you again for the links. I am an avid Amazon shopper and will probably buy that book.

  • Teri Teri on Aug 19, 2017

    Here is a pic of our old porch.

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    • Annamayo2001 Annamayo2001 on Aug 21, 2017

      Thank you Teri..and I hope you and yours are enjoying your ranch.

  • Granny Laura Granny Laura on Aug 19, 2017

    What an exquisitely beautiful house! When you're done it will be the queen of the neighborhood. If you have the time at Christmas, I'm sure there are many of us who would LOVE to see a photo of your Christmas tree in the bay window.

    Good luck!

  • Annamayo2001 Annamayo2001 on Aug 19, 2017

    Oh wow, living on the coast I'm sure is beautiful!! I'm going to be working to get the hummingbirds to come back. Hubby and I love to sit and watch the hummingbirds, its like therapeutic. There were at one time 4 other types of fruit trees on the property, I don't know if they were just chopped down for the hell of it or if they got damaged/blown away in the normal tornadic weather we get here, but more fruit trees will be planted to go along with the peach tree that's already here. The magnolia trees are plentiful on the property and are beautiful in bloom.

    I'm too old to be totally off the grid and due to Oklahoma heat and health issues I have to have the AC in the summers or I cannot breathe. LOL, yeah, living off the grid is definitely a lot of work. I have never been to Canada, but I'm betting its gorgeous and jaw dropping in some places. Then outright frigid in others..and then just like the US in most places. Maybe one of these days I will get up that way and see what Canada is all about.

    Flowering shrubs is what I'm wanting to plant around the house and porch, the ones that are easy to take care of and that Oklahoma heat wont kill. I'm thinking azaleas was one that my dad used to grow tons of.

    I hope you don't mind, but I clicked your name and am following you. That way if I have any flower questions or wall paper questions I can just shoot you a message.

  • Deb K Deb K on May 12, 2023

    Hello! What a gorgeous home! Hope this helps you out. You will want to add a railing and some fresh whit paint, I attached a gorgeous image to inspire you!

  • Mogie Mogie on May 16, 2023

    If you want to be authentic to your area go to a local museum and check out pictures of homes from that time.