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Who was George F. Barber?

The following excerpt was taken from the George F. Barber wikipedia page:

“George Franklin Barber (July 31, 1854 – February 17, 1915) was an American architect best known for his residential designs, which he marketed worldwide through a series of mail-order catalogs. One of the most successful domestic architects of the late Victorian period in the United States,Barber’s plans were used for houses in all 50 U.S. states, and in nations as far away as Japan and the Philippines.  Over four dozen Barber houses are individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and several dozen more are listed as part of historic districts.

Barber began designing houses in his native DeKalb, Illinois, in the late 1880s, before permanently moving his base to Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1888. His first widely-circulated catalog, Cottage Souvenir No. 2, contained designs and floor plans for fifty-nine houses, mostly in the Queen Anne style, as well as Barber’s architectural philosophy and tips for homebuilders. Later catalogs contained more Colonial designs.  By the time his catalog business ended in 1908, Barber had sold upwards of 20,000 plans.”,_George_F.

Wiki page detailing the life and career of George Franklin Barber.

Wiki list of George Franklin Barber designed homes with information regarding the year built, locations, and current conditions of the homes.  Also includes links to photos of many of the homes where available.


I have started a pinterest board devoted to Barber homes as well if you’d like to check out  more of his fabulous designs.  Come take a peek at George F. Barber Masterpieces!


8 Responses to Who was George F. Barber?

  1. Sharon Marburger

    Hi Jaime,

    Just found your blog via I too am a George F. Barber fan and have found the following website to be loaded with documents on him. You may already know about it, but if not, be prepared to get drawn in! You can view images of his advertising, his monthly magazine and several of his catalogs of house plans. I came across it when I was doing some research on a book I wrote about a fictional Victorian home and still haven’t gone through everything they have archived there.

    Every time I see an interesting house on Kelly’s site, I think it would be exciting to pick up and move across the county to restore it and that’s just what you’re doing. Since moving not an option for me, I guess I’ll have to live vicariously through your blog ha ha. Best of luck to you and your family in this wonderful adventure.

    Sharon in South Florida

    • admin

      Oh wow, THANK YOU Sharon! I will go check it out! I love, and even thought I already bought this one and up and moved, I still find ones on there that I want to buy! LOL :) I do wish fully “restoring” this one was a more realistic possibility. But, as we go through, there are just things that make that next to impossible to do. The function of modern living with a family of five does make certain changes more liveable for sure. The upper level being turned into apartments at some point makes it pretty difficult to figure out what it even originally was back in the beginning. :( Since we can’t really afford to rip half the house apart to get clear down to the original bones to put the puzzle together, I think we will work with what is here for now and fix everything we can. For now, we are keeping the footprint of the house the same as it was when we got it. There is plenty to keep me busy that’s for sure! Thank you again for the link, I’ll go check it out. I never would have thought two years ago that I would ever have done this move….but here we are! Never say never, you just may find yourself as crazy as us someday! LOL ;) Thanks so much for the message, happy Valentine’s Day!
      – Jaime

    • admin

      Sharon, this is the site my husband had found about a year ago with the “thank you letter” from the original owners of this house!!!! I never did know where he found it! There is a typo in the name that they must have made it printing, as the Judge’s name was actually Sandidge (not Sandridge) but how cool is this? :) I wonder what he would say to our roof bid of $40,050? LOL! I wish I could just pay this full build price for the entire house and just get a new roof! HA! Again, thank you so much for sharing….. (You may have to type in Sandridge in the search line to be able to see it off this link….)

  2. Sharon Marburger

    Thanks for that great reply. Found the reference to the original owners! So great being able to trace history of your house like that. Not sure if you’ve come across the name Chris diMattei (also have to credit Kelly’s blog for this info). But he’s an architect with a vast knowledge of Mr. Barber’s work. When I wrote my book, I randomly picked a plan design from a book I bought on, Turn-of-the-Century-Houses. After I had finished my book, I was curious if there were any houses still standing that had been built using that plan and sure enough, Chris provided info on a house in West Virginia called AnnaMede, only one of three that he knows of. I picked that particular plan because it had a lot of bedrooms and my story line was based around a Victorian home that was later converted to a bed and breakfast. Quite honestly I had never heard of George F. Barber before that, but became an instant fan. Looking forward to seeing your progress, but I don’t envy you that roof estimate. It’s a whole lot less expensive writing about restoration than actually doing it…. :-) But I can see you have the positive attitude and vision for your beautiful house to see it through. I have a feeling this won’t be the only restoration in your future! Thanks again for such a warm reply.

  3. susan speight

    Greetings! I’m George Barber’s great-granddaughter. Periodically, I google his name and something new and interesting always pops up. I take great pride in my Barber heritage and it is wonderful to know that so many people are STILL enjoying his houses.

    Best wishes on your new endeavor.


    • admin

      Hi Susan!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! We’ve clearly been neglecting the blog while we work on projects but hopefully with the onset of cooler weather we’ll be better about getting it up to date. Our home isn’t the most ornate Barber home that we’ve seen, but we certainly love it! They just have so much more character and history than anything that could be built new!!! You have every reason to be proud of the heritage that he left behind, and we hope that more people will take the time to save the ones that are in danger of disappearing.

      Thanks again,

      Jake and Jaime

  4. Chris DiMattei

    Susan Speight, thanks for posting about your relationship to George. I would love to converse with you about George and his legacy. I have been researching and documenting his vast portfolio of work, for many years now. So far, I have recorded over 1,650 examples of your great-grandfather’s designs, built throughout north america. Perhaps we could talk some time. Please feel free to email me directly at the following email address.

    Chris DiMattei

    • admin

      Hi Chris,

      We’ve been meaning to get in touch with you as well to see if you have any additional information about our home beyond what we’ve shared here. If we can share any info that would help you, please let us know!


      Jake and Jaime

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