House Split in Half

From Secret Thoughts of Stuffed Animals, the following photo and accompanying caption:

Many years ago, two brothers inherited their father's house. The brothers were not on good terms, in fact they didn't speak to each other and wanted nothing to do with one another. They could not come to agreeable terms over the disposition of their father's house. Neither brother wanted to sell, nor did they wish to live together. Taking a cue from King Solomon, they did the only logical thing. They split the house in half.

I don't know what the real story is with this picture, but I'm pretty sure it's not what the caption says. They look a bit like multi-level shotgun houses.


Posted on Tue Apr 22, 2008


OK, even if you accept the story about the two brothers splitting the house, how do you explain the gap between the two halves? If it was one house split in two, you'd expect the two halves to be right next to each other.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed Apr 23, 2008  at  01:39 AM
"I don't know what the real story is with this picture, but I'm pretty sure it's not what the caption says. They look a bit like multi-level shotgun houses." Alex

If you look carefully at the two dwellings, it is OBVIOUS they are two diffent homes, built (most likely) by diffent crews. Too many dissimilarities between the two to be a true story, but the main points of the structures to look at??? The roof lines and footings don't line up at all under careful examination to even suggest that these two homes were once joined as one... Label this one a HOAX (as the story is currently told).
Posted by Christopher  in  Warm, sunny Florida...  on  Wed Apr 23, 2008  at  04:01 AM
Two cute, little self contained houses. Just cause a house is little doesn't make them any less of a house. (susanke's book- the not so big house, and the website, all have ideas for living in small spaces.
Posted by luci kelo yet  in  kansas city  on  Wed Apr 23, 2008  at  10:21 AM
hey.. I thought a house divided cannot stand... shows what I know
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Wed Apr 23, 2008  at  02:43 PM
Kudos to Hairy Houdini. Your comments always make me laugh.
Posted by Jackie  on  Wed Apr 23, 2008  at  05:35 PM
Shows what a redneck town i came from, but when my mom was little her family needed another bedroom so her father bought the rundown abandoned ouse next door and somehow cut a room off of it and drug it over to his house with his truck and connected it lol. I am so glad i never met my mothers parents. They are both mental
Posted by Tim  in  texas  on  Fri Apr 25, 2008  at  12:18 AM
What's a shotgun house?
Posted by Mr Henderson  in  London UK  on  Sat Apr 26, 2008  at  05:39 PM
A shotgun house is a house without a hallway in which all the rooms and all the doors were in line with each other. You can get a good idea of how wide the rooms are by looking at the front or back of the house. It got its name because supposedly you could stand at the front door of the house and shoot a shotgun and all the pellets would go out the back door without hitting anything else.
Posted by Tammy  on  Mon Apr 28, 2008  at  10:56 AM
Just for the record, I'm not claiming this story to be true. That's what I was told the first time I saw the house. I went so far as to poke around the internets a bit looking for info on the houses and found nothing. The story is certainly suspect.
That said, the roof lines and footings DO line up. I only took one picture, and they do look off, but I can assure you upon viewing the dwellings they match. I suspect that is what has given the story legs.
Posted by Chris S  in  Boston  on  Fri May 02, 2008  at  06:17 AM
Incidentally, there are few (if any) shotgun houses in the city areas of Boston and the immediate surrounding area. It isn't the style of house that is common here (or in New England for that matter).

This seasons This Old House worked on a shotgun house (,,20152647,00.html) in New Orleans and I recall them saying that was where they originated because it they were built from the planks of the boats and rafts that brought materials from the north down the Mississippi River. It was easier and cheaper to disassemble the boats and use the materials for housing than it was to bring it back up the Mississippi. (

I'm inclined to believe that there is some truth to the story because if you put the houses together, you get what looks like a common single family house for the boston area (and surrounding suburbs). The reason the roof line doesn't line up is because the house on the left is slightly up an incline - look at the yellow hydrant. It is not perpendicular to the street. Plus it looks to me like the little picket fence is on a concrete retaining wall, implying that it on slightly higher ground as the owner (feuding brother?) wanted a level front lawn.
Posted by john  in  boston  on  Fri May 02, 2008  at  06:45 AM
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