Sunday, May 25, 2014

Decaying Quickly: the Law House, Foote, Mississippi

A handsome white wood house faces Lake Washington in the hamlet of Foote.  Known as the Susie B. Law House, it has been neglected for 5 or 10 years and is decaying quickly. The vines are taking over, but at least in spring, you can see some of the structure.
The house is reputed to have been a kit home from Sears, Roebuck & Company.  If it was a kit, you can see the quality materials and the handsome windows. A Wikipedia article cites this reference: Hall, Russell S.; Nowell, Princella W.; Childress, Stacy. 2000. Washington County, Mississippi. Arcadia Publishing. It may have been "The Magnolia" Colonial design according to I am often surprised that we drifted away from these well-made kits with precision parts from a factory, and returned to a construction method where workers cut bulk materials on site. This latter method suffers from a lot of waste material and inefficiency (and, very often, sloppy workmanship). Look at the typical modern McMansion: you consider that precision craftsmanship??
The breezeway on the side was designed to let you unload a car with cover from rain or sun.  Someone has been here in the last few years, and the pillows looked reasonably fresh.
This was the only interior photograph I could take. A sign said, "No trespassing," so I did not venture inside. The roof is beginning to fail; see how the ceiling plaster is collapsing. It was plaster on wood lath.
A little hut in the side yard matched the main house. Was it a child's play cottage?
This is the view from the front yard of Lake Washington. It is a nice setting and superb for water fowl. Anhingas and Cormorants are common.

According to Wikipedia, the horror movie, Dark House, was filmed here in 2012. I have not seen it, but look at the official poster - it sure looks like the Law House. There is reputed to be a lot of paranormal activity here. Maybe I should return at dusk and take some more photographs....

Please click the link for some photographs of Mt. Holly, another decaying mansion just to the north.

Digital images taken with a Panasonic G3 camera with 9-18mm Olympus lens, processed with Picasa or PhotoNinja.

Update: Click the link for some film pictures of the Law House.

Update Nov. 2018: a very interesting web page describes the Sears Roebuck manufactured houses from the 1908-1940 era. The variety was amazing. Another web page,, describes research into kit houses around the USA.


  1. so so sad to see things like this beautiful house just rotting away... I would love to be able to afford to fix up and live in a home such as that..

  2. Does anyone know who owns it?

  3. The house is still owned by relatives of the original owner. It is currently being renovated.

  4. 2 years since the last comment about it being renovated. I wonder how the renovation is coming and if they are going to sell the property once completed?

  5. It is not being renovated. It looks worse than ever.