The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988 Page: 549
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sands of laborers who moved there after the railroads created new job
opportunities in construction and industry.
The Shotgun House is one room wide and three rooms deep. The
rooms are lined up one behind the other with no interior hallway. There
are two theories regarding the origin of the term "shotgun." A folk tra-
dition attributes the name to the saying that "if you fire a shotgun
through the front door the shot will go straight through and out the
back" without hitting anything. In fact, however, the front and back
doors are nearly always offset. The term may also be derived from an
African (Yoruba tribe) word, "to-gun," which means "place of assembly."
The shotgun house is generally considered an African-American ar-
chitectural form that was introduced into New Orleans in the early
nineteenth century by freed Haitian blacks. Because the houses were
inexpensive and easy to construct, and because their narrow width made
economical use of the land, shotgun houses were built in great numbers
during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries throughout the
South and Southwest.
The Shotgun House at Old City Park is restored as it might have
looked when first built in 1906. Although the house came to Old City
Park with a tin roof, a cedar-shingle roof was constructed when the
original cedar shingles were discovered under the tin. Original patches
of wallpaper were uncovered when the baseboards were removed for
painting, and the wallpaper now on the walls closely resembles the
original color as a result of chemical analysis of the original paper. A
1914 photograph of the house, now a part of the museum's collection,
verifies the authenticity of the restoration. For more information on
the exhibit and other programs at Old City Park, call 214/421-5141.
Austin artist Charles Shaw has just completed fourteen major paint-
ings of events surrounding the battle of San Jacinto, including a 4 x 15-
foot painting of the battle itself. The paintings are part of the San Ja-
cinto Museum of History's current project, a multi-media production
entitled Texas Forever!! The Battle of San Jacinto, and are on permanent
exhibit in the museum's south gallery.
As part of a new educational program, the trustees of the museum
association recently adopted a proposal to convert the south gallery of
the San Jacinto Monument into a modern theater to accommodate
Shaw's paintings and the multi-media production, which is still being
completed. In announcing the Board's action, museum director J. C.
Martin noted that more than 15 million people have visited the mu-
seum since it opened in 1939, but "relatively few of them leave with an
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 91, July 1987 - April, 1988, periodical, 1987/1988; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101211/m1/621/: accessed July 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.