Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 10: Built Environment


Country Cottage (Practice House, Model Home), 1922 – present
Valuation in 1926 – $1,557.34


Country Cottage (Practice House, Model Home) Facade. 2014. [P1050524.jpg]

Record Type:  Built Work
Practice House Homemaker arts residential house for girls
Titles:  Country Cottage
Practice House
Model Home
Construction Date:   1922-1923
Catalog Level: Item
Work type:  residential structure
Classification: architecture
Creator:  Hook, Mary Rockwell, died 198xx. Architect
Location current: Pine Mountain Settlement School, Harlan County, KY. USA
Display Materials:  Wood and igneous rock [ (Materials Facet, Materials (hierarchy name), materials (matter), <materials by composition>,
Dimensions: unavailable
Rooms:  9
Construction cost: unknown
Events:  Remodeled 1927 ; 1951; 1952; 1960’s [?]
Style/Period/Group/Movement: Rustic
General subject:  Architecture
Subjects: Settlement Schools ; model homes ; homemaking ;

Country Cottage, also called Practice House and first referred to as “Model Home,” was important to the educational plan that Katherine Pettit had for the School. Evelyn Wells in her early history of the School describes its beginnings in 1920.

Country Cottage (Practice House, Model Home). Facade from below. [II_7_practice_house_310.jpg]

“The “model home” was started this week (later “Country Cottage”). It’s a tiny plank cottage, to be papered with newspapers, etc., and furnished as simply as a mountain home, where the domestic science teacher will live with a couple of girls and keep pigs, chickens, and a cow. Garden too, of course. money ($1000.) given by the Southern Industrial Eduation Associaion in New York. 

It was Pettit’s intent to provide a model home that might inspire the community to improve their physical environment. She even laid out plans for similar homes that might be built in the community. Two lots of lumber were measured out “according to the Country Cottage plan” (source not disclosed) and were then to be sold to community families.The idea was only partially successful. The house and the terraced gardens were copied by only a few families in the area.

The country cottage model home at Pine Mountain Settlement School was begun in 1920 and competed in 1923. It was then remodeled in 1927. It became a staff residence in 1940, and was then remodeled again in 1952 with the additon of a bathroom and new bedroom addition on the first floor. Today the building continues to be a staff residence and serves as a dwelling for various interns at the School.

The funding for the original construction donated to the School by the New York Auxiliary of the Southern Industrial Educational Association was a testimony to their president, Mrs. Algernon S. Sullivan, who had gained a national reputation for her work in the Southern Appalachians. Evelyn Wells, a staff member at Pine Mountain, in her gathered letters and history of the School, describes the house in this manner:

Our Country Cottage aimed to show them [the girls at Pine Mountain] what was good about their own methods, and to introduce to them others that they badly needed to learn. Some ideas with which we started had to be abandoned, such as well with water running by gravity to the kitchen sink because we could not strike water …

This creative planning is what the SIEA aimed to foster but often lack of knowledge of communities prevented full implementation of ideas. The industrial workers brought to the School had varying success in adapting thier own training to the local needs.

Cornelia Walker, a Cornell graduate, was the first Domestic Science teacher in 1922-1923, and was the first hostess of the home. There followed Mrs. Seidlinger, Mary Work, Annette Van Bezey, and in 1926, Marguerite Emerson. During Mrs. Emerson’s regime (as Evelyn Wells described it) the name of the Home was changed from the Model Home to the Country Cottage. Evelyn Wells continues:

No attempt is here made to estimate what this building has meant to the groups of girls who three at a time have spent six weeks in the Country Cottage, cooking, living on a carefully worked out budget, caring for the cow and selling its milk, and entertaining, under the guidance of the housemother. The garden was also important, and a summer worker has usually (and with varying degrees of success) canned its produce for the family’s winter consumption.

Evelyn Wells noted with some regret that, “… as a neighborhood house it has not become the center that was one of its ideals at the first.” Yet, while the home only accommodated three girls at a time, the impact on those three girls was profound and had a lasting effect on their direct contacts in the surrounding community.

The following guidelines are typical of the type of counsel given to a select group of girls who were chosen to participate in the “practice” of good home maintenance. While the following instructions were for a girl’s Home Economics class in 1934 under the guidance of Miss Smith, they reflect the combination of formal rules with hands-on practice, common to “Practice House.” Here, the girls are making menus for the day and testing them by defined rules:

1. Distribute the protein, carbohydrates and fats equally throughout the day.
2. Do not serve the same food twice in one day.
3. Do not serve more than one strongly flavored food at a meal.
4. Balance the soft, solid, and crisp foods.
5. Do not serve several acids or sweet foods at one meal.
6. Season foods mildly, but tastily.
7. Serve left-overs in a new form and always attractively.
8. Greasy meats and vegetables and poorly seasoned foods are not appetizing.
9…Include daily —

(a) One quart of milk for each child and one pint for adult.
(b) Two vegetables besides potatoes. (one raw)
(c) Two fruits. (one raw)
(d) Whole cereal in some form.
(e) One egg and a serving of meat for an adult.

10. Serve light desserts, as fruit or milk pudding, with heavy meals.
11. Serve heavy desserts, such as pie or cake, with light meals.
12. Serve only one relish or jam at a meal.
13. Avoid serving colorless meals.
14. Plan simple meals.
15. Consider the cost carefully.

Recipes from the February 1934 issue of The Pine Cone, a Pine Mountain School newsletter describe some of the culinary instruction the girls received:

A variation of the well-known old favorite:

Spider Corn Bread

1 3/4 cups milk
1 egg
1 cup corn meal
1/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon fat

Beat egg and add one cup milk; stir in corn meal, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder which have been sifted together; turn into a heavy, new frying pan in which the fat has been melted; pour in remainder of milk but do not stir it. Bake about twenty-five minutes in a hot oven. There should be a line of creamy custard through the bread. Cut like pie and serve hot.

Liver Loaf

One way to make a popular cut of the animal go ’round!

1 1/2 lbs. liver
1 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup melted fat
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 onion — chopped

Pour boiling water over liver. Let stand five minutes. Drain and chop fine. Add all other ingredients, mix thoroughly and shape into loaf. Put into greased baking dish, or lay strips of salt pork or bacon on top, add one cup water, bake one hour. Add one cup tomatoes or tomato soup fifteen minutes before taking from the oven.





Practice House

Alt. Title

Country Cottage ; Model Home ;




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY

Alt. Creator

Ann Angel Eberhardt ; Helen Hayes Wykle ;

Subject Keyword

Practice House ; Country Cottage ; Model Home ; Pine Mountain Settlement School ; Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Katherine Pettit ; community ; lumber ; terraced gardens ; remodeling ; staff residences ; intern residences ; gifts ; donations ; New York Auxiliary of the Southern Industrial Educational Association ; Mrs. Algernon S. Sullivan ; Southern Appalachians ; Evelyn Wells ; Cornelia Walker ; Cornell University ; Domestic Science ; teachers ; hostesses ; Mrs. Seidlinger ; Mary Work ;  Annette Van Bezey ; Marguerite Emerson ; cows ; budgets ; cooking ; entertaining ; housemothers ; gardens ; canning ; guidelines ; home maintenance ; instructions ; Home Economics ; Miss Smith ; hands-on practice ; desserts ; meals ; recipe ; porches ;

Subject LCSH

Practice House (Country Cottage) — Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History. Architecture — Pine Mountain Settlement School. Pine Mountain Settlement School (Pine Mountain, Ky.) — History. Harlan County (Ky.) — History. Historic Buildings — Kentucky — Appalachia. Rural schools — Kentucky — History. Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.




Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY




Collections ; text ; image ;


Original and copies of JPG images, documents, and correspondence in file folders in filing cabinet


Series 10: Built Environment (Physical Plant)




Is related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School Collections, Series 10: Built Environment (Physical Plant) ; Kentucky Virtual Library collections <> [searchable] Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives <> Transylvania College Archives <> Univ. of KY Appalachian Archives <> National Historic Landmarks Database <>

Coverage Temporal

1922 – present

Coverage Spatial

Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ;


Any display, publication, or public use must credit the Pine Mountain Settlement School. Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.




Core documents, correspondence, writings, and administrative papers about Practice House (Country Cottage) ; clippings, photographs, books about Practice House (Country Cottage) ;


Constructed 1922 – 1923


“[Identification of Item],” [Collection Name] [Series Number, if applicable]. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.

Processed By

Helen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;

Last Updated

2013-09-18 hw ; 2014-05-20 aae ;



The Pine Cone. Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. (April 1934):3. Internet resource.

“Practice House (Country Cottage).”Series 10: Built Environment (Physical Plant). Pine Mountain Settlement School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY. Archival material.


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