While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Ingrid Broughton Morris
Gaines-Oliphint House
Photograph, the Gaines-Oliphint House. The house is noted for its dogtrots. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

GAINES-OLIPHINT HOUSE. The Gaines-Oliphint House is on State Highway 21 seven miles east of Milam in Sabine County. The structure, built by James Gaines on property that he acquired in 1830, is one of the oldest extant log residential buildings in Texas. The house, which measures fifty-two by twenty feet and has 2,000 square feet of living space, is a 1½-story double-pen log structure featuring dogtrots (see DOG-RUN HOUSES) upstairs and down. Longleaf pine was used for the planking, and cypress was used for the foundation beams and roofing. A staircase attached to the wall of the west pen in the downstairs dogtrot area provided access to the second floor. The upstairs dogtrot was enclosed, and porches ran the length of the house both front and back. All of the flooring was hand-planed and had a tongue-and-groove construction; the ceiling joists and base moldings were also hand-planed and beaded. In the interior of the house, the spaces between the logs were covered with hand-beveled batts. The two chimneys, one at each end of the house, were constructed of local stone and handmade brick, and the chimneys' original limestone mortar contained shell from the nearby Sabine River.

In 1843 Gaines sold the house to Martha Oliphint and moved to Nacogdoches County. About 1845 Oliphint's daughter, Fanny, made the still-legible chalk notations in the upstairs dogtrot concerning the schedule of the riverboat Buffalo, the names of the Oliphint family members, and the initials of her future husband. Two additions were made to the house about 1860. The house was bought by the Waller family in 1910.

The Gaines-Oliphint House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. In the late 1980s it was under renovation. Tours were administered by the Sabine District Chapter 33 of the Sons of the Republic of Texas.


James Wright Steely, comp., A Catalog of Texas Properties in the National Register of Historic Places (Austin: Texas Historical Commission, 1984).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Ingrid Broughton Morris, "GAINES-OLIPHINT HOUSE," accessed July 03, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ccguc.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on July 29, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...