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Captain Herman H Colle Sr House

Pascagoula City, Jackson County, MS

The Captain Herman H. Colle, Sr. House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [‡]


The Captain Herman H. Colle, Sr. House (also known as Mrs. W.J. Colle House) faces north at 410 Live Oak Avenue, sitting equally back from the north and south property lines, closer to the west and farther from the south line. In front there is undistinguished foundation planting, and to the east a large tree and large shrub. The back yard is heavily treed. Landscaping is not distinguished. It is located within the boundaries of the Orange Avenue Historic District.

A gable-ended, one-story frame house, the dutch-lap asbestos tile roof sits over a weatherboarded and corner boarded house with water table and skirt fascia. The Captain Herman H. Colle, Sr. House sits somewhat over three feet above grade on a slightly rising site. Spaces between brick piers are infilled with open-work brick at the porch. One brick chimney pierces the ridge about a quarter of the way in from the west gable.

Exterior details indicate that the Captain Herman H. Colle, Sr. House once had a back porch its full width, but infills and additions have been placed there. There is now a small back projection at the southeast corner, the east wall of the main house mass and the east wall of the projection lining up. It has another smaller projection at the southwest corner, the west walls of the main house mass and projection lining up. Between these two projections, there was an open space. Later, construction was added at this open space and in back of the small projection, making the house a perfect rectangle.

The roof comes down on a thin projecting boxed eave. Below this, a shed-roofed porch runs almost the full length of the front. It projects in a boxed eave along the front soffit beam. The soffit beam returns to the front wall of the house, with wood infill above it up to the shed roof.

The five-bay porch has square sectioned posts, the bottom length having lost its rail, and the shorter top length set with simple open-work jigsaw brackets, one each side of each post. There are also brackets where soffit beam joins the house walls. The posts are turned in their length between rail and brackets, tapering in as they rise.

Access is by concrete steps at the center bay, with concrete buttresses whose top surface curves down as it moves outward.

Openings on the front are, first, a large centered frame containing a single-acting sash with a single top light and a pair of panels below, and a double-light transom. Full-length mullions separate these elements from sidelights with two panes and a panel below.

Placed symmetrically about the entry door are on each side two full-length two-over-four double-hung sash.

On the west side, the character of the Captain Herman H. Colle, Sr. House becomes clearer. The plane of the main west gable mass of the house extends south, the back half having a shed roof whose eave dies into the eave of the main house, the eaves of the main house returning on the west wall sufficiently to receive the boxed verge. The mass under the shed wall steps in easterly a few inches at about its mid-point, indicating a later addition, which is confirmed by the smaller skirt fascia at the back end. At this area, an open back porch starts with corner turned post, rail with rectangular pickets, and wood infill above the soffit beam. Windows on the west side are a typical two-over-two double-hung near the northwest corner, a small one-over-one later sash at about the center, then two two-over-two sash set in one frame. Farther south, under the shed roof, is a medium-sized sash. These rear additions were made circa 1926.

The plan of the Colle residence is that of a typical center-hall cottage, with two rooms to each side of the hall. The rooms to the east are joined by sliding doors and the rear room has an Eastlake mantel. The rooms to the west have a fireplace on the common wall. Closets have been added to each side of the fireplace.

The walls, as were most in Pascagoula houses, are horizontal wood boards, covered with cheesecloth, then wallpaper. This historical finish is still found in some rooms; others have non-historic finishes applied. Removal of the paper in the northwest room has revealed a chalk drawing of a Gibson girl with something like "Granuland" and "Scranton Miss." written next to it. The ceilings are 14' 6" high and of wood boards. Typical trim has corner blocks and routed face boards.

Across the rear, the 1926 addition to the house diverges from the typical center hall cottage.


410 Live Oak Avenue is architecturally and historically significant within Pascagoula's residential context. The importance of the Captain Herman H. Colle, Sr. House is based on three criteria. First, it clearly demonstrates the socio-economic impact of the port, which provided the economic basis for the construction of such houses. Second, it was the home of Herman H. Colle, Sr., a prominent sea captain who established a towing company that still plays an important role in the economy of Pascagoula's port. In its association with these two criteria, the house serves as a tangible link to the area's maritime history. Third, the Captain Herman H. Colle, Sr. House is an intact surviving example of the middle-class center-hall cottage prevalent in Pascagoula in the 1890s, which defines its historic context. It is also one of the oldest surviving elements of the old railroad town of Scranton, Mississippi.

Colle's wife, Wilhelmina Colle, acquired several parcels of land in this area during the 1880s and 1890s for the development of rental property. Captain Colle, with his partner A.F. Dantzler, purchased the tugboat Fox in 1878 and began operating the Pascagoula Towing Company after the Pascagoula River was dredged by the federal government in 1875. The Colles first lived on Jackson Street (Picketts Lane). In 1879 they purchased this lot, and built the house the following year. Colle's eldest son, Herman H. Colle, Jr., grew up in the house and inherited it from his mother in 1921. At age twelve, he went to work on his father's tugs, and in 1908 he, along with Henry and Walter Gautier, built several tugs.

Dating from 1880, the cottage is the oldest of the group of Colle houses (3607, 3611, and 3615 Frederic Street). It is possible that the Queen Anne details of the front porch are a remodeling of the house, which otherwise has decidedly Italianate details. The wood frame house is a slight variation of the center-hall cottage in that the front porch is independently roofed.

‡ Robert J. Cangelosi, Jr., Architect, Koch and Wilson Architects, PC, Captain Herman H. Colle Sr. House, Jackson County, Mississippi, nomination document, 1991, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Nearby Neighborhoods

Street Names
Live Oak Avenue