Dutch door: Top and Bottom Back Doors were plentiful in Belize City, our Towns and Rural Areas long ago
Top for ventilation and bottom for pet access. Lots of village homes had it at kitchen doors. Top and bottom especially for the kitchen to keep out the chickens and other animals. Neighbors would bring you in through the back door, or if you came you could only call out because the top was open and they spoke to you through the open top part. Oddly enough this is still a common door in the UK.
The paint can near the entrance was probably used to hold crowns or "stoppers" from the carbonated soft drinks or beer that they sold.
If you look closely there is what looks like a bottle opener on a string hanging from the door hinge. These types of doors are on most of the B.S.I. Tugboats. These Tugboats are used to tow (Pull) the Sugar and Molasses Barges.
so very practical - we use them to keep people out but airflow in!
This was our realities,,All home,
Look at the string tying the door
This shows the resiliance ,determination and endurance of our people,,
Reasons could be
1 lack of resources,like Lumber
2,Easier it have the baby and younger children keep safely inside
3 to allow light inside the house while the bottom part keep rain out
maybe privacy,,and their furniture clean from dust
Or easier to see and converse while the kids play inside,
It's a beautiful picture showing how strong we are as a nation
Mostly those doors kept the hens out the house,They are always inside
pecking at scraps or on the table,Followed by the dogs,,
Lynda Stutts Russell:
It's called a Dutch door. We had one when I was growing up . Ours had a small shelf built onto the top of the lower door & the milkman could leave the milk there when he made his rounds. Always loved that door.
My grand dad told me that the porpose of those doors that where split in two pieces was for many reasons, here are two of them, 1. if the top piece was open, your family and friends will know that someone was inside also your neighbours will not worried much! 2. when he was eating at his table you can see from inside who was approaching your house, but the person coming can't see who is inside. honestly dont know if it made any sense, but he also had that same type of door at his ranch...
My grand aunt said they didnít close their doors even at night. I believe this was used to get the sea breeze and also keep out strangers and the police that might just wonder in.
I thought that with big families and lots of little ones running around, it would keep the small children from wandering away from the house. With the top open, breeze can still pass through.
Photograph courtesy Frederick Vernon
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