Nestled a few minutes up the Apalachicola River from Apalachicola, FL, resides the Cypress House. Located 2 miles from Historic Downtown, the Cypress House is blocks away from the famous fishing lodge and restaurant, Bay City Lodge, which is still owned and operated by the same family for 3 generations and provides direct access to the River and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico.
The Cypress House was built by Don “Cairo” Ingram and executed by master craftsmen Bobby Sipprell and Corky Richards. Cairo, a local craftsman and sawmill owner, pioneered the use of river recovered, old growth cypress and heart pine. In the late 19th century logs were floated downriver to sawmills, milled, and then loaded on ships bound for Europe and the East Coast. Some of these logs sank in the broad Apalachicola River and remained on the bottom, preserved by the lack of oxygen. Cairo and others raised these logs and milled them into some of the best lumber available anywhere. Wood from these preserved logs does not rot and is impervious to insects.
Building a house entirely of Cypress would be cost prohibitive to anyone who didn’t own a cypress mill like Cairo. He started using “Pecky Cypress” – Boards that are pocked with holes caused by an underwater worm and has an unusual decorative effect. The interior vertical boards range in size from 20 inches wide to no less than 10 inches in width, including a 16in x 8in x 40ft long ridge beam in the center of the house, cut from the river recovered cypress. A 5 inch thick, 18ft long Black Cypress Bird’s eye bar top creates another exquisite focal point in the lodge.
Comforts include a 1500 square foot covered, full wrap-around porch worthy of accommodating any size gathering. The porch furniture was built from the same wood from the house, by the same craftsman who built the house.
The Cypress House consists of:
- 1600 square foot interior
- Master bedroom with king bed and bathroom upstairs
- Large bedroom with extra-long twin beds and bathroom downstairs
- Reading area on the landing with a double bed
- Downstairs den/ living room with fireplace and couch
- Large open kitchen with 18ft bar that easily accommodates 6 or more people
- Full kitchen with dishwasher, stove, microwave, complete with pots, pans, coffee maker, utensils, and everything needed to cook and entertain for a dinner party
- Central Heat/Air
- Flat Screen TV with cable and DVD player in living room
- Bedrooms have closet space and dressers
- Washer/Dryer in utility room
- Outside storage on covered porch with beach chairs
- Sleeps 4 adults comfortably plus double bed on landing for 2 kids or one adult
- Covered, wrap-around porch complete with gas grill and outdoor furniture