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Two Front Doors

Texas has many unique tourist attractions. Several must-see sights include the Cadillac Ranch (Amarillo), the world’s largest can of oatmeal (Bertram), the Toilet Seat museum (San Antonio), and the Beer Can house (Houston).

On a visit to Seguin, our host took us to see the world’s largest pecan (nut) and the historic Sebastopol House. Seguin is also known for having buildings with two front doors.

Built in 1929, the Texas Theatre had two front doors to allow customers to go in and out at the same time. But some have questioned why Seguin’s First Church had two front doors. Built in 1849, tradition says that the door on the right was used by the men, and door on the left was for the women and children. That would not be too popular today.

Apparently, the old European custom of having two front doors made its way to many parts of early Texas. In 1879, Peter Tucker built a home with two front doors that is now known as the Hezikiah Haskell House. Haskell was a “Buffalo Soldier,” and a member of the black cavalry in the Civil War. He moved into the house near Austin with his wife Catherine, but no one knows why it had two front doors.

German immigrant Ferdinand Lindheimer built a “saltbox” style home in New Braunfels in 1845. It was a one-story with a loft, and had a central chimney. Lindheimer is known as the Father of Texas Botany because he discovered and charted hundreds of plant species in Texas. But no record was kept on why he put two front doors in his amazing house.

Some have said that houses had two front doors to help with ventilation. Others have heard that the decorative door on the right was known as the “Preachers Door,” because it was only used by special guests and opened into the parlor. Family members and servants used the less ornate door on the left, for access to the home, and to visit the outhouse.

Some churches had two front doors for similar reasons. The door on the right was for the men, the pastor, and dignitaries. The door on the left was for women, children and servants. However, this custom was not authorized in the Bible.

The Apostle Paul taught that we are all equal under God. “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28 NLT). There is no gender discrimination with God.

Further, Jesus said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.”(John 10:9 ESV). Jesus is the Door. As the old song says, “One Door and only one, and yet its side is two. Inside and outside, on which side are you?”

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