Only for People Who Are Fond of Peculiar Housing
I am all for ‘different’. I like strange, unique, bespoke. I even like thinking outside of the box, which is definitely what happened at Hodge Podge Cottages when the owners designed and built “Shipwreck”, a 2 bedroom cottage built like a boat, that is nestled in between the trees and ‘moored’ in a large camp-like yard. You have probably never seen anything quite like this Tiny Shipwreck Cottage in Texas.
Hodge Podge Cottages, owned and operated by Wes and Joann Hodges, are located in Uncertain, Texas, situated around Caddo Lake. The East Texas town (population 150) is the gateway to one of the state’s great natural ‘wonders’, Caddo Lake, and Uncertain is on the southern shore of the lake. How Uncertain got its name is… uncertain. Some folks claim it was because the lake’s strong currents made river travel uncertain in steamboat days, while others say the founders couldn’t decide on a name for their new town, so they put down “uncertain” on the forms. Whatever the reason behind the name, once you get to Caddo Lake you’re uncertain as to where exactly you are and even more uncertain as to when you’ll want to leave. Caddo Lake has a rather spooky appearance, which is what makes Uncertain such a popular destination. The lake has been featured in at least 16 films, such as The Long Hot Summer, The Legend of Boggy Creek, and Soggy Bottom USA. Still, Caddo Lake and the town of Uncertain might just be the best kept secrets in Texas… along with Hodge Podge Cottages, of course!
There are 11 rental cottages on the camping grounds of Hodge Podge Cottages. Included are “white cottage”, “red cottage”, “brown cottage”, as well as “snug harbor” (both 3 and 4) and… “Shipwreck”. Shipwreck started life as deck plate steel that was used in boxcars to carry ammunition and pipe that served as the air lines for the breaks on railroad cars. It is 36 feet long and weighs over 9.5 tons. It did actually begin life as a houseboat. In fact, it was the third houseboat to be built by Gary Summers of Karnack. Although the Hodges had intended for it to be utilized as a floating houseboat cottage, Wes’s health kept them from fulfilling their dream, and instead they came up with the idea of moving the houseboat out of the lake and making it into a cottage on land. It was relocated to 557 Cypress Dr., and that is where it has remained.
A common complaint from visitors is that the Tiny Shipwreck Cottage in Texas is “too small”. The lower part of the boat cottage has two sleeping areas (a queen futon and a double bed alcove), small table and chair set, kitchen and bathroom while the upstairs double bed is accessible via a pull-down iron ladder. This tiny house boat also packs in TV, air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen (complete with a coffee maker – which is good, since Uncertain is miles away from everything!), a covered pavilion with a BBQ and picnic table, as well as a large deck and a view of the stunning Caddo Lake. While perhaps smaller than the ‘normal’ guest cottage, this is no normal cottage. I mean, it’s a “Tiny Shipwreck Cottage”. Although the exterior is a little ‘different’, it provides guests with an excellent opportunity to learn what life inside a tiny house is like… just in case they’re curious and considering a tiny house (or even a tiny shipwreck cottage) of their own!
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