Residents catch glimpse of 100-year-old neighborhood

Margaret Place tour
Published: Apr. 1, 2012 at 9:57 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 6, 2012 at 9:16 AM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - In honor of Palm Sunday, the Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society, in conjunction with the Margaret Place Historic District, held its 37th annual Palm Sunday tour of homes. But this tour was a little different than past ones.

The Margaret Place neighborhood is celebrating its one hundredth anniversary this year, and around one thousand lake area residents came out this afternoon to celebrate.

Nine homes in the neighborhood were open for the public to tour, all in remembrance of the late Ben Mount.

Residents strolled the streets of downtown Lake Charles, touring the oldest neighborhood in the area.

"I think it gives people an opportunity to reflect back on time, to remember when," said Margaret Place resident Willie Mount. "You know I knew so and so, or I visited this house when I was a young child, things of that nature. So memories. But I think more importantly this significance of historic places, the significance of historic districts."

One of the homes on tour belongs to Robert piper. He says the long hours and hard work paid off.

"All of them had smiles," said Piper. "Such a beautiful day. The homes are just lovely and not only the homes that are on the tour that people are able to go inside and see. Just all the homes and the artwork and the landscaping people have done."

The self-guided tour allowed people to roam the historic streets, passing antique cars, a printing press and even a lemonade stand before arriving at the next home.

"Seeing the neighbors pull together," said Matt Young, director of the Arts and Humanities Council. "They can do more collectively than what they can do on their own. It just is amazing."

The tour was dedicated to longtime preservationist and Margaret Place resident Ben Mount. Mount lost his battle to cancer in December.

"He did so much for historic preservation, for the building that we operate out of at Central School Arts and Humanities Center, and I just think that it couldn't be more appropriate," said Young.

His wife Willie says the day went just as he would've planned.

"This is what he wanted," said Mount. "He signed up for our house to be on tour so, it's extra special today."

The nine homes came from five different decades over the past one hundred years.

The first, Maison Rouge in 1912 on Wilson Avenue and the most recent being the Quinn house on Pithon Street in 1953.

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