Saturday, March 17, 2012

Finally Visited the Old Homestead

March is flying by! I just realized I haven't posted anything since the March goals post at the beginning of the month. I just returned from a trip to Las Vegas to help my little brother move. He worked in the IT department at a casino here in Louisiana, and they recently promoted him to work at the corporate office in Vegas. The trip was a lot of fun because I had never been there before, but it sure feels good to be home again (my husband couldn't make the trip, so I greatly missed him!).

Why do I mention this and what does this have to do with my trip to the family homestead? Well, my brother lived with my parents two hours away from me in Louisiana, so my dad agreed to meet my husband and me halfway between their home and our home the night before we began our trip. It didn't make sense for my brother to drive east to get me because that would be in the opposite direction of our route. The halfway point just happens to be near the land my great-great-grandparents lived on in Scott, Louisiana, which my grandmother still owns. The land was owned by my great-great grandparents, Maurice BONEAUX and Marie Alice SONNIER, and it's possible that the land was previously owned by Maurice's parents, Dominique BONEAUX and Alida MOUTON. I need to research the land records at the Lafayette Parish Courthouse to verify this. There is currently a house and a barn located on the property. The house belonged to Maurice and Marie. The property was never sold and was passed down to my great-grandparents and then to my grandparents.

Originally, we were going to meet my dad in Lafayette, but my dad was running behind, so we drove a little further west to Scott and decided to stop at the house, since it was still daylight. When I had previously visited the area, the house was occupied by tenants, so I wasn't able to go inside. In December, my grandmother ended the lease and the tenants had to move. My husband was scared to go inside at first because the side door was unlocked and he was worried about squatters with weapons. I told him we were in the middle of the country, but he said that's how all true crime begins (in an area where you least expect it). After peeking in the windows for awhile, we decided it was safe to go inside (I was more worried about rodents).

Other than the front porch falling apart and the side door missing steps, the house was in decent shape inside. You can tell it has been added on to over the years. There is a room with several windows that was added on to the south side of the house off the kitchen. I suppose it was intended to be a second bedroom, or possibly even a living area. This is the room that the side door opens into. The floor is this room is a white linoleum tile (the same floor that is in the neighboring kitchen). Here are some pics of this room (it looks like the children leasing the house had a fun time drawing on the walls):


The front door opened into the living room. The living room was fairly small and had a Disney Princess poster still hanging on the wall. Makes me wonder if the family used this as a bedroom, since it was smaller than the added-on room above. The floor in the living room was wood. It could have been laminate, but it appeared to be real wood. I have a feeling it might be the original floor. The blinds were really torn up, and the floor had lots of scratches and nicks on it. There was a coat closet in the living room.

Just off the living room was the dining room. It appeared to be a little larger than the living room. It also had wood floors. The door in the picture below goes to the original bedroom.
The bedroom off the dining room had wood floors as well. The blinds in this room were torn up like the ones in the living room.
On the backside of the dining room was the kitchen. I'm beginning to wonder if the kitchen was added on later as well, especially since the bathroom is off the kitchen. I know kitchens have not always been attached to the house, and it has the same flooring as the second bedroom that was added on. There used to be a window unit above the sink, and now the window won't close. There is some insulation on the window that is stopping it from closing.
This is where the appliances used to be. My husband is standing in the doorway to the added-on bedroom.

The doorway on the back of the kitchen leads to the laundry area and a very small bathroom. There is also a back door that goes out to the attached carport. The carport is falling apart, so I didn't try this door.

My husband thinks I'm crazy, but I would like to fix this little house up. I don't want to live in it myself because it would be way too small for us, but I really like it and don't want it to fall apart. Next weekend I think I am going down there with a mop and a broom and some cleaners to see what I can do. Of course, there is probably lots more work that needs to be done than just cleaning, but it's a start. The house probably needs to be leveled. Someone probably needs to check it for termites too. We definitely need to paint. The porches obviously need to be fixed. We need to build a wheelchair ramp to help my grandmother get in the house. Overall, I think we probably need a home inspector to check it out and gives us his advice. My grandmother and sister are the only other two people even remotely interested in this house.

In the meantime, my grandmother is getting the whole property surveyed. She thinks it contains around 40 acres, but it has been so long since someone in the family familiar with the property was living, that we need a surveyor to help us. None of us live right in the area either, which makes it more difficult. I live about one hour east, and she lives about one hour west.

UPDATE: I previously mentioned a new blog on here about the land in Scott. For personal reasons, I've decided to make that blog private for now. Please email me at jtrahan81 at if you would like to be a follower.

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