In 1842 Francois Fountain, by all accounts a colorful character, bought 169 bayfront acres in a place later named D'Iberville in honor of the 17th century Frenchman who explored the region.|
Five generations later, Fountain's little piece of paradise is no longer intact, having been divided among descendents or sold off. But one great great granddaughter, Deanna Comer, is proud to still have a little slice of the family land pie.
She and husband Jim bought "Mamma's House" from her sisters after they lost their own home on Highway 15 to road-building eminent domain. They renovated Mamma's House, added a wrap-around porch and Deanna basically moved home again in 2001.
A stone's throw from a circular inlet off Back Bay, 9461 Batia Avenue offered the Comers quiet and views and solace for being kicked out of their country home. Deanna describes herself as a "rocking chair sort of person."
The house itself was built in 1950 by her father, and that's where she reigned as the oldest of four girls, admittedly a bit of a tomboy because her dad had wanted a son. She was surrounded by grandparents and uncles, the homespun talented sort who could build their own boats then work the shrimp, crab and oyster seasons.
Her grandfather, Willie Fountain, built a sailboat for her 16th birthday and she raced it in in Back Bay.
Some of the neighboring family homes disappeared in Hurricane Camille, but this house on Batia withstood the 1969 storm. The 2005 hurricane is a different story.
"We're going to rebuild," Deanna said.
"People ask 'Why?' It's such a wonderful place to live. There's a cool breeze in the summer. The moonlight on the water is absolutely beautiful."
- KAT BERGERON