Our Sweet Louise, the house at 205 Railroad St. on Henderson Point, was the family gathering place for five generations of the Masson and DeNoux families.|
Originally bought in 1964 as a summer house near the water and Pass Christian, it became the permanent home of the Masson family 14 years later when they moved from New Orleans.
The first full-time occupant under this family tutelage was Louise DeNoux, from whom the name comes. Her daughter, Marian Masson, had bought the house from August Sager, who built it in 1931, sold it to build something different but remained their neighbor.
The three-story house was the only one in the neighborhood to survive Hurricane Camille in 1969.
After Katrina, only the 16 steps are left, that and one of many family cats found alive, standing on the roof that was on the ground. They're still hoping to find several other missing cats that shared the good times with them.
"We will miss Our Sweet Louise," said Marian Masson. "Our six boys and three girls, 14 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren have enjoyed annual family picnics, Easter egg hunts and just playing in our tree-filled yard."
The family is planning a memorial picnic in May 2006 to take yet another group photograph on the steps.
"They are serious steps to nowhere," said one of the sons, Tom Masson.
The Massons say a house will be built on the land, one that will use the steps to go to a raised first floor.
- KAT BERGERON