The Queen Ann house high on a bluff at 502 North Beach Blvd. was a Bay St. Louis architectural gem. The 14-foot ceilings, intricate Victorian Gothic woodwork and wraparound porch were constructed in 1889 by Charles Sanger, whose stamp was on the original St. Stanislaus College, St. Joseph’s Academy and courthouse. |
Five years ago, Kevin and Sherrye Webster bought the “Old McDonald House,” named for the family that had owned it since 1904. When the Websters restored the outside and downstairs, they opened it for a fund-raising tour, and again when the upstairs was finished.
“I feel that we are the keepers of these old houses, and my greatest wish was that when I’m long gone that the house would still be there,” Sherrye Webster said. “The charm of Bay St. Louis was its houses.” Katrina wrecked the house.
“When I first saw it I was waiting for Tina Turner to come out in a Mad Max movie,” Webster said. “There was no flood in our house. We believe it totally was wind.
“My heart is broken, not for our stuff, that was material, but for the town of Bay St. Louis and for the people.”
The Websters felt so at home in their first Bay St. Louis get-away that they bought the McDonald House, moved permanently from Memphis and had two businesses, a public relations firm and Maximilain Zillion Animation.
“My 15-year-old son Max said, ‘Momma, what are you going to do? You always have a plan.’ This time it will just be one day at a time.”
-- KAT BERGERON