PASCAGOULA - Norman and Carol Waddell lived 32 years in a unique "round house" located on 220 feet of waterfront, until Hurricane Katrina.|
The storm blew off the roof and washed away the home. They lost everything.
"Actually, the house was octagonal," said Waddell, "built by an inventor back in 1921."
J.J. Paquette of New Orleans moved here and built the eight-angled home single-handedly. After operating business offices in Paris and New Orleans and selling Sun Gas Machines (using gravity and weights to push kerosene inside for light), he settled here with his wife and children.
He operated Paquette's Sanitary Plumbing in downtown Pascagoula. He not only built the odd-shaped house, he added the only basement in town, a widow's walk through a roof trapdoor and an upstairs toilet.
The Paquette House was featured a couple of years ago on the Home and Garden television network on its "If Walls Could Talk" series.
"The H&G network was interested in the construction, which was done by hand, and inventor Paquette," said Carol. "He built the house past retirement age. We had a photo of him and his granddaughter working on it."
The Waddells went through several renovations for their retirement dream home, including an octagonal addition and an octagonal screened porch.
"It was a great place to raise a family, a dead-end street with 220 feet of waterfront for boating and canoeing," said Waddell, a retired shipyard engineer. "We bought it for location."
They have relocated to a Pensacola home with 80-foot elevation. "We like that," he said, adding that his flood insurance only covered one-third of their Katrina loss.
- GARY HOLLAND