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Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society

406 Hodges,The Shreve Home

406 HodgesThis wonderful cottage is a fine example of a typical turn-of-the-century working man’s home in Lake Charles.

The floor plan, two rooms wide with a wide front porch, was the best answer to building in the sawmill South of the day. The layout made the best use of the area’s long, straight pine and cypress lumber, milled in any one of a number of saw mills that lined the Calcasieu River from Goosport to Prien Lake.

Balloon-framed houses rested the long straight studs directly on the sills, interlaced the floor joints, and covered the whole with center-matched and shiplap solid wood boards. These houses were strong and solid. Many a modern saw is dulled trying to cut into the famous Calcasieu longleaf pine and one of the challenges of modern owners and remodelers is keeping their tools sharp!

Even more modest homes had embellished trims inside and out, and this house is no exception. The stickwork trim and shaped shingles of the front gable end of the house shows imagination and style, and as seen in the Granger House example, a unifying element to many Victorian houses in Lake Charles.

These show-houses are also homes freshly designed for modern day living. One advantage in adapting and reusing older properties is that generally speaking there is more square footage for the money in comparison with newer built properties. And the Shreve home provides plenty of creative living space for its family including the newly accessed attic spaces.

Tall and spacious rooms, useable attic spaces, richly detailed interior trim all point to value in an older home and great possibilities for modern family life.