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Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society

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633 Cleveland, The Moreno Home

Landmark Registered in 1998 as the Arthur Humphrey House, Circa 1901

633 Cleveland

This three-story wooden structure was constructed by the Arthur Humphrey family in 1901, but it is closely connected to members of the musical Roy and Hattie Brown family.  
 
After the Great Fire of 1910 which had destroyed an earlier home for the Browns further downtown, Mr. Brown bought this grand clapboard house in late 1910 and his family remained in the house until 1993 when the last Brown family member died at 104 years of age.  
 
Bernice Brown, a renowned piano teacher, taught in the east parlor, and decades of Lake Charles residents remember learning piano, or enjoying musicales at this house.

The Humphreys were involved in the lumber and construction business, and Arthur designed and built the house of locally sourced pine and cypress.

To a very high degree, wood has been featured in the house and the current owners, Kim and Chad Moreno, have respected the wood heritage of this very special house and retained the stained, curly grained cypress and pine used in the original construction.  The layout of the rooms has also been retained from the original, except that some service rooms and porches have been converted into a gourmet kitchen in the rear.

Four grand “Lake Charles style” columns, the slightly tapered paneled two-story equivalent of sawmill style Greek-order columns, support the third floor roof.  The original third-floor balcony railings were lost in the 1918 hurricane and were not replaced by the Browns.   The porch features a projecting bay entrance with large windows and transoms.   The public rooms, parlors, dining and music rooms as well as the numerous bedrooms were needed by the Browns who had ten (10) children.  

The current owners have updated air conditioning and insulation, and installed additional bathrooms with period-era tiling.  In addition, they cleverly incorporated unique features to enhance access to necessary utilities and plumbing, including a holiday ornament storage room just off the tandem staircase landing.  Indeed, the Moreno house is a good example of using the beautiful bones of the past to build a cherished family home for the future.

Highlights from 'If Walls Could Talk' by Nola Mae Ross

In 1910 this home was purchased as a gift for Mr. Roy A. Brown's wife. The great fire of 1910 destroyed the family's first home.

The family was forced to stay with various relatives after the fire, Mrs. Roy (Hattie) Brown went back to Ohio for a short time. Mr. Brown purchased the home at a sheriff sale while she was out of town.

Originally built by Arthur H. Humphrey, noted architect and builder, who came from Ohio in 1901 with his wife Katie, during the Jabez Bunting Watkins land grant. Mr. Humphrey purchased the property from J.W. Rich, who is also thought to have been part of the Watkins group. The Humphrey family lived in the home until a severe financial depression forced the sale of their home to the Browns.

The Browns had 11 children so the size of the home was perfect for them. The house stayed in the family for 83 years.

Originally part of the 80 acres claimed by William Hutchinson and 1861. Mr. Hutchinson, a prominent merchant, built the first large sawmill at the foot of Hodges Street later this on the became the Mount Hope lumber company.

In 1993, Mary and Charles Long bought the house from the Roy Brown heirs.

This colonial revival three-story home features 18 rooms plus entry ways and foyers.

The Morenos purchased the home in 2010.


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