10615 Hwy 384, The Alexander/Dees Home, MOONSHADOW
This beautiful three story home set among magnificent oaks in Big Lake is a transplanted house. It was built around 1890 by William Ramsey and originally stood at 823 Ford Street in Lake Charles. In 1923 Mrs. T. A. (Annabel) Dees purchased the home and lived there until her death.
Mrs. Dees was the premier society hostess of the area who entertained such luminaries as General and Mrs Dwight Eisenhower, authors Frances P. Keyes and Tennessee Williams, the acting family of Barrymores and others. She taught etiquette, created a mail-order sensation with her orange-pecans, and was among the areas social and artistic elite.
Her heirs sold the house to the First United Methodist Church which adjoined the property. In 1975 the church auctioned off the contents and sold the house to be moved. Glen and Debbie Alexander bought the house intending to move it to their property in Big Lake in Cameron Parish. They found the cost of moving the big three story house was far more than the young couple had anticipated, so, undaunted, they began deconstructing the house piece by piece. It was numbered, stored and the pieces moved to be reconstructed in Big Lake. When completed ten years later, the great old house stood once again as lovely as before.
The exterior of the house has four tall rounded columns and second floor balcony with a railing stands between the center columns. There is a pedimented gable roof and two wide chimneys on either end of the house. Two dormers open from the third floor at the center front of the house. The interior of the house has seven large rooms and a bath downstairs, and five rooms and two baths on the second floor. The third floor is a game ,and party room and exercise area. Interestingly, in the early 1900’s the third floor of the original old house was finished as a ballroom for Elizabeth (Libby) Pope. Sadly, the young lady died at 16 from typhoid fever and the ballroom was never used. Debbie Alexander is the interior designer for the home. It is furnished with antiques and furnishings that have been lovingly acquired throughout the years that the Alexanders have lived in the home. Debbie named her home “Moonshadow”. It is a treasure.
To see a picture and read more about the house when it stood on Ford Street, see Lloyd Barras’ Early Homes of Lake Charles, page 23-25.
To see pictures and read more about the house as it stands today, see Nola Mae Ross’ Louisiana Homes, If Walls Could Talk, Volume 2, page 62-63.
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