COLUMBIA, La. (12/18/2019)– The Louisiana Main Street Program has awarded ten main street communities with grants for major and minor restoration programs. Columbia in Caldwell Parish was one of those recipients.
“Most of Columbia is in the Historical District,” Emma Jean Richardson, Captain’s Quarters Owner, said. “Most of the buildings are over 100 years old and everyone takes pride in restoring what we have.”
That includes the Captain’s Quarters Bed and Breakfast. Before it was a bed and breakfast, the house was first owned by a steamboat captain in 1893. It was later passed down from generation to generation.
“Not any window is the same size in this house,” Richardson said. “Not any of the work you see is to standard. It’s all been hand carved. All of the boards have been hand done.”
Now that the home is more than 125 years old, some of the features have deteriorated. That’s why the Louisiana Main Street Program has granted the owners a dollar-for-dollar matching restoration grant of $10,000. With the grant the owners will be repainting the outside of the house and restoring the windows to preserve the original look.
“All of the windows in this house are the original panes, and that’s 126 years, so the frames are going to have to be removed, take the windows out and put the windows back in and some of the railing and screens are going to have to be replaced,” Richardson said.
Richardson says, because she and the town take pride in the history within the walls, it’s important for her to restore the building piece by piece, rather than replacing it with something new.
“We are proud of what we have, we really are,” Richardson said.
The restoration project will begin in mid January and owners expect to be completely done by May 2020.