La Maison de M. Bill et Mme Roxanne David
If it is true that a home is where the heart is, then this Acadian style home indeed has both heart and soul. Although the home was not originally built as an Acadian style home, it was remodeled to resemble one and retains the style to this day with some interior changes.
The home was originally built in the early twentieth century and was located on a lot directly across from the rectory of the Holy Rosary Church on Church Street in Kaplan, Louisiana. It was bought by Mr. Bill David’s great grandfather, Victor Sellers (originally spelled Cellers, which the homeowners believe to be the original German spelling of his sir name). Monsieur Victor bought the small home in the 1930’s and used it as a rental property. The home remained on the lot until the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. At that time, the house was moved to its current location on American Legion Road and was enlarged in the traditional Acadian style of architecture. The lot on which it originally stood was appraised and then sold to the church for half its appraised value, as both a business deal and a donation to the church.
The original structure, although changed, still exists. Its orientation, however, was rotated so that what was once the front is now the side entrance and still retains the original house numbers for its former address (601 Church Street). After its relocation, the family added on the second story with an authentically styled garçonnière. The garçonnière remains to this day and until the early 1980’s was accessible only from the outside stairway located on the opposite side of the house, approachable only from the front porch.
Monsieur Sellers’ granddaughter, Mrs. Margaret David, briefly used the home as a museum, after it had been moved, to showcase some of the many antiques and travel memorabilia that she had collected on her many trips around the world. Although it was used as such for only a few short years, elementary school children and other visitors often came to see both the Acadian style home and the many souvenirs of other lands to which Mrs. David had traveled to and which those children could only imagine. Visitors were able to sign her registry and take a tour of the bottom floor of the home.
Later the home was actually lived in for a brief time by several of Mrs. David’s children. The current owner, Mr. Bill David, is Miss Margaret’s son. He and his wife, Roxanne, bought the home and renovated the inside in the early 1980’s. Among the changes they made inside the home were the opening up of the small individual rooms so that access was made easily by walking from space to space without the narrow doorways and the addition of an inside stairway to the area which once was an authentic garçonnière. They retained much of the flavor of an old Acadian home, especially on the outside, but inside, as well with the preservation of some of the old antique furnishings (bedroom suites, including several armoires, and also several old fixtures, such as the claw-foot tub and the old, single, deep-well kitchen sink).
Not only does the home retain its original structure and the signs of its remodel into an Acadian style home, but it also seems that it retained its spirit, literally. Some call it a haunting; the David’s call it an experience. In 1980 after finishing the remodel of the inside, they moved in with their then toddler daughter and newborn son. For many months, both Bill and Roxanne testify that they heard sounds of a child’s footsteps going up and down the newly installed stairway. Thinking each time that it was their toddler daughter, they would immediately get up, look into the stairwell and see nothing. Each time they would climb the stairs to find the baby in his crib and their daughter in her bed, fast asleep. This continued for months, unnerving both parents. Finally, one night the mother, Roxanne, climbed to the top of the stairs and sat there. Convinced that the spirit of a child was in her home, she had a conversation with tiny soul.
Paraphrasing her words, Roxanne explained that she knew the little spirit must be confused by the stairway that had been added to the house. She spoke the confused, little soul as a mother would comfort her child and told it that its presence was unnerving her because it roamed between her and her children. She told the spirit that although it was baffled by the newly placed stairway that opened the garçoninière to the bottom floor and that the house was now newly occupied, she promised that they meant no harm to it or the home and that she and her children would always love and protect the house. After her talk with the spirit, she prayed from the top of the stair well and then returned to bed. In her own words, “That was the last time that we ever heard the footsteps. It never happened again.” One can only conjecture that perhaps it was the soul of a young Acadian boy confused by the opening up of the garçonnière, which would have been the only bedroom he would have known. Believe it; or Not! The Davids most certainly do.