Roy was not in possession of the house and property for very long. There were anxious buyers in Curtis John and his wife Evelyn Latiolais Kidder. The Kidder’s acquired the house as a swap, whereby Roy received the Kidder house in Austin Village of Lafayette and the Kidder’s got their dream home.
It is not surprising that the Kidder family wanted a house in the country. Curtis was born and raised in Arnaudville in the Jummonville Devillier House located at the intersection of Bushville Hwy. and TiAdam Guidry Road in one of the oldest houses in the area. His grandfather was born in the “Widow Alexis Meyer” house which was built in 1828 and featured in the “The Widow’s Ghost” story which appeared in the Teche News on February 27, 2008. His parents and grandparents went to school at the Coteau Rodaire School, one of the oldest existing schools in Louisiana, which was built in 1892.
There is a connection between Curtiss and four of the oldest structures in the northern part of the parish. Evelyn was reared in the Henderson area, and she likewise enjoyed living in the country and enjoys historical events. Actually, she is a direct descendent of Jummonville Devillier, in whose house her husband was born.
As business people and owners of the Bun’s Restaurant in Lafayette, the Kidder’s lived in the city, but longed for a return to country living.
The Huron/Halphen property was a dream that came true - a dream that started back in 1966. It was on their wedding day that the Kidder’s drove past the Halphen house when Curtiss turned to Evelyn and said, “Honey, someday I will buy this house for us.” Evelyn thought that it was meant as a joke.
Following their honeymoon, the Kidder’s returned to New Orleans where Curtis worked with a railroad company and Evelyn with CIT. From there, they moved to Morgan City, where they both worked in the automobile industry.
Then, they relocated to Lafayette, and when they later acquired Stephanie House, Evelyn commented, “You weren’t joking about the house on our wedding day were you?”
The couple has since constructed additional buildings on the property. Since they acquired the home, they’ve added a pigeonnaire, an outside summer kitchen and a carriage house.
The new buildings were built as exact duplicates of old plantation structures.
Curtis and Evelyn are getting close to retiring. What are their future plans for the large, gorgeous home? Could it possibly be a bed and breakfast inn or just a place of entertainment and enjoyment for their family and friends? Only time will tell.
The articles about the Stephanie Plantation dealt primarily with the owner and occupiers of the home.
Anyone interested in the architecture of the house may view several digital drawings of the house that are posted online.
In 1998, Professor of Architecture Edward Cazayoux (UL Lafayette) spent considerable time preparing images of the house with the aid of an $11,000 grant. Anyone interested in viewing his work can google “U. S. Library of Congress Historic American Building Survey (HABS) - Stephanie.”
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