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The Ponchatoula Times
Ponchatoula , Louisiana
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September 23, 2010     The Ponchatoula Times
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September 23, 2010
 

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~f : P i:i ,s~ , Grass Cutting Edging .String Trim Blowing Bush Hogging The Nichols House (Photo by Mrs. Kathy Tricou) Nichols FROM PAGE 1 chased by Nichols in 1890 for $700, and was sold five years later for $3,000. The difference in value during those five years is the reflection of the increased value of the house Nichols had constructed on the property. Oldham B. Wetmore, the new owner of the Nichols House, was born 12 March 1844 in Ohio, and was a first cousin of Na- thaniel W. Wetmore who owned a large tract of land across the Ponchatoula-Springfield Road from the Nichols House. Old- ham Wetmore had moved south after the Civil War, and was farming with his wife Elizabeth "Lizzie" M. Turner at Mill Bay- ou, Arkansas in 1880. Oldham and Lizzie Wetmore had moved to New Orleans by 1890 and undoubtedly they visited Na- thaniel Wetmore and his wife Margaret in Ponchatoula prior to Oldham's purchase of the Nichols property. Oldham Wetmore did not have long to enjoy his Pon- chatoula home, as he died 4 February 1896 at the age of 51. His wife obtained a coffin from the Thomas Furniture Store in Hammond (which also did un- dertaking business on the side) and Oldham was buried in the Ponchatoula area, almost cer- tainly in the Wetmore Ceme- Licensed. Bonded Insured TERMITES . MOLD . CERTIFICATES l wo, a.s W. David Fleming No,h. o, (504) 522-2400 (985) 386-BUGS tery just down the road on land his relatives owned. After about two years of wid- owhood, Lizzie Turner Wetmore married 11 January 1898 in New Orleans to George Wash- mgton Van Dyke. George was born 16 August 1841 in Lewis- ton, Illinois, and moved south after the Civil War, just as the Wetmores had done. Following their marriage Lizzie and George Van Dyke farmed on the 37 acre tract of land that Lizzie's late husband had purchased. Over the following years George and Lizzie made many improvements to the Nichols home and grounds. They plant- ed "a fruit orchard and other trees" costing over $300 around 1902. The other trees they planted could have included the beautiful live oak trees which form a majestic alleyway lead- ing from the public road to the entrance to their home. They put in an artesian well in 1905, which probably re- placed an existing cistern. They also cleared and farmed an ad- ditional 11 acres of land in 1907 and installed new fencing in 1908. The home was improved with painting and repairing in 1912 and 1914. Concrete walks were added about 1923, and a new set of entrance steps were added in 1924. Lizzie Wetmore Van Dyke died 11 January 1915, and after legal proceedings George was declared to be in possession of the land and home as his com- munity property. George, who was 75 years of age when Lizzie died, continued to live in the home following her death but needed some assistance with his daily activities. His sister Rachel Avenia Van Dyke moved to Ponchatoula and resided in the home un- til George died 23 November 1933. George, a resident of Pon- chatoula for almost 40 years, was buried with other family members in Oak Hill Cemetery in Tama, Iowa. The Nichols-Van Dyke home and surrounding 37 acres of land was purchased following George's death and then passed into the hands of Mr. and Mrs. Alvin W. Bohning. Mrs. Henrietta L. Bohning, Alvin W. Bohning's widow, sold the home and land to Raymond E. and Bertha H. Schafer in the summer of 1969, and the prop- erty has remained in the hands of the Schafer family since that time. The Nichols House, named after its builder, was added the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and has been used as a backdrop for several movies. The Nichols House and the romantic landscaped grounds have been well main- THE PONCHATOULA TIMES, SEPTEMBER 23, 2010, PAGE 5 tained over the 13 decades since its construction. If they could view the home in 2010, Edwin C. Nichols, Oldham Wetmore, Lizzie and George Van Dyke, as well as the more recent owners would cer- tainly feel justifiably proud of this gracious Southern home. thrown for the wee ones, the latest being the 9-11 bash for sweet Baby Jessica, the newly- minted 2-year-old, daughter of Katie and Kris Wells. Another is coming up Saturday for sweet Felicity's first birthday, she the daughter of Brendan and Lan- dis McMahon. Oh la, the belles are getting ever younger. We'll include Bree Ragas in the gator rides, though she on Friday will reach what one now- FROM PAGE 1 departed Ponchatoula bachelor called "middle age." Eighteen. Free gator rides to all such tender honorees in Our Pon- chatoula, courtesy of Ole Har- dhide. "The reformer is always right about what is wrong. He is generally wrong about what is right." G.K. Chesterton us today... Or visit us at Web site... Times Report The latest addition to the Gateway Shopping Center is the anticipated opening of a Pizza Hut to be local- ed in the western half of the building whose east side is home to Buddy Bell's Smoothie King, a health con- science member of the national franchise. The modern new building is part of the massive reno- vation of the Gateway Shopping Center by its owners, the Mashburn family. Free Estimates Licensed Et Insured Keith Albert (985) 974-2123 (985) 386-3337 i arry n,ng rvice IS rou -Team aila le mica i/i i Your pool, Our reputation, 7%