Tuesday, November 21, 2017

112 Grove

Front of 112 GroveThe Thomas J. Clooney House              Owner: Michael Clooney

There is only one home over 50 years old in Margaret Place still owned by the original family! 

Mike Clooney, the third generation owner, received the coveted Landmark plaque for the home at 112 Grove Street. The Thomas J. Clooney House 112 Grove Street c. 1913 This very fine bungalow was built in 1913 at 112 Grove Street, formerly 1612 Grove Street, for Thomas J. Clooney by Clooney Construction and Towing Company in a newly opened sub-division called Margaret Place. This area had opened for development in 1912 as was bounded by South Ryan, Wilson Avenue, Park Avenue, and Shell Beach Drive.

Thomas J. Clooney, Sr. was one of six children born to John Francis and Mary Ann (Kaough) Clooney.John Francis came to Calcasieu Parish soon after the Civil War by way of Galveston, Texas. His work was in the ship building business constructing wooden schooner.

He left Galveston, Texas when yellow fever broke out in 1869 in search of the yellow pine forest known to be at Calcasieu Pass. He found a job at the Kaough Shipyard south of what is now Lake Charles along the Calcasieu River. He married Mary Kaough and they moved up to what is known as Lake Charles and built a home and business around where the port of Lake Charles was now building wooden schooners and other wooden vessels. To facilitate his ship building business he dredged out part of the land at a bend in the Calcasieu River to create what is known as Clooney Island today.

Thomas J. Clooney, Sr. was born in 1874 on the homestead along with his other brothers and sisters. He later married Helen Fehmer from LaGrange, Texas in 1910. They had four children, Thomas, Jr., Delia, Clyde, and Harold.

He built the house at 1612 Grove (now 112 Grove Street) on the first lot he purchased in Margaret Place and bought the adjacent lot a few years later. He built it himself with labor from the Clooney Construction and Towing Company.

Thomas J. Clooney, Sr. died in 1949 leaving his wife Helen in the home until her death in 1972. Delia had lived in the home her entire life along with her mother until her death in 1993. Prior to Delia’s death, with the approval of her son Johnny, she transferred the ownership of the home to the present owner Michael F. Clooney, the second child of Thomas J. Clooney, Jr.

This home has stayed in the Clooney family the entire time with no modifications to the structure from its original construction. It was raised 2-3 feet after the 1915 flood to the elevation it is today.

You will be able to visit this historic house during the 2012 Centennial Celebration of Margaret Place by attending the Calcasieu Historical Preservation Society annual Palm Sunday tour Sunday April 1 from 12-5 P.M.

In the meantime, enjoy the photos of this wonderful Bungalow built in 1913.