A fully restored home built in 1892 in the heart of the Frog Capital of the World is bound to be full of juicy stories. This Louisiana bed-and-breakfast—once featured on HGTV’s “If Walls Could Talk“— doesn’t disappoint.
But today, the most appealing aspect of the seven-bedroom inn known as Maison Daboval is that it’s currently available for $299,000—fully furnished!
The Maison is located in Rayne, LA, about 20 minutes from Lafayette. Rayne is known as the Frog Capital of the World, thanks to its history of exporting frog legs as a gourmet delicacy. The town is also in the heart of Acadiana, the region that has historically been home to many of the state’s French descendants.
Maison Daboval received its name from original owner, Emile Daboval, a Frenchman from New Orleans who settled in the area and became a civic, business, and family leader. He and his wife had 13 children, and Daboval became the mayor of Rayne.
Over the decades, the home served an array of purposes. It was a hospital during the Spanish flu pandemic after World War I, and extra windows were added, to allow more natural light to flow into the second-floor operating room. That room now serves as a lovely guest suite.
Located close to railroad tracks, the building also served as a convenient boarding house for over 40 years and accommodated a number of colorful residents.
The listing agent, Jammie Parbhoo of Latter & Blum, told us that the grandmother of one of her fellow agents was born in the house. When the current owners, Gene and Martha Royer, bought the place in 1992, it needed quite a bit of remodeling and restoration.
Using an old photo as a reference point, Gene recreated the lovely wood “lacework” on the second-floor balcony, which had been removed years before.
He also found the home’s original cypress shutters in the attic. They were sanded and repainted, and now lend the home even more vintage charm.
Gene Royer also found a long hallway inside the home that had been sealed up in a previous renovation. To provide the 4,183-square-foot residence with a more open flow, he opened it back up.
Under the surface, Gene also installed all-new mechanical systems throughout the home, bringing the home into the 21st century.
Much beloved in the community staple, the Maison impresses any guest who enters, with its 14-foot-tall foyer and ornate wooden staircase.
Guests can relax in one of several parlors—some with fireplaces—or in the great room. Breakfast, and sometimes lunch and dinner, are served in the dining room.
Most of the five guest suites are on the second floor. One of the suites is configured as a family suite, with two bedrooms. All feature bathrooms with clawfoot tubs.
According to the agent, Martha Royer is reluctant to leave the Maison behind.
“She’s been doing this for 30 years now,” Parbhoo adds, “and she thinks it’s finally time to let it go.”
Parbhoo believes that a buyer may be someone coming back home who would like to settle in their native Acadiana. It would also help if the new owners have a background in hospitality.
“That’s what we’re all about, here in Louisiana,” says Parbhoo.
Even if a buyer didn’t want to continue operating the Maison as an inn, it offers an opportunity to settle down into an easy way of life, living the Southern dream.
“We didn’t want to overprice it,” says Parhoo, noting that all the furnishings are included. At its affordable price and with plenty of square footage, this dream is within reach.
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