ROBERT TINNEY PORTRAITS

P.O.Box 778
331 E. Carriere St.
Washington, LA 70589

Tel: 1-337-826-3003
Cell: 1-337-280-9443
or 1-337-945-8274
E-mail:
rftinney@gmail.com

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THECRAWFORD

HOUSEB&B


Captain William Crawford and his wife Delia acquired the property which is now 331 E. Carriere St., Washington, Louisiana, in 1864. The small Acadian style cottage already there was part of the "Steamboat District" of Washington, and since Captain Crawford was a steamboat pilot, he had only a short walk down the hill to reach Washington's bustling warehouses and dock area on Bayou Courtableau.

During the next few decades Capt. Crawford's family grew and prospered, and in the 1890s Crawford embarked on a major renovation of his home, adding more bedrooms, an attached kitchen, six double coal-burning fireplaces, and bestowing many of the Victorian features which were popular at that time. Crawford died in 1916, and the last major addition to the house was the second floor, added by his daughter Hattie in 1917.

Louisiana settlers had discovered early on that cypress lumber from area swamps was virtually impervious to both the Louisiana climate and Louisiana insects. Therefore, in the nineteenth century the large homes of Washington were constructed of lumber harvested from the huge virgin cypress forests of central Louisiana. The Crawford house was no exception. When Robert and Susan Tinney acquired the house in 1988, they found that the only deterioration in the wood of the house had occured where a window had been added in the 1950s -- and framed in pine. Even the cypress clapboard siding on the house, which by the time of their purchase had stood unpainted in the weather for two generations, seemed unaffected by the passage of nearly 140 years.

Throughout the '90s the Tinneys pursued a series of restoration projects in the old home. One of Susan's early projects was the removal of all the old coats of lead paint which had been applied to the floors over the decades. Underneath were revealed beautiful old planks of cypress and ancient pine, which were then coated with a clear protective sealant. The photo at left shows the floor at the end of the central hallway, which had been overlaid with a new oak floor in the 1960s. Rather than remove the oak planks, the Tinneys decided to apply a "faux marbe" finish to the floor, a decorative technique popular in the Victorian era. They did the work themselves over the course of a week, with Susan taping and applying background colors, while Robert painted the marble effects.

B&B guests at The Crawford House stay in a room which was added in the Victorian renovation of the 1890s. The Crawfords had four children, and three of them were daughters who never married, living their entire lives in the house where they were born. Because of its private entrance, the room you see here was used by the Crawford daughters, in the early 1900s, as a seamstress and fabric shop. Guests always find their stay in Washington to be a nostalgic and relaxing return to a simpler, more quiet nineteenth century world. You will be guaranteed a respite from big city life, in which the loudest sound you hear are the bells from the Immaculate Conception Church, one block from the house. As you see from the photos here, your room features not only its own private entrance (which is complemented with your own private parking immediately outside the door), but also a queen-sized bed, a mirrored dressing table, chest-of-drawers, and various chairs. Not shown here, but also part of your suite, is your private bath, including shower (sorry, no tub), and a small closet. Adjacent to your room and available for your private use is the large front living room, decorated by Susan Tinney with an arrangement of sofa and chairs, along with some of the beautiful antiques the Tinneys have acquired over the years. The living room also offers an entertainment center with TV and VCR.

Your breakfast will be served in the dining room. Prior to the Crawford family's Victorian renovation, the kitchen had been located in a separate building behind the house, as was the case with many large homes in the 1800s. The Victorian era advances in kitchen and cooking technology, however, put an end to this practice, and a large wing was added to the back of the home to house the kitchen, as well as the adjacent dining room and a large porch opening to the backyard. As you see from the photo here, the Tinneys have furnished the dining room with various antiques, including an old painted sideboard and a gorgeous French Marbier clock from the early 1800s (still ticking and chiming). Since The Crawford House accomodates only one B&B guest family at a time, we will let you decide what time you want breakfast. Susan will also adjust the breakfast menu according to your preferences.

During your stay at The Crawford House you will not only enjoy the house itself and the 150-year-old live oaks and Louisiana native plants which grace its yard. You will also enjoy the landmarks and attractions of the Town of Washington and its surrounding area, including several antebellum plantation homes, a wealth of nineteenth century architecture (a large portion of Washington is designated as an Historic District), the Washington Museum (many artifacts and old photos), Magnolia Ridge Plantation (50 acres of beautiful gardens and jogging trails, free and open to the public most days), as well as the dozens of antique shops and dealers for which the town has become known in recent years (most of these are open on weekends only).

Reservations for The Crawford House are only $85 per night -- or enjoy two complimentary nights if you are a client of Robert Tinney Portraits! So please consider this as your invitation to come spend some time with us at The Crawford House, in the heart of French Louisiana!


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Copyright © 1998 Robert Tinney