COPYRIGHT 2020 © PRESERVATION ALLIANCE OF LAFAYETTE
This structure was built by newlyweds, Mr. Joseph Castille Chargois, Sr. and Mrs. Marie Louise Judice Chargois. Mr. Chargois was Lafayette’s second City Marshall. He also served as Sheriff of Lafayette Parish from 1936 to 1940, and he was the first Juvenile Officer in Lafayette. He was known for having operated the first and only spring-fed swimming pool in the community. Chargois Springs, which was located on his property near the Surrey Street Bridge, was a favorite recreation spot in Lafayette until 1927. Both the pool and later, this house, were the settings of the beginnings of organized recreation in Lafayette. After the pool was destroyed by the 1927 flood and the subsequent levee work upstream, the house became the social hub for young adults. It was the gathering place for many social and civic project meetings. Louise Chargois was known in Lafayette as the “Mother of Recreation”. She founded a boys and girls club called the Rosebuds, which organized games, field trips, dances and other recreational activities throughout the summer months. The club became the catalyst for the formation of the Lafayette Playground Association in 1929 with the help of Mrs. Frank Debaillon, Miss Inez Neyland, Mr. Paul Blanchet, Mr. Charles Gimmer, Dr. L. O. Clark, Mr. Maurice Heymann, Mrs. Crow Girard, Mr. Paul Krauss, Sr., Mr. J. Maxim Doucet, Mr. J. E. Davis, and others. The Association eventually became the Lafayette Recreation Commission in 1935 with members to be appointed by city officials and is now the Lafayette City-Parish Parks and Recreation Department. Lafayette’s Chargois Park is named in honor of Mrs. Louise Chargois.