Whittington-Guerniere House

Whittington-Guerniere House

Built 1915
2250 Johnston Street
Lafayette Historic Register Number 047
Designated December 3, 1997

Whittington-Guerniere House was built in 1915 by owners, Mary Whittington and her husband, Mr. Gaston Guerniere, on Whittington property. It was built in the Neoclassical style, made popular by Chicago’s Columbian Expedition of 1836. The Whittingtons were one of Lafayette’s early families, settling in Vermilionville around 1803. The family emigrated to Baltimore Maryland in 1634 from Gloucestershire, England. James A. Whittington, by Maryland law, inherited no property since he was not the first-born son. As such, he was prescribed to a life of working for his oldest brother. Instead, he left home and traveled to Vermilionville to make a living by farming. He purchased property that included parts of UL Lafayette Campus around Cajun Dome Boulevard, property owned now by Fatima Church, and also the residential areas along Johnston Street between Twin Oaks Boulevard and Lewis Street. At the same time Whittington arrived in Vermilionville, Isabelle Serianne Sellers arrived in Saint Martinville. She was part of a group of French Colonists on their way from New Orleans who narrowly escaped an attack by outlaws. Young Whittington heard there were ladies in the group who were eligible for marriage and quickly made his way to meet them. Isabelle caught his interest, and they were married soon afterwards. In 1936, sixteen years after the house was built, the University purchased it along with the adjacent 180-acre farm for $20,000 out of funds from the McCullough Bill in aid of the “Self-Help Plan” for working boys in the Department of Agriculture.

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