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Washington Parish Community Preservation Alliance

Oak Grove Community

Also see: A Community Lost

The History of the Bouey Moore Place

(As told by his children, William Ernest Moore, Adolphus Moore, Edith Moore Strahan, and Lavada Moore Pittman)

~ Written submission courtesy of Winford Pittman ~
~ Photographs courtesy of the Moore and Pittman family~

Bouey and Louisiana Moore family

Located at 19068 Moore Road, Washington Parish, Louisiana, the old Bouey Moore Place is one of two log homes outside of the Miles Branch Settlement in Franklinton that is still standing, livable, and still being used today. The second home is privately owned and currently occupied.

This is a story not just about a family, but how a simplistic log cabin grew to become a home and the impact it has had over the years on many of the residents in Washington Parish.

Angus Bouey Moore was born around November 5, 1856 and is the fourth son of Thomas Jefferson Moore and Annie Eliza Morris Moore. Thomas and Eliza moved from St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana to the banks of the Bogalusa Creek in Washington Parish around 1838. Their union produced eleven children who grew up and scattered through out Washington Parish.

During April 1867, Thomas Jefferson Moore was unexpectedly killed while helping friends build a log cabin. They were falling timber when one of the trees fell on him crushing him to death instantly.  The only family member that stayed on at the old place was, Thomas and Eliza’s son, Bouey Moore.

Angus Bouey Moore and
Lavada Moore Pittman

Bouey married Ms. Louisiana Trim. They lived as it was sometime the custom in those days with Bouey’s parents until they could build a house of their own.

No one knows or understands why Grandpa Bouey did not just build onto Grandpa Thomas’ log home as his family grew. Grandpa Bouey acquired a log cabin that had been abandoned from sources unknown.  With the help of his oldest three or fours sons, they disassembled it, and moved it from its original location and reassembled it where it stands today. Grandpa moved his family into it. This all took place around the mid to late 1800’s.

We believe that the Bouey Moore Place is very unique in its architectural and engineering design. It is also a testament to the ingenuity of our early pioneers. You see, as Grandpa Bouey’s family grew, the old house had to grow as well. We believe the story of the family coincides with the story and evolution of the old house.

The old house is the marrying of several different houses or parts thereof. They have all been connected together to make this place we call home. We will attempt to explain how all of this unfolded over time.

The Bouey Moore family were originally hunters, trappers, and farmers although they did work outside of the farm from time to time. They lived a self- sufficient lifestyle like many families in the 1800’s.

The first part of the old house is the log part. It measures 18’5” by 14’ and had a 6’6” by 3’6” clay fireplace where all the cooking took place. It was in used up to 1969 when Grandpa Bouey’s sons, Ernest and Adolphus “Doll” Moore had it replaced with a brick fireplace to alleviate the risk they felt existed that could have resulted in the house catching fire.

The logs that were used to construct the walls in what we now call the dinning room have not been pined. They are notch and made of Yellow Pine. They are still solid and fit tightly in to their notches. The roof has evolved from wood shingles to tin, but the pole rafters that held the wood shingles are still solidly in tact and in place. They now hold the present tin roof.

As was mentioned earlier, the old house grew as Grandpa’s family grew. With the growth of the family came the need for more space.  Grandpa Bouey soon located another abandoned house. This one was made of planks of Yellow Pine instead of logs. Bouey used it to build the second part of the old house.

The second part consists of one bedroom measuring 7’4” by 21‘, which is attached to the end (or side) of the original log cabin. The door of the bedroom opens onto a front porch which also serves as an outdoor “hallway” to connect the two rooms. A lean to style kitchen was attached to the back of the original log cabin. The wood stove that was bought for the kitchen sits behind the old house.  A person has been contacted to restore it, and once restoration is accomplished, the stove will be put back in its original place inside the house. The additions to the original house are constructed of Yellow Pine planks.

The third part of the old house is the family mystery. No one knows just how it became a part of the house. The family refers to it as “the house” when we are talking about the old place, because it stands out above the rest of the structure.  It measures with the front and back porches 32’ by 20’2”. It includes a clay fireplace measuring 6’6” by 3’6” (which is currently undergoing restoration). This fireplace is also being used as a pattern for a shell to go around the brick fireplace in the log part of the house. The main part of the house measure 16’ by 20’2” without the two porches with the ceiling joists 16’ from the floor. This part of the house is connected to the rest of the old house by its back porch and roof. This clever design turned the whole house into a dogtrot style. Like the previous additions, it to is made of Yellow Pine planks.

The fourth part of the home is a single bedroom placed on the connecting porch of the house. It measures 8’10” by 8’1”.  It is connected to the third part. There is still a breezeway between the two major parts of the old house. The old house grew from 18’5” to 51 feet by 20 feet 2 inches.

Back in 1971, Ernest Moore, Bouey’s son, who lived with his younger brother and sister Adolphus and Lavada, was cleaning the land like they did every year through controlled burning.  Ernest was in his 80s.  He got trapped in the fire and was seriously burned.  His dying wish was to come home from the hospital to live out his to live out his days at the old house.

From left to right: Adolphus “Doll” Moore, William Ernest Moore, LaVada Moore-Pittman

The doctor tending to Ernest called the family together and told them that Ernest could come home but some changes would need to be made to the old place.  They said that the house would have to be sealed up and a full bathroom would need to be installed.

To honor Ernest’s wishes, the family was obligated to build a bathroom on the connecting porch across from the single bedroom. The bathroom represents the last addition made to the old house. One year later Uncle Ernest passed away in the house he loved so dearly.

Ernest Moore was the first person to man the Lookout Tower in Washington Parish. He stood the original Lookout Tower at Bogalusa, Louisiana and when the new tower at Sheridan, Louisiana was erected, he was the first person to be in charge of it. After his retirement, his nephew Nevels Pittman, (Lavada Moore Pittman’s son) took over the responsibility of the Sheridan Fire Tower.

Betty Jean Schilling Pittman and Nevels Pittman,  Parish Fair 1956

Ernest mapped out many roads in the area.  Many of those original roads are still being used today. Although once owned by the family, these roads are now owned and operated by the Washington Parish government.

Looking out over the south side (which encompasses Oak Grove)
from the Sheridan Fire Tower off of Highway 439

Three weeks to the day after Ernest’s death, his brother, Adolphus Moore passed away. He lost his life defending his country when he was gassed in France. This left only their sister, Lavada Moore Pittman residing at the old house. There has never been any mention made of Grandpa Bouey having paid any money for the old house. The out buildings, the dog trot style barn, the out house, and the smokehouse are still there and currently under renovation.

  The old smoke house circa 1968

The Bouey Moore family have been well known conversationalists as far back as we can remember.
Many local hunters know that the old house was a hunters meeting place. It was a place where they could get a good, hot meal, rest, and catch up on the news of the day. The hunters would often leave lost dogs that they found in the woods in the care of the family.  The family would provide food and keep the lost dogs until the owners could be contacted or would come looking for them. This same practice is still exercised today. The old house remains a landmark to the hunters and parish residents.

Ernest Moore tending to his hound dogs

A pen full of playful hound dogs await their dinner behind the old house

April Jalon Pittman Beech, (the only daughter of Nevels Pittman and Betty Jean Schilling Pittman) moved into the old house after her Grandmother, Lavada Moore Pittman took ill and moved in with her son, Nevels. Jalon and her husband Carl Beech, enjoyed living in the old house for just over a year until moving away to accept a pastoral position in Mississippi.  They later returned to Bogalusa and have full intent to retire at the old place one day.

April Jalon Pittman Beech, March 29, 1963 – 9 months old

Jalon and Win’s parents
Betty Jean Schilling Pittman and Nevels “Pete” Pittman, July 14, 1990

Winford E. Pittman, July 26, 1956 – 2 years old
Winford E. Pittman, (the only son of Nevels and Betty Pittman) together with his wife, Judy Ann Fincher Pittman lived on the old place for many years after they married.  They currently have plans to build a new log home behind the old house. Angus Bouey Moore and Louisiana Trim Moore had fourteen children. It is believed that over half of the children were born in the old house. Many of their children stayed in Oak Grove.  They started and raised their families there until they moved on.

We are certain that Thomas and Eliza Moore and their eleven children together with Bouey and Louisiana Moore and their fourteen children never realized the impact they would have over time in Washington or St. Tammany Parishes.

Just about every family in Washington Parish can trace roots back to the old Bouey Moore Place. This family helped create the community we now recognize as Oak Grove.

Descendents of Thomas and Bouey Moore have since spread throughout, Washington and St. Tammany parish, and into other parts of the United States, but they still call this place home.

The Bouey Moore home holds both fond and sad memories not just for the family, but also for the residents throughout the area.

It has never influenced American History, but it clearly demonstrates the resourcefulness and creativity of the early American pioneers. The house proudly stands as a testament and symbol of our pioneer spirit, which still lives on in each family member today.

We respectfully ask you to help us preserve the honor and the admiration this old place has earned throughout the decades. We hope that you’ll join us in the fight to stop the frivolous and needless spending of taxpayer money to fund the proposed reservoir.  We have plenty of recreational areas and fishing holes throughout our parish.  To flush away such a fundamental part of Washington Parish history would be to make of a mockery of all those that came before us.

Story Continued in a Community Lost