Remember this Queen Anne-style home in Bay St. Louis? Here’s the backstory

It was love at first sight when Mrs. McDonald saw Ada Villa.
It was love at first sight when Mrs. McDonald saw Ada Villa. Randy Randazzo Collection

This stately Queen Anne-style home of the Victorian era stood at 205 North Beach in Bay St. Louis before it became a victim of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The architect and builder, Charles Sanger, constructed the home in 1889 for Raoul Telhiard of New Orleans as a summer resident, which he called Ada Villa. Sanger designed and built many other homes and buildings in Hancock County.

In 1904 William Albert McDonald sold his business in Holly Springs and moved his family to Bay St. Louis where he began a successful feed and farm supply business near the L&N Depot.

The family rented a home near the feed store, and then Mrs. McDonald went house hunting. When she saw Ada Villa, which wasn’t for sale, she had to have it. At the time, the house was in the hands of the second owners.

Robert G. Scharff, in his book “Louisiana’s Loss Mississippi’s Gain: History of Hancock County,” quotes Mrs. McDonald as saying “the house was already 15 years old and ripely mellowed with a heap of living.” She offered the owner a certain figure and was surprised when it was accepted. She went on to say that “I have lived and loved every minute of it since.”

Ada Villa passed through various owners before that fateful day of Aug. 29, 2005, when Katrina robbed Bay St. Louis and the other cities along the Mississippi Coast of so many of their irreplaceable historic and landmark houses.