The Cypress Cottage aka Camp Dularge

The Cypress Cottage aka Camp Dularge

Well, I’ve been preoccupied with a very special, top-secret project.  See the beautiful run-down cypress house in the photo above?

I acquired this old cypress house in February of this year. The house was purchased “as is”, because it was sorely neglected, and I saw great potential.

It is going to become Camp Dularge, a nightly fishing camp rental for my customers and any others who want a bayou getaway for a night or as long as you want!  But first, there’s lots of work to be done, as you can see.   I have a vision!

Lil Sis came down and helped me do some evaluation and discovery work on the little cypress house. Now it’s time to bring you in on the entire thing, give you a little history about the old house, and bring you up to date on our progress.

The house was built mainly of cypress about 80 years ago. Cypress was used for home building because of its resistance to termites and mold–both of which the high humidity here encourages. I would never advocate the large-scale clear cutting of cypress now that we know the value it is to the wetlands and the part they play in protecting our environment. However, I am not at all opposed to reclaiming cypress lumber from old buildings or from the waterways. And I hope that I leave a mark on this community by restoring this old treasure when it’s all said and done.

It is my plan, as much as possible, to restore the house to its original decor. It appears to have been “updated” in either the sixties or seventies with vinyl flooring, ceiling tiles, and paneling on the walls, some of which has been painted.

Renovations Begin

LilSis and I know what we hoped to find behind all that ghastly blue wall paneling. 

The Cypress Cottage aka Camp Dularge

 Armed with lots of muscle and a couple of special tools, LilSis and I removed all the old paneling to reveal see what was behind it.   walls.  

The Cypress Cottage aka Camp Dularge

Just look at that beautiful cypress tongue and groove beadboard, which I will paint a very similar color to what it is now.  Finding this beadboard in such good shape behind the paneling was so exciting!  (I can’t imagine why anyone thought it was an “upgrade” to cover this up back when they did, many years ago!)

The bedrooms both have dark wood paneling from the modern era (!).  Maybe we could paint it, or maybe there is a surprise hiding behind this paneling, too. 

The Cypress Cottage aka Camp Dularge

Using the same tools and brutal technique, this is what we found . .

The Cypress Cottage aka Camp Dularge

More beadboard, this time painted pink, which I plan to paint it a beautiful shade of marsh green.

The cypress house has two bedrooms, one bathroom, a very large, long dining kitchen area, leading into a nice living room.  I promise to post before and after photos as the renovations come along.

WATS  – Women Armed with ToolS

Now, let me introduce you to our club called WATS and tell you how it started.  About five years ago, LilSis and I, being the handy women that we are, once took apart her children’s wooden swing set and club house and turned it into a chicken coop. You heard me right – a chicken coop. That was the day she learned to use a circular saw. It was great! Afterward, tremendously proud of what we had accomplished, we decided to call ourselves “Women Armed with ToolS” or WATS.

Then, after Hurricane Rita flooded an old storage shed at my house downt he bayou, she and two ladies from her church came down and we had a Demolition Party. We started at the roof, and we demolished that camp boat in one day. (and it was full of bees!) That was when she learned to use a reciprocating saw. After that major undertaking, we inducted two new members into the club.

The Cypress Cottage aka Camp Dularge

So, if you want to be inducted into our chapter of WATS, I guess you’ll have to come on down and pick up an electric tool or two and use them on the Old Cypress House.

Don’t fight among yourselves, girls, there’s plenty of work for everyone!

To be continued . . . .


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  1. If I wasnt about 9 weeks from having a baby, I would be on my way BABY!!!!! LOL I LOVE to rip things apart and put them back together!!!

    Oh, a baby! How grand! I’m sorry you can’t come because the back storage roof has to be demolished!!!!

  2. Can’t wait to come down for a good long visit once I get Fiddler and Gypsy squared away for the summer!

    And just ask RenRed how I handle a tiller!

  3. Lovely, BW. What a great project. And hey, I’m a West Virginia WATS chapter member! We got girls with tools here too.

    Your Mother’s Day looks like it was a very good day. I only got to see one of my 5 sons, but that’s okay. All are well and that’s all I can ask for.

    It was wonderful even though my two oldest boys were missing! I love it that you are a WATS member!!!! That is so cool! When you coming down?

  4. At this point I will be greedy with any details….stay tuned….the results will be AWESOME!

  5. I love before-and-after projects with pictures!
    FUn Fun

    I hope to keep them coming—after I do some more work, that is!