It’s hard to imagine what everyday life might have been like for John Kleinpeter Jr. and his wife Amelia in 1820, the year their home was built on a vast parcel of land located near what now is Perkins Road.

But what isn’t hard to imagine is how their home looked in those early years. Thanks to some architectural detective work and the determined efforts of their descendants, the two-century-old Kleinpeter House once again stands in the same pristine condition as when it was first constructed.

The restored Creole-style structure made its big debut as the wedding reception venue of a member of the youngest generation of the Kleinpeter family in late October. Such a grand unveiling was the culmination of a decade-long vision and two years of intensive construction. It also marked the beginning of a new era for this tangible piece of Baton Rouge history.

“We believe this is one of the finest, most historically accurate restorations in the state of Louisiana,” says Greg Kleinpeter, the home’s most recent inhabitant before the family entered into a partnership with Carmouche Construction to create the traditional neighborhood development called the Settlement at Willow Grove here. “Our ancestors didn’t remove layers, they just added on, so this was like peeling the onion back to the original condition. Almost everything you see is original, and we’re proud of that.”

John and Amelia Kleinpeter might never have predicted that their home would be standing proud so long after it was built. They both came from families who had immigrated to the United States from the Alsace region of Germany, near the French border. Both families had first settled in Maryland before traveling by barge down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to reach a new home in south Louisiana, where they were free to practice their Catholic faith even before the Bill of Rights granted that privilege to all Americans. After John and Amelia married in 1811...

Read the full story at