The Smith-Emmick House at 616 East Harrison is the second of three almost identical houses built by W. Burns Logan, Sr., a chemical engineer and president of the Acme Products Company which began operation in DeQuincy in June of 1920. His first house built in Pensacola, where he started his first plant, was destroyed in 1994, and the third house built in 1929 on the bluffs of the Calcasieu River north of Lake Charles was called Greenacres. It also no longer exists having been destroyed in 1991. Each subsequent house was increased in size and extravagance.
The remaining DeQuincy house was built in 1920 under the supervision of R.L. Douglass, an engineer and future long time school board member, and stands today as a testament to the long-term positive economic impact on the local economy by the turpentine industry until the late 1950’s.
Mr. Logan sold the Acme Products Company in December of 1928, and his magnificent home was part of the deal and became the property of the new owner, Newport Company, Inc. Although the house could hardly be described as company housing, it did indeed become home to the plant’s new superintendent, Harry L. Smith, who would live there for the next forty years.
The large and handsome house is in the Colonial Revival Style with a pedimented portico entrance and a prominent Dutch gambrel roof. It has seven gables, seventeen rooms, five fireplaces, and sixty-five windows containing some five hundred panes. It is constructed of heart pine, oak, cypress shakes, and the original slate roof remains. It is virtually unchanged from its original construction.
One of the earliest houses in DeQuincy to have electricity provided by the adjacent plant, many of the original light fixtures remain in use. Steam was also provided from the plant to heat the house.
When the supply of raw materials consisting primarily of pine stumps began to diminish in the 1950’s, Newport Industries, Inc. was sold to Heyden Newport Chemical Corporation in 1957, and the closure and demolishment of the plant was imminent.
Having secured an option to purchase the house and an adjacent lot in 1953 for $5000, Mr. Smith and his wife, Ethel, became the owners on April 2, 1958. After Mr. Smith’s death, Mrs. Smith lived there until 1968 when the property was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. James Burleigh. Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Emmick acquired the property in 1992.
The Calcasieu Preservation Society designated the house as a local Historical Landmark in 1994.