About the Venue

A little history....
This charming little piece of history has been listed with the Nation Registry of Historic Places. The home was built between 1900-1915 by one of the areas early physicians. It also served as a boarding house for single school teachers.
In 1890, a doctor named Maddy Lyons moved an old two story home three blocks south of its original location. The back side of the house was then added, which is currently recognized as 203 S. Crocker St. in Sulphur, Louisiana.

Then, in 1930, the home was purchased by a couple named Isaac and Noelie Comeaux, who were also the owners of Comeaux’s Grocery Store. The home that they purchased had a poker house located in the back, just behind the present day garden archway entrance. On Monday nights, Isaac would invite his friends over for poker and drinks. In the late 40’s, Isaac passed away, leaving the home to his wife Noelie.

Thirty years later, when Noelie passed away, she left 203 S. Crocker St. to her daughter Gaynel. Gaynel married a man named H.C. Semple. When Gaynel recognized that the home needed more attention to upkeep than she expected, she sold the home to Mrs. H.J. Fontenot. Fontenot had the home from 1972-1988.
The additional rent houses across the street were willed to Isaac Comeaux, Jr. and Beverly Dupuy Comeaux. As of the year 2017, Beverly Comeaux is now 100 years old.

In 1988, a man named Steve Holden purchased the home. He and his wife Tootsie remodeled the home and transformed it into a photography studio. Holden named the business “Picture This” and worked there for twenty years. Then, in 2007, the Holdens retired and sold the home to Rod and Karen Buller. The Bullers kept the brand name and worked in the home for close to ten years.

January of 2016 brought about change as Mikel and Kathi McKinney purchased the home and renamed the business “The Secret Garden.” Due to the fact that neither of the two owners were photographers, they decided to open the venue up to the local photographers. In 2017, they estimated that the plantation style home was 136 years old. Mary Katherine McKinney, the daughter of the owners discovered an old skeleton key in an upstairs bedroom one day while painting. Soon after the discovery, the owners were delighted to find that the key fit an old cash drawer that held a register in the original Comeaux’s Grocery Store. In March 2017, Mrs. Beverly Comeaux decided to visit the home and the McKinneys presented the cash drawer to her as a gift. The McKinneys documented this moment in history by taking a picture of Mrs. Comeaux with the heirloom.

Mikel and Kathi are currently allowing photographers to enjoy the beautiful home by taking pictures in the house and gardens both. The interior of the home is decorated with light colors and antique furnishings to accentuate its vintage beauty. The gardens are strategically planned with photography props that the public has considered a gold mine in the photo and venue industry. The McKinneys have restored the home with an appreciation of the past and an optimistic view for the future of “The Secret Garden.”
The new owners would like to continue with the tradition and have worked hard to restore its beauty and bring it back to life. There's also big plans for the future including year around gardens, new structures & walkways, and new updated posing backgrounds!

For those seeking a unique destination for a variety of events and numerous photo opporutnities for professional photos, The Secret Garden is the perfect choice. 

Check out our gallery of photos and come by and see us! We would love to show you around and answer any questions you may have. Be prepared for true southern hospitality and service!