|City/Town: • Wilmot, AR|
|Location Class: • Residential|
|Year Built: • 1968|
|Year Abandoned: • 1990's|
|Status: • Demolished|
|Photographer: • AOK Supporting Material|
The deYampert home was built by William Benjamin deYampert, Jr, born in 1918. He was a dedicated civil servant, serving as Mayor of Wilmot, AR and a member of the city council many times. He also served on various boards, including Wilmot School Board, the Delta Trust Bank; he was president and chairman of the Board of Bayou Grain and Chemical Company, among many other prestigious titles in town.
A prominent landowner, farmer, and pioneer in the aquaculture industry, Mr. deYampert built some of the earliest catfish farms in the Arkansas Delta. He was a soft-spoken, reserved man of few words, inherently kind and generous.
An innovator, he was interested in new sciences, new uses for agricultural land, and new methods of construction. He and his workers built many structures in Wilmot including the deYampert store, the Wilmot Hospital, the Wilmot Post Office, the Cypress Lodge, and the family home.
The abandoned deYampert home-place, built in 1968, is a total of 12,134 square feet with 7 and ½ bathrooms, and three levels with an indeterminate amount of bedrooms, two kitchens, multiple common areas, 3 fireplaces, a massive indoor pool and hot tub area, and an underground tunnel area for storage. The floor was built with wood subfloor and covered in ceramic tile. The flat roof was covered in tar and gravel. Much of the house was built with cinderblocks, as were many of the other buildings built by Mr. deYampert.
The house itself is now in total disrepair, abandoned sometime in the 1990s by the family who built another grand house not far away. From the front, it appears to be just a small building hidden behind trees and massive amounts of bamboo, however older photos show what looks to be one or two stories, when the house’s true grandeur and size is hidden from the front. Because of the open floor plan and exposure to the elements, the house is inhabited now by a great deal of mold, bats, and the carcasses of wild dogs or coyotes that wandered in and were unable to navigate their way out. At one point, an alligator found a brief home in the large pool and had to be removed by Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
Despite the deterioration and decay, the house is still a marvel to behold. Many locals have reached out with memories of swimming lessons in the pool, spending the night with the deYampert children, watching the home built from the ground up, and fond memories of the lovely family in general.
The owners have noted the site is specifically off limits and dangerous, and no trespassing is allowed.