A decade later the family renewed the offer — at a time when serious interest in local history was just beginning to emerge. This time the Society expressed enthusiasm. On January 1, 1950, the Society took title to the property and buildings, though court proceedings left the matter unresolved until April 1952, when Villa Louis opened to the public.
The Dousman heirs also donated a large collection of furnishings and accessories original to the house as well as thousands of letters, business records, photographs and other archival documents. The family’s original donation was subsequently enhanced by significant donations from their heirs and purchases from their heirs’ estates.
The extensive documentation provided by the Dousman heirs served as the basis for a documentary restoration of Villa Louis that began in 1994. With more than $2 million dollars provided by a mix of private- and public-sector funding sources, the restoration is now complete. Today the Villa Louis is the finest example of a British Arts and Crafts interior in a rural setting in the United States.