August is New Orleans Museum Month, a perfect chance to use your membership at one of 16 participating museums to visit the other institutions on the list free of charge for the entire month. One of the most historic on the list is the Beauregard-Keyes House (1113 Chartres St.) across from the Old Ursuline Convent Museum. The house takes its name from two of its most famous residents: Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard and novelist Frances Parkinson Keyes (whose last name rhymes with "skies," not "keys"). The house was built in 1826 by architect Francois Correjolles for a wealthy auctioneer named Joseph LeCarpentier, who was the grandfather of world chess champion Paul Morphy.
The house passed into the hands of other families before General Beauregard and his relatives lived there for 18 months following the Civil War. Keyes, who became nationally known for her 1948 murder mystery Dinner at Antoine's (which is set at the restaurant), bought the building in 1945 and restored it. The foundation she established after her death in 1970 now oversees the home, which features exhibits about its former residents and other historical topics. For more information on visiting the house and other museums during Museum Month, visit www.touristathome.com.