Monday, February 2, 2009
Opelousas is a city in and the parish seat of St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, United States. It lies at the juncture of Interstate 49 and U.S. Route 190. The population was 22,860 at the 2000 census. Although the 2006 population estimate was 23,222, a 2004 annexation should put the city's population to 25,508. Opelousas is the principal city for the Opelousas-Eunice Micropolitan Statistical Area, which had an estimated population of 91,528 in 2006. Opelousas is also the 3rd largest city in the Lafayette-Acadiana Combined Statistical Area, which has a population of 537,947. Founded in 1720, Opelousas is Louisiana's 3rd oldest city. The city served as a major trading post between New Orleans and Natchitoches in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Traditionally an area of settlement by French Creoles and Acadians, Opelousas is the center of zydeco music. It celebrates its heritage at the Creole Heritage Folklife Center, one of the destinations on the new Louisiana African American Heritage Trail. It is also the location of the Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino. The city is known as the spice capital of the world, with production and sale of seasonings such as Tony Chachere's products, Targil Seasonings, Savoie's cajun meats and products, and LouAna Cooking Oil. Opelousas is also home to one of the nation's two Yoohoo Factories.
Yoo-hoo is an American chocolate milk beverage.
Yoo-hoo originated in New Jersey in the 1920s, when Natale Olivieri sold "Tru-Fruit" soft drinks in his small store. Olivieri discovered a process to produce a chocolate soft drink that would not spoil. The name "Yoo-hoo", already being used for Olivieri's other fruit drinks, was applied to the chocolate-flavored drink as well.
Yoo-hoo would soon begin to be bottled by a major bottling company and to be sold in supermarkets.
Sources in the beverage industry claim that Yoo-hoo owes its famously open-ended shelf life to a steam sterilization process that takes place after the bottles or cans are filled and capped. As long as it is sealed, Yoo-hoo cannot go sour.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Yoo-hoo went through a large promotional campaign that included Yogi Berra and the New York Yankees officially sponsoring the drink. The image of Berra drinking a bottle of Yoo-hoo while wearing a suit, in particular, became famous. The ads featured Berra holding the bottle next to his face and saying with a smile, "It's Me-He for Yoo-Hoo!"
Also during the '50s, B.B.C. Industries took over Yoo-hoo. They held ownership until 1976, when it was bought by Iroquois Brands. Yoo-hoo was sold again in 1981 to a group of private investors, which in turn sold Yoo-Hoo to Pernod Ricard in 1989.
In 2001, Pernod Ricard sold Yoo-hoo to Cadbury-Schweppes, with production responsibilities falling to CS's Mott's group, and marketing and advertising responsibilities under Snapple. This led to an increased awareness of the once popular beverage.
The soft drink company's headquarters are in Rye Brook, New York, with plants in Carlstadt, New Jersey and Opelousas, Louisiana.
Yoo-Hoo apparently owns other chocolate drink brands, including Choc-Ola, Brownie, Cocoa Dusty and
In May 2008, Cadbury-Schweppes split into Cadbury plc. and the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, of which Yoo-Hoo is now part.
Opelousas takes its name from the Native American tribe Appalousa who had occupied the area before European contact.
(The Appalousa were Native Americans who had occupied the area around Opelousas, Louisiana before European contact.
The name Opelousas has been thought to have many meanings, but the one most commonly accepted is "Blackleg", possibly because the tribe painted or stained their legs a dark color.
Michel De Birotte, who lived in Louisiana from 1718 to 1734, eight years of which he spent living among the Indians, said the Appalousa lived just west of two small lakes, thought to be Leonard Swamp, east of Opelousas. This was the westernmost channel of the Mississippi River in earlier times. Because of mineral deposits and the great number of leaves covering the bottom, the waters of the lake were black. Appalousa hunting and fishing in the lake found their legs became stained black from the stagnant waters.)
The first recorded European arrived in the Appalousa Territory in 1690. He was a French coureur de bois (trapper and hunter). French traders arrived later to trade with the Appalousa Indians. In 1719, the French sent the first military to the Territory, when Ensign Nicolas Chauvin de la Frénière and two others were sent to patrol the area. In 1720, the French established Opelousas Post as a major trading organization for the developing area.
French encouraged immigration to Opelousas Post before they ceded Louisiana in 1762 to Spain. By 1769 about 100 families, mostly French, were living in the Post. In 1774the Saint Landry Catholic Church was built.
Don Alejandro O'Reilly, Spanish governor of Louisiana, issued a land ordinance to allow settlers in the frontier of the Opelousas Territory to acquire land grants. The first official land grant was made in 1782. Numerous settlers: French, Creoles and Acadians, mainly from the Attakapas Territory, came to the Opelousas Territory and acquired land grants.
After the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, settlers continued to arrive at the relative frontier from St. Martinville. Prejean, Thibodaux, Nezat, Hebert, Babineaux, Mouton, and Provost were some of the early Creole families. (This was Creole as French born in Louisiana, see French Creole.) Other early French Creole families were Roy, Barre, Guenard, Decuir, and Bail. In 1820, Alex Charles Barre, also a French Creole, founded Port Barre. His ancestors came from the French West Indies, probably after Haiti (St. Domingue) became independent. Jim Bowie and his family were said to settle in the area about 1813.
James "Jim" Bowie
In 1805 Opelousas became the seat of the newly formed St. Landry Parish, also known as the Imperial Parish of Louisiana. The year 1806 marked the beginning of significant construction in Opelousas. The first courthouse was constructed in the middle of the town. Later in the year the Louisiana Memorial United Methodist Church was founded, becoming the first Methodist church in Louisiana, and the first Protestant church in Louisiana. Five years later, the first St. Landry Parish Police Jury met in Opelousas, keeping minutes in the two official languages of English and French.
European and American settlement was based on plantation agriculture, and both groups brought or purchased numerous enslaved Africans and African Americans to work as laborers in cotton cultivation. African Americans influenced all cultures as the people created a creolized cuisine and music. The long decline of cotton prices throughout the 19th century caused problems for all relying on agriculture alone for livelihood.
The city was officially incorporated in 1821 to the United States. After Baton Rouge fell to the Union troops during the Civil War in 1862, Opelousas was designated as the state capital for nine months. The capital was moved again in 1863, this time to Shreveport when Union troops occupied Opelousas. During Reconstruction, the state government operated from New Orleans.
After the defeat of the South and emancipation of slaves, many whites had difficulty accepting the changed conditions, especially as economic problems and dependence on agriculture slowed the South's recovery. Social tensions were high during Reconstruction. In 1868 a white mob rioted and killed 25-50 freedmen in Opelousas. This was one of the single worst instances of Reconstruction violence in south Louisiana. The northern part of the state had much more violence during Reconstruction.
In 1880, the railroad reached Opelousas, giving the city an opportunity to grow and be better connected for trade. After getting the railroad, Opelousas also served as a stop for at least three of the Orphan Trains arranged by New York social services agencies to provide for resettlement of orphans from up until 1929. Opelousas was the heart of a traditional Catholic region of French, Spanish, Canadian and French West Indian heritage. Families in Louisiana took in more than 2,000 mostly Catholic orphans to live in their rural farming communities.
Opelousas later accepted thousands of refugees in May 1927, following the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. Heavy rains in northern and midwestern areas caused intense flooding in areas of Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana downstream, especially after levées near Moreauville, Cecilia and Melville collapsed. Over 81% of St. Landry Parish suffered some flooding, with 77% of the inhabitants affected. People in more southern areas of Louisiana, especially those communities along Bayou Teche, were forced to flee their homes for areas which suffered less damage. By May 20th, over 5,700 refugees were registered in Opelousas, which itself had a population of only 6,000 people. Many of the refugees were later able to return to their homes and begin the rebuilding process.
The city of Opelousas is constructing an Orphan Train Museum (second in the nation) in an old train depot located in Le Vieux Village. The first museum dedicated to the Orphan Train children is located in Kansas.
The Orphan Train was a social experiment that transported children from crowded coastal cities of the United States to the country's Midwest for adoption. The orphan trains ran between 1854 and 1929, relocating an estimated 200,000 orphaned, abandoned, or homeless children. At the time the orphan train movement began, it was estimated that 3,000 vagrant children were living on the streets of New York City.
The National Orphan Train Museum dedication celebration
Two charity institutions, The Children's Aid Society (established by Charles Loring Brace) and The New York Foundling Hospital, determined to help these children. The two institutions developed a program that placed homeless city children into homes throughout the country. The children were transported to their new homes on trains which were eventually labeled “orphan trains.” This period of mass relocation of children in the United States is widely recognized as the beginning of documented foster care in America.
The National Orphan Train Museum and Research Center is located in Concordia, Kansas. The Museum and Research Center is dedicated to the preservation of the stories and artifacts of those who were part of the Orphan Train Movement from 1854-1929. The research center is located at the restored Union Pacific Railroad Depot in Concordia and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Since 1982, Opelousas has hosted the Original Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Festival. Usually held the Saturday before Labor Day, the festival features a day of performances by Zydeco musicians, with the goal of keeping the genre alive. The exposure helped the city to be named the Zydeco Capital of the World on May 27, 2000, reflecting its significance in the history and continuing evolution of zydeco. Opelousas is the home of Clifton Chenier, the king of Zydeco.
C .J . C H E N I E R
Clifton Chenier (June 25, 1925 - December 12, 1987) a Creole French speaking native of Opelousas, Louisiana, was an eminent performer and recording artist of Zydeco music, a blend of Cajun and Creole music with R&B, jazz, and blues influences. He played the accordion, and won a Grammy Award in 1983.
The Yambilee Festival is held each year in Opelousas. 80's synth-pop musician Thomas Dolby speaks of Opelousas in the first person within his song, "I Love You Goodbye" from his Astronauts and heretics album of 1992.
Official Louisiana Yambilee Logo
The Yambilee Festival is held annually in Opelousas, Louisiana during the last full week of October.
The Yambilee was founded by two friends, native Texan J.W. "Bill" Low and Felix Dezauche, a yam shipper and processor as a way to honor the local sweet potato industry. According to J.W. Low, the raison d’etre of the festival was to “assist and encourage the advancement of the material prosperity and progress of the State of Louisiana, Southwest Louisiana and St. Landry Parish by stimulating local and national interest in Louisiana farm produce, particularly Louisiana Sweet potatoes (yams) and to provide colorful programs of entertainment capable of generating nationwide publicity and advertising for Louisiana yams and other farm produce.”
The first Louisiana Yambilee celebration, held October 9th and l0th of 1946, was organized by the first Board of Directors whose members included: J.W. Low, J.F. Dezauche, Anthony Chachere, Charles Bourque, Lee Mizzi, J.P. Barnett, Arnold Winsberg, J.M. Landry, A.B. Reed, Allen Dezauche, John Thistlewaite, Alex Watkins and Seth Lewis not to mention Opelousas Chamber of Commerce, city, parish and state officials, local organizations and countless volunteers.
The first Louisiana Yambilee festival queen was Jean Horecky of Church Point. There were 2 Co-Mr. Yams, Jack Herbert and Alfred Lagrange, both from Opelousas. The festival would crown it's first king ,R.J. Castille of Sunset, during the second festival.
The primary industries in Opelousas are agriculture, oil, manufacturing, wholesale, and retail. In 2000, Wal-Mart opened a large distribution center just north of the city. Horse racing track Evangeline Downs relocated to Opelousas from its former home in Carencro, Louisiana in 2003. Evangeline Downs has one of the largest slot machine casinos in Louisiana with over 2,000 machines.
Brigadier General J.J. Alfred Mouton, CSA. Born in Opelousas February 29, 1829. Confederate General who served under General Richard Taylor, CSA and was killed during the Battle of Mansfield, Louisiana
Clifton Chenier, legendary zydeco musician
Jim Bowie, legendary adventurer and hero of the Alamo, lived in Opelousas for a time. His first marriage is recorded in the archives of the St. Landry Catholic Church.
Richard Eastham (1916-2005), an American actor, was born in Opelousas. He played Harris Claibourne, a newspaper editor in the 1957-1960 ABC and later syndicated western series, Tombstone Territory.
Rodney Milburn, 1972 Olympic champion
John Ed Bradley, author
Paul Prudhomme, chef
Lloyd Mumphord, standout NFL cornerback and special teams captain of the legendary perfect season Miami Dolphins (1972-73) and two-time Super Bowl champion
Chef Tony Chachere was born in Opelousas where the Chachere family still owns and operates Tony Chachere's Creole Foods.
Judge Benjamin Pavy, father-in-law of Carl Weiss, the young doctor who allegedly killed U.S. Senator Huey Pierce Long, Jr., was from Opelousas.
Another famous judge from Opelousas was Louisiana Chief Justice Albert Tate, Jr., who later served on the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New Orleans.
Devery Henderson, New Orleans Saints wide receiver
Thomas T. Wartelle, professional golfer and renowned golf instructor
Tex Brashear, voice-over and cartoon voice actor
Marvin White from Port Barre plays for the Cincinnati Bengals-safety
Mayor Don Cravins
Welcome to the official site for the City of Opelousas, Louisiana.
The City of Opelousas is located in central St. Landry Parish about 20 miles north of the City of Lafayette. It is the largest city in St. Landry Parish and is considered one of the faster growing cities in the State of Louisiana. It is also rich in history and culture. The third oldest city in Louisiana, Opelousas is home to a diverse culture of Creole and Cajun ancestry. Sounds of Zydeco, Swamp Pop, and Cajun music fill the air. And, don't forget the food -- jambalaya, gumbo, boiled crawfish and shrimp. "Mmmmm, c'est bon!"
This site has been redesigned for your ease of use. City government pages are easily located at the top of the page. Public notices and events are easily seen and accessible to your right. And additional information on the City of Opelousas is available by selecting one of the photo icons to your left.
So, take your time and browse. And, let us know what you think and how we can better serve you.
The City of Opelousas is the third oldest city in Louisiana. As far back as 1690, French "Coureur de Bois" traders were probably the first Europeans to enter the territory of the
Opelousas Indians and carried on a lucrative trade with the Opelousas Indians at that time. The exact year in which Opelousas was established is not certain, but records indicate that the first land grant was acquired by Louis Pellerin, a French officer stationed at the Opelousas Poste, in 1764.
Opelousas was part of the Louisiana Purchase acquired by the United states in 1803. In 1805, St. Landry Parish was officially established, and was the largest parish in the state, known as the Imperial Parish of Louisiana. Opelousas was named the parish seat and records indicate the first courthouse was constructed in 1806 on a square in the middle of town. Since that time four other structures have been built on the same spot (1822, 1847, 1888, and the present courthouse built in 1939).
Louisiana was admitted to the Union in 1812, and Opelousas was later incorporated as a town in 1821. During the Civil War, Opelousas became the state capital for nine months in 1862 after Baton Rouge fell under Union control. The former Lieutenant Governor at that time was Homere Mouton, whose home became the Governor's mansion, a title it still bears.
How did Opelousas get its name? There is no record, however legend tells us that the Attakapas Indians occupied this area for their camping grounds. These Indians were a warlike tribe and preyed upon neighboring tribes. The three other tribes in the area, the Opelousas, the Choctaws, and the Alabamans, considered the Attakapas their enemy and together successfully drove them from their land, almost destroying the entire tribe. The three tribes then made a pact and gave the land of the Attakapas to the Opelousas Tribe, thus the territory was called "Opelousas." The name Opelousas means Blackleg.
Important Dates In Opelousas History
1719: Military presence is established in Opelousas area when Ensign Nicholas Chauvin de la Frênière and two others are sent into area by Captain Renauld d'Hauterive.
1770: In order to encourage settlement of the newly acquired colony, Gov. O'Reilly issues a land ordinance allowing settlers to acquire liberal grants of land, particularly in the frontier areas of the Opelousas, Attakapas, and Natchitoches districts.
1804: Opelousas is made the seat of the "County of Opelousas."
1805: The County of Opelousas is renamed St. Landry for the church at Opelousas.
1806: Louisiana Memorial United Methodist Church is founded in Opelousas. This is the first Protestant church in Opelousas, the first Methodist Church in Louisiana, and the oldest Methodist church west of the Mississippi River.
1811: The St. Landry Parish Police Jury meets for the first time on July 16. Minutes are written in English and French. The first order of business was to order the immediate construction of a jail, to be built adjoining the "old prison" where debtors are confined.
1821: Opelousas is formally incorporated by legislative act that included all land within one-half mile of the courthouse.
1828: The third St. Landry Church is built in Opelousas.
1853: One of the first volunteer fire departments in Louisiana is incorporated in Opelousas.
1853: A terrible yellow fever epidemic strikes St. Landry Parish in August. The town of Washington was decimated. Twenty people died in Opelousas.
1862: Opelousas becomes the capital of Confederate Louisiana in May as the state government is forced to flee Baton Rouge. It remained the state capital until January 1863, when it was moved to Shreveport because Union troops threaten and occupy Opelousas.
1868: Between 25 and 50 blacks are victims of a riot at Opelousas in September. It is cited as one of the worst examples of Reconstruction violence in south Louisiana.
1880: The first passenger trains reach Opelousas on October 15.
1908: The present St. Landry Church begins construction in Opelousas.
LE VIEUX VILLAGE
At the east entrance to Opelousas sits Le Vieux Village du Poste des Opelousas -- The Old Village of the Opelousas Poste. This little village was created in 1988 by the Opelousas Tourism and Activities Committee. Many of its structures were donated by families from the area.
We invite you to sit back and imagine yourself in any of these old historical buildings that were brought together from various places within St. Landry Parish to form this beautiful little village of the past. Feel what is was like in the yester years of our grandparents and their grandparents!
Le Vieux Village has everything a village could need -- from a schoolhouse to a store to a church to a doctor's office. It even has its own outhouse! Come by and visit and step back into time! No visit to South Louisiana is complete without a stop at "The Old Village."
Donato, Martin House
The Donato House (c. 1825) is a single story, medium to large, French Creole plantation house with Federal details. The once totally rural landscape surrounding it has been encroached upon by the northward expansion of Opelousas. However, the immediate setting is rural and remote because the house is set back about a quarter of a mile from the highway (Louisiana 182). Mature live oaks are disposed informally about the property. Despite a c. 1900 side wing and a few other changes, the house’s original French Creole character quite strong.
The Donato House consists of a single range of four rooms with a front gallery and rear cabinet-loggia range – all set under a pronounced hip roof with a slight French kick at the eave. There were never side galleries.
The heavy brick-between-post structure is raised approximately three feet above grade on brick piers. (The use of brick as an in-fill material in rural Creole structures is not as common as bousillage.) The floor plan is anchored by an almost square salle with a single narrow and deep room to the west and two narrow deep rooms to the east. Exposed beaded beams run from front to rear in the ancillary narrow and deep rooms and from side to side in the sale. The door to the salle is in the center of the façade, with other openings spaced more or less regularly
on either side.
Thus despite the house’s irregular Creole floor plan, its façade achieves a semblance of symmetry and regularity, which may be seen as evidence of the American Federal taste. This may also be seen in the front gallery columns, which are spaced more closely in the middle to emphasize the center and register the entrance.
Federal stylistic features include the compressed elliptical arches between the gallery columns and the delicately molded column capitals. As with other Creole houses, the front gallery is plastered and fitted with a chair rail as though it were an interior room. The chair rail also forms the window sill for the gallery’s window openings. The windows are surmounted with transoms, which is unusual in nineteenth century Louisiana residences. Another prominent feature (one generally associated with the Acadian subtype of French Creole architecture) is the pronounced exterior staircase, set against the façade, that ascends to the unfinished attic.
The easternmost room extends forward so that its front wall is flush with the outside of the staircase. The gallery retains its exposed beam ceiling and approximately half of its original balustrade.
The plastered interior features some of its original four-panel doors. Most window and door surrounds feature a delicate molding typical of the 1820s. Some surrounds are of plain boards. There never was an interior chair rail; thus, in this respect, the gallery was more richly adorned than the interiors. There was always only one
chimney in the house – set between the salle and the narrow westernmost room. In the salle, the chimney features a delicate aedicule style box mantel with pilasters surmounted by entablature blocks and twin vertical panels on each side. There is no over-mantel, but the plastered chimney breast is marked by a broad cornice at
the ceiling formed of built-up planks.
The original mantel that would have been on the other side of the firebox, in the westernmost room, is gone due to a c. 1900 remodeling and enlargement. At that time, the westernmost room was extended to the side to create a “Victorian” parlor. This side addition culminates in a two-story Queen Anne polygonal bay set under a faceted roof that connected with the old Creole hip roof. (The upper story of this addition is a dummy crawl space that connects with the old unfinished attic.) As part of the remodeling a new Colonial Revival mantel/over-mantel
set was installed featuring free-standing columns and a mirror.
The baseboards in the salle match those in the new “Victorian” parlor. (The easternmost rooms have simpler baseboards typical of an early nineteenth century house.) The evidence is inconclusive on the date of the front gallery enclosure on the western side (communicating with the “Victorian” parlor). While its baseboard matches that found in the c. 1900 parlor, its double window opening points quite strongly to the 1910s and 1920s.
The staff of the Division of Historic Preservation has never seen a double window opening in a Louisiana house of c. 1900. Instead, such a fenestration pattern is a signature of the bungalow era of the 1910s and 1920s.
The once open loggia at the center of the rear elevation was enclosed at some time. There is not enough architectural evidence to be certain of the date. The loggia also has the same baseboards as the “Victorian” parlor, but this alone is not a conclusive clue. Probably sometime after the loggia enclosure, the western cabinet was converted to a bathroom. This change involved installing new small windows which, in turn, necessitated replacing the clapboards. These new clapboards are somewhat narrower than the original. The eastern cabinet has been converted for a kitchen. Finally, most of the present window sashes date form the early twentieth
Despite these admittedly noteworthy alterations, the house still easily retains the bulk of its original French Creole character, including most of its characteristic hall-less Creole floor plan, its hip roof-over-gallery massing, its brick-between-post construction, its French wraparound mantel, most of its distinctive shallow arch
colonnade, its exposed beam ceilings (interior and front gallery) and its attic staircase. In short, the Donato House is still easily recognizable as a substantial rural Creole residence built near the end of the first third of the nineteenth century.
The present owner plans to remove the front gallery enclosure as part of an overall rehabilitation project using the Register’s 20 percent tax credit.
SIGNIFICANT DATES: c. 1835
c. 1835 - 1860
Edward Benjamin Dubuisson House
The Edward Benjamin Dubuisson House (1927) is a large two story frame residence built in a distinctly southern version of the Colonial Revival style. It is the only dwelling on a large city block in the St. Landry Parish town of Opelousas and enjoys an estate-like setting which contributes to its plantation house appearance. The home has received very little alteration and clearly retains the grand architectural character associated with what is termed by some as the Southern Colonial style.
Home Exterior view under Rosemary Live Oak tree. Home has two 200+ year old oak trees registered with the Louisiana Live Oak Society
Although the house is not antebellum in age, it was built to look like a plantation house of the colossal column type popular throughout the South. This particular type features a colossal order gallery spanning the facade. The columns support a heavy entablature which outlines the gallery's front and sides. These features are found on the Dubuisson home's exterior. It has a five bay gallery distinguished by thick colossal Tuscan columns and a heavy yet simply styled entablature.
Although the Dubuisson House is reminiscent of grand antebellum plantation houses and
many locals believe it to be one, there are various features that confirm its early twentieth century provenance to the trained eye.
Ladies' Parlor with Antique Rosewood John Henry Belter and Prudent Mallard furniture
These include: 1) the small projecting wings on each side of the
house, 2) the oversized pediments on the dormers, 3) the fact that the facade gallery entablature partially covers the second story windows, 4) the occasional use of coupled windows, and 5) the absence of a gallery at the second story level.
Specific features of the Colonial Revival style found on the house, other than those noted above, include:
1) a symmetrical facade consisting of a large two story main block flanked by smaller two story wings,
2) engaged columns marking the corners off the main block,
3) pedimented lintels above twelve-over-twelve windows,
4) a trabeated main entrance featuring a transom and sidelights,
5) dormers with pediments,
6) lunette windows piercing the attic gables,
7) a two story side porch featuring paired one story Tuscan columns on each level
8) twentieth century interpretations of Federal style mantels, and
9) a rear porte cochere with a heavy entablature and balustraded roof supported by paired single story Tuscan columns.
The first floor plan centers upon a large central hall containing a grand staircase.
View of foyer; rare central staircase. Home has five stairways
A large living room fills one side of the home, while a study, breakfast room and cross hall fill the other. The cross hall leads to a dining room, which is located within one of the wings. The home also has a rear ell which houses a kitchen and back porch. A small servant's bathroom is located just off this porch.
The second floor contains seven bedrooms, a sleeping porch, and three baths. All off the bedrooms adjoin an "L" shaped hallway which winds around two sides off the main staircase. A servant's stair connects the kitchen to the rear portion off this hall.
Interior features include wooden floors, chair rails and high molded baseboards throughout.
Main staircase, second floor landing
Important first floor rooms also have plaster or wooden ceiling medallions and plaster cornices.
Dining Room with wood panelling. Dining table is from the mid 19th century and once belonged to author Anne Rice. Chandelier is 19th century Russian found in Parisian chateau
Wooden wainscot is found on the walls of the central hall, cross hall, breakfast room, stair landing, and second floor landing; and the dining room walls are entirely paneled. The original cabinets survive in the butler's pantry. In addition to this woodwork, other features of interest in the house include the presence of leaded glass in all the major interior and exterior first floor doors, the use of
French doors in the openings between the home's central hall and the rooms flanking it, paneled doors throughout the second floor, the presence of a basement containing a 1920s wine cellar, shutters which can be cranked open and shut from inside each room, the use of terra cotta tiles on the floor of each gallery and porch, a Victorian style mantel with mirrored overmantel in the breakfast room, and a grand central staircase.
The house has experienced surprisingly few alterations since its construction, with only a few very minor changes having been made recently by the current owners. In addition to general repairs and painting, changes made by them include the installation of an island work space, a vent above the stove, and vinyl flooring in the kitchen. They also removed an old coal furnace from the basement and used that space to install a sauna. It was necessary to replace the wine cellar door with one made of a stronger material. These, of course, are all extremely minor alterations; and the house can be said to be virtually intact. Thus, it retains the overall grand white-columned look upon which its architectural significance is based and is a strong candidate for National Register listing.
Also on the property is a one story frame building which was presumably a carriage house.
Carriage House with Caretaker's truck
There is little documentation available on the building, although it is known to predate the present main house. Sanborn maps show a building off the right size and shape appearing in this location sometime between 1912 and 1921. (Circa 1915 is being used for the purposes off this nomination.)
The building is being considered a contributing element as a rapidly vanishing example of a once common building type in towns such as Opelousas. In much the manner of rural properties, town residences historically had dependencies in the year yard. Also, the building should be considered a contributing element because it is an integral part off the history off the property. As noted above, it
predates the present main house.
Significant dates 1927, c.1915 (dependency)
Architect/Builder Architect: Herman Duncan
Builder: Homer Ventre
Plantation Owner's Mansion For Sale in Louisiana, Louisiana USA
Dubuisson Home Front Exterior View
Own One Of Louisiana's Most Historic Mansions-Plantation
Asking Price: $1,500,000 USD
Former Louisiana Plantation Owner's Magnificent Estate For Sale-
$1,500,000 FIRM. RECENTLY APPRAISED 7/2008
MAIN HOUSE AND CARRIAGE HOUSE ON APPROXIMATELY 2 ACRES OF MANICURED GROUNDS WITH REGISTERED HISTORIC LIVE OAK,CEDAR,MAGNOLIA, PINE AND CREPE MYRTLE TREES.
Built by one of the wealthiest men in Louisiana, E.B. Dubuisson, to reflect his affluent status, this historic mansion represents a bygone era in Louisiana and is a perfect representative of the Grandeur of the South. The estate was greatly loved by Mr. Dubuisson and many feel that he continues to watch over his dream estate today.
Edward Benjamin Dubuisson, a Louisiana native whose family lineage can be traced back to Lyon, France, was owner of a 3000 acre plantation and also served as a politician, banker and most important, a devoted father; a father who with his wife, the former Rosa Dupre (descendant of Louisiana Governor Jacques Dupres) proudly raised 10 children including a Rhodes Scholar and West Point Graduate.
In 1925, the original antebellum family home on the property was replaced with the current mansion (actually completed in 1927 after close to three years of meticulous construction) to service the needs of the large family. At the height of his success when the current home was commissioned to be built, Edward Benjamin Dubuisson spared no expense which can be seen in the oak floors on the first floor, the solid brass hardware throughout, the elegant molding and wainscoting, the rare crystal "diamond center" doorknobs, the careful attention to detail to the landscape (including the planting of 7 Pinetrees representing the 7 boys, 3 Magnolia trees representing the 3 girls and 10 crepe myrtles in the backyard near the carriage house representing all 10 children), the list goes on and on.
One of the seven bedrooms
The mansion itself offers 7 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms (3 full baths and 2 half baths),majestic pillars, 5 working fireplaces, sweeping central staircase, butler's pantry, kitchen, formal dining room, breakfast room, ladies' parlor, grand parlor, sauna, walk-in attic, master suite with a separate sleeping area and a historic wine cellar. There are expansive grounds that include 200+ year old oak trees, mature landscaping, a swimming pool, a spacious back yard with a carriage house (complete with a beautiful horse-drawn carriage) surrounded by a privacy fence. The home has over 10,000 useable sq ft.
One of five bathrooms. This bathroom is in the Blue Guest Ensuite Bedroom
The Mansion is one of the most photographed homes in Louisiana. It has been the preferred site of many prestigious fundraisers and its opulent setting has helped charities and several current politicians raise thousands of dollars.
Bedroom #5, AKA Corner Bedroom
Ideal for a Bed and Breakfast, Office, Weddings, Special events, Restaurant, or as a private residence.
SELLER WILL CONSIDER TRADE FOR A TRIPLE NET-LEASED COMMERCIAL PROPERTY
Some antique furniture original to the home as well as the magnificent draperies remain. Other period furniture can be purchased.
Bedroom #6, Tester Bedroom
Additional Photos and info upon request.
Broker participation welcome.
Click Here For More Information
John Lewis House Other Names: Old Wyble House
The John Lewis House (c 1830) is a two-and-one-half story brick and frame plantation
house in the French Creole style. It is located at the fringe of suburban
development near the southeastern edge of Opelousas. Slab houses line the nearby road to the west and cane and soybean fields stretch towards the south and east. The structure itself is surrounded by shrubbery and huge oak trees. The home has experienced some changes since its construction, but its historic integrity remains intact.
Characteristic Creole features found in the John Lewis House include the following:
1) a main living floor raised upon a nine foot tall brick basement story,
2) an upper floor hand hewn timber frame whose mortises and tenons are locked
together by pegs. (Determining the composition of the infill material would be
impossible without damaging the fabric of the home.)
3) a Class III umbrella roof with gabled ends (see attached figure),
4) a floorplan showing the evolution of Creole taste as the influence of Anglo-American building traditions broadened. The plan includes rear corner cabinets, a rear loggia space, a front chambre, and a front salle which was partitioned to create a central hallway relatively early in the home's history.
5) a full length front gallery decorated in the Creole manner. These decorations
include tapered and chamfered colonnettes and an asymmetrical facade featuring
paneling. Small wooden square panels decorate the door and larger rectangular
panels form a dado surmounted by a diminutive chair rail. This treatment reflects
the Creole habit of decorating gallery spaces as indoor rooms. The gallery also
features wooden end panels stretching from the dado to the ceiling. Composed of
alternating square and rectangular shapes, these panels are used to protect the
facade's corners from the elements.
The house is also noteworthy for its Federal woodwork. For example, the shallow arches connecting the gallery colonnettes reflect the elliptical shapes popular in Federal styling. In addition, the door and window openings on the upper gallery feature delicately molded Federal surrounds with corner blocks. Inside, a four inch chair rail decorates the two front rooms and central hall. It features beading at both top and bottom. However, the highlight of the interior is its Federal mantel.
Its parts include delicately molded pilasters and horizontal moldings dividing the entablature into an architrave and frieze. It also features a raised central panel with a bold sunburst motif, raised side panels displaying a flattened niche motif, and a delicate layered mantel shelf. Most of the interior and exterior doors are hand-made with mortised joints and hand-planed surfaces. Early butt hinges
are still in place.
Alterations to the house since the addition of the central hallway include the following:
1) the replacement of the gallery floor, some of its supporting joists, one of its brick supporting posts, and the balustrade,
2) the replacement of an original under-gallery stair with a central staircase,
3) the enclosure of the upper rear loggia,
4) the installation of a stair connecting the former loggia to the space below, and the erection of new walls to protect this stair from the elements,
5) replacement of the damaged southern chimney,
8) replacement of original windows in one room,
7) the loss of a second Federal mantel, and
8) the improvement of the previously unfinished basement and attic for use as living
None of these changes seriously impacts the integrity or National Register eligibility of the structure. With the exception of the enclosure of the loggia, all of the Lewis home's major Creole characteristics remain intact. These features include its raised configuration, timber frame, umbrella roof, asymmetrical facade, rare gallery decoration, and transitional floorplan. Although the loss of the open loggia is unfortunate, the space itself still exists and is clearly identifiable on the floorplan.
Additionally, the Federal woodwork on the interior and exterior is almost entirely intact. Very few homes in St. Landry Parish retain elegant Creole and Federal woodwork such as found in the John Lewis House. For this reason, the structure is an excellent candidate for Register listing.
Significant dates c.1830
The Estorge House (1827) is a two-story, five-bay town residence which features brick
construction on the lower story and briquette-entre-poteaux construction on the upper story. The house is transitional in style, with features from both the Creole and Anglo-American influences.
Despite the in-town location, the house is on a relatively large, well-treed lot.
The setting has an almost semi-rural character. The structure has suffered few alterations over the years, and consequently still retains its architectural integrity.
As previously mentioned, the Estorge House has a combination of features associated with both the French Creole and Anglo-American traditions in Louisiana.
The Jackson House (c.1835) is a story and a half, frame, galleried, Greek Revival plantation house located in a flat rural setting approximately three miles north of the town of Opelousas.
Despite a few changes, the house retains its National Register eligibility.
The Jackson House has a symmetrical floor plan which is three rooms wide and two rooms deep. It is possible that at one time the long rear center room was an open gallery. If it was, it was enclosed relatively soon after the house was built. This is because the detailing on the rear wall is similar to the detailing in the rest of the house. The house has a seven bay front gallery with square posts and no frieze.
There is no rear gallery at present (if there ever was one). The front rooms are
connected with the front gallery by means of a combination of transomed French doors and six over six windows. The facade itself is covered in plaster and features paneled ends and a chair rail. The main story has exposed, unbeaded beam ceilings both inside and on the gallery. The dormers and most of the other windows are original, although most of the shutters are missing. The chimneys are original, but the mantels are modern. The present French doors are replacements.
In 1853 the house received its most significant feature - the false marbling of the front central room. The walls were painted to imitate the effect of marble ashlar.
The date "1853" and the initials of the then owners, Andre Prudhomme and his wife, Virginie Gaberel, are painted in a manner resembling veins in the marble.
The work is remarkably well preserved.
The present owner has added a rear deck which has a minimal visual impact on the house.
To the rear of the property is a single story kitchen which appears to be contemporaneous with the house. The kitchen is listed as a contributing element because it helps establish Jackson House's identity as a plantation house. The kitchen has been little altered since construction.
Despite the loss of most of the shutters, the replacement of all the French doors and
mantels, and the construction of the rear deck, the house still retains its National Register eligibility.
It still retains enough original features to easily convey its identity as a Louisiana galleried plantation house. In addition, these changes have not affected the marbleized interior.
Specific dates c.1835 1853
Builder/Architect c.1835 house: Etienne Lamorandier
1853 faux-marbre room: Andre Prudhomme
Michel Prudhomme Home Other Names: Ringrose
The Michel Prudhomme Home is a late 18th/early 19th century plantation home, typical of the character of French Colonial architecture in Louisiana.
The two-story building has a gallery across the front, while the rear gallery, which had rooms on either end, has now been enclosed. (The original lower column and upper colonettes which support this gallery are still in place, and the enclosure is such that it could be removed without damage to the original structure.) The lower story is of soft pink brick, while the upper story is of briquette entre poteaux. The exterior walls of the upper story are covered by clapboarding on the sides and rear, while the front is covered by stucco scored to resemble stone. (Portions of this have
been removed at either end, exposing the briquette entre poteaux.) The lower story has circular brick columns supporting the upper gallery, while the upper gallery has cypress colonettes and balustrade. The house has a high-pitched tripped roof with one dormer on each of the four sides.
The plan of the house is of French origin, with three rooms across the front, two across the rear (now actually three if the enclosed gallery is included), and no interior hallways. (See enclosed floor plan.) Access to the various rooms comes only from the galleries or from the interior doors between rooms. The floors on the lower story were brick, but these were removed and the floors covered with concrete.
Originally the lower story was used for the dining room and rooms for supplies, provisions and servants. The center room upstairs was the living room, and bedrooms were on the sides. There are two interior chimneys: one between the central and right
front rooms, and the other in the rear. The structural techniques used (briquette entre poteaux, hewn cypress timbers, pegged joints) and the stylistic details (French and Federal) strongly suggest a late 18th or early 19th century date of construction for this house.
Alterations to the house have included the enclosing of the rear gallery, the replacement of many of the windows, the concreting of the ground floor, and the addition of modern paneling and tile to some of the rooms. None of these changes are irreversible.
Early outbuildings still on the property are one pigeonnier and a corn crib. The pigeonnier is located about 60' from the right front corner of the house. Originally there was an identical pigeonnier to the left front of the house, but it no longer remains. The interior of the pigeonnier has the same type of beaded beams as in the house. The pigeonnier is constructed of hewn cypress and has a tripped roof.
The corn crib is located about 30' from the southeast corner of the house. It was originally on the other side of the house, but had to be moved because it no longer fit within the present property boundaries. It is constructed of hewn cypress and has the same pegged construction as seen in the framing of the house roof. Unlike the house and the pigeonnier, the corncrib has a gable roof.
The house was originally located on a large land grant, but now only the immediate
surroundings (approximately 141' x 163') remain intact. The property is located at the end of a cul-de-sac next to the General Hospital in a fairly heavily built up area of Opelousas.
Mouton House Other Names: Old Governor`s Mansion
The Mouton House is a one-story frame residence standing on a corner in one of
Opelousas' wooded residential neighborhoods. Built c. 1850, the home is primarily Greek Revival in style but also shows a distinct Italianate influence. Although it has suffered some losses, the high quality of its Greek Revival craftsmanship and the rarity of its Italianate cornice make the building a strong National Register candidate.
The house is distinguished by a number of Greek Revival characteristics. These include:
1) front and rear porticoes which resemble temples. The facade's three bay portico
features four wooden fluted Corinthian columns with cast-iron capitals, a pediment
with a broken entablature, a pronounced bracketed cornice, and a fanlight piercing
the pediment's tympanum. The portico's ceiling is subdivided by three paneled
beams which correspond to, the bays created by the columns. Additional paneled
beams outline the ceiling's edge. The rear portico is similar, except that it lacks the paneled ceiling beams and features four molded and paneled square pillars
instead of fluted columns.
2) a front entrance featuring a single door framed by tall, thick Doric pilasters. This door is surmounted by a small two-light transom and a thick entablature whose
single dentil band and a projecting cornice energize the otherwise smooth surface.
3) elaborate heavily molded surrounds decorating the two sets of unusual paired
windows on the portico as well as the doors and windows within the home's more
formal rooms. All of these surrounds feature pediment shaped lintels and shoulder
molding. However, those encasing the paired windows are somewhat unusual in that both the interior and exterior frames are composed of double pedimented lintels. Surrounds in the less formal bedrooms are more simple in design.
4) Doric pilasters decorating the facade beneath the portico and the corners of the
5) an entablature on the front and rear elevations.
The house’s Italianate influence comes from its exterior cornice. It is composed of molded and scalloped brackets with suspended pendants. In addition, the home's surviving black marble mantel is in the Rococo Revival style, a popular design which blended well with mid-nineteenth century Italianate motifs. Other interesting features in the house include its 14 foot ceilings, four panel doors, a balustrade whose balusters resemble horseshoes, large floor-to-ceiling windows opening onto the portico, tall shutters, gable parapets, an additional fanlight on each of the home's
gabled ends, rectangular transoms over interior doors, molded panels beneath the windows on interior walls, and tall molded baseboards. The floorplan is symmetrical and features formal central spaces flanked by two bedrooms on each side (see below).
The Mouton House has experienced a few changes over time. These include:
1) the loss of a cupola,
2) a somewhat mysterious rearrangement of the interior floorplan. It is obvious that a paneled kitchen was added in the home's rear central space and that closets and two bathrooms were carved from previously existing bedrooms on each side of the home. However, it is not possible to determine the original plan of the home's
central space (between the front and rear porticoes) without removing fabric
currently in place.
3) the removal of a set of pocket doors,
4) the installation of new flooring in all but one room,
5) the addition of a built-in room divider in the center of the home,
6) the installation of a beaded ceiling in what is now the front central room, and
7) the possible loss of additional marble mantels and the loss of all the home's
Despite these losses, the Mouton House remains a strong National Register candidate.
Although the floorplan has been changed and some mantels may have been lost, the missing pocket doors are stored beneath the home and could be reinstalled. The inappropriate room divider and beaded ceiling could easily be removed. The loss of the cupola is regrettable, but the home's highly styled Greek Revival temple-like porticoes, refined entrance, and pedimented lintels and shoulder moldings all survive intact. The building's Italianate cornice also remains unaltered. In
summary, the Mouton House exterior still looks much as it did upon its completion c.1850. Its fine Greek Revival and Italianate features make it a rare and locally important example of these styles.
Standing near the side of the property to the rear of the Mouton Home is a board and batten shed. It does not appear to be of the same age as the house, and does not contribute to its architectural significance. It is defined as a non-contributing element for the purposes of this nomination.
Significant dates c.1850
Old Federal Building
The Old Federal Building (1893) is a semi-monumental three-story brick structure located in downtown Opelousas. Although it has been enlarged once and renovated more than once, the exterior has maintained its original Romanesque Revival styling.
Overall the building retains enough significant features to merit listing in the National Register.
The Old Federal Building has a complicated history. It began in 1893 as a two-story
Romanesque Revival courthouse. Offices were downstairs and the courtroom and related spaces were upstairs. The courtroom was taller than the other rooms and was consequently set in its own raised pavilion. The building featured brick denticular cornices and an asymmetrical system of hip roofs. The lower story had segmentally arched windows and the upper story had round arch windows set in groups. In addition, the main entrance was articulated with a broad brick arch which had elaborately ornamented terra cotta spandrels. The spandrels had swirling naturalistic brincade and a pair of round panels which contained patriotic symbols (i.e., a great seal and a feathered eagle). The courtroom was the only noteworthy interior space. It had an extremely deep cove molded ceiling, a pair of ceiling medallions, and a triple set of arched windows in the front.
In 1932 the building was renovated and enlarged to provide for a larger courtroom and a post office downstairs. Although this was a substantial and all-encompassing renovation project, great care was taken to duplicate the original narrow, mortar brickwork and the original fenestration style in the new construction. As a result, the 1932 work is virtually indistinguishable from the 1893 work even to a trained observer.
In the course of the renovation, the following changes were made:
(1) A three-story addition was built at the rear.
(2) The courtroom was extended northward over an old side wing. The original
interior and exterior details were duplicated in the enlarged courtroom.
(3) New hip roofs were added to the original portions of the building. All roofs were
treated with decoratively cut exposed rafter ends. Although this feature did not
exist on the original building, it certainly was in keeping with the style of the
(4) The entire ground story was reworked to provide for a post office and for mail
(5) The chimneys were replaced.
(6) New doors, doorways, and baseboards were installed throughout.
(7) The side entrance on Landry Street was moved to the rear addition. In the
1960's the building was again renovated. Much of the lower story was gutted. In
addition, the courtroom was treated with fiberboard ceiling tiles and the front
windows were blocked up with concrete modular units. Finally, a rear loading dock
Assessment of Integrity:
Extant noteworthy Romanesque Revival features of the Old Federal Building include:
(1) the finely crafted broad entrance arch with its cast cement foliated impost and
elaborate terra cotta spandrel panels;
(2) the string courses,
(3) the round arch windows with brick hood molds;
(4) the finely crafted Baltimore brickwork; and
(5) the fenestration pattern.
The building's architectural significance is based upon these extant exterior features. Although the roofline features are not original, they contribute to the building's Romanesque Revival appearance. They do not detract from the Old Federal Building’s standing as a work of architecture in the Romanesque Revival mode.
Specific dates 1893
Builder/Architect Jeremiah O'Rourke: Supervising Architect
Opelousas City Hall
The Opelousas City Hall was originally an 1888 Victorian marketplace, but was completely remodeled in 1932 in the neo-classical style to serve as a city hall. It is a single story five bay stucco building located in the northwestern corner of the St. Landry Parish Courthouse Square. Except for deterioration and the windows being temporarily boarded, it appears that the building has been altered very little since 1932.
For the record, the City Hall is being nominated based upon its 1932 appearance.
Originally it was a brick arcaded town market with a hip roof and an oversized mansard cupola. When the building was taken over in 1932 to serve as city hall, the following changes were made: (1) The hip roof was removed and replaced by a flat roof surrounded by a paneled parapet with a raised central portion. (2) Large lunette windows were cut in the principal elevation. (3) The arched openings on
the side elevations were glazed in. (4) The facade was treated with an aedicule entranceway with a parapet and free-standing Ionic columns of artificial granite. (5) The exterior was stuccoed over. (6) The interior was divided for offices. This created a squarish, five bay, classical building with molded
pilasters, a raised central parapet, broad arched windows, and a monumental columnar entrance.
The boarding over of some of the windows and the loss of much of the stucco are the only post 1932 changes. The boarded windows are a temporary measure and the loss of the stucco, of course, has not affected the city hall’s neo-classical articulation.
The building has been vacant for several years, although the current plans are to restore it for use as the district attorney’s office.
Specific dates 1932
Builder/Architect architect unknown for 1932 remodeling
Opelousas Historic District
The Opelousas Historic District boundaries encompass the courthouse square, buildings on two sides of the square, and an adjacent row of party wall buildings immediately to the east. Most of the contributing elements are historic commercial buildings and the two oldest are known to have been used as law offices. The eighteen contributing elements range in date from c.1840 to 1939 and embrace styles running the gamut from Greek Revival to Art Deco. There are only three intrusions,
or 14% of the total number of buildings, which is a relatively low rate for Register districts in Louisiana.
Opelousas is located in St. Landry Parish, one of the state's original nineteen parishes created in 1807, and has been the parish seat from the beginning. Needless to say, nothing survives in the downtown from this early period. Surprisingly, two of the district's buildings (#s 19 and 20) date from the pre-Civil War period. Both are labeled as law offices on an 1885 Sanborn map.
The district's anchor is the courthouse square with its huge live oak trees and 1939 Art Deco courthouse. On the northwest corner is the neo-classical Old Opelousas City Hall (N.R.). There is also a large live oak between the district's two oldest buildings, the law offices previously mentioned.
Although most of the buildings have party walls, some are free-standing. Only six of the eighteen contributing elements are two stories, but because of their size and strong visual character, the district has a grander scale than one would think.
Also, two of the one story buildings have a particularly strong presence (a Greek Revival temple style law office and the impressive neo-classical Union Bank and Trust, #s 19 and 3).
The nominated district is only a small portion of what is regarded as historic downtown Opelousas. The other two sides of the courthouse square have too many intrusions and/or badly altered historic buildings, as does the remainder of the central business district.
The Opelousas district is distinguished by the range of styles represented and the landmark quality of some of the examples. Styles represented include Greek Revival, Romanesque Revival, Italianate, neo-classical, and Art Deco. The district also has several landmark buildings, two of which are already on the Register (#s 1 and 7) and four of which are individually eligible (#s 2, 3, 19 and 20).
The buildings were mainly dated on the basis of the architectural evidence; however, in some cases Sanborn Insurance Company maps were useful.
1. Old Opelousas City Hall (National Register). Contributing element. Originally an 1888 Victorian marketplace, but completely remodeled in 1932 in the neo-classical style. Single story, five bay, stucco over brick building located in the northwestern corner of the courthouse square.
Noteworthy features include an aedicule style entranceway with a parapet and free-standing Ionic columns of artificial granite, large lunette windows, and pilasters marking the bays. The building is deteriorated, with much of the stucco lost.
2. St. Landry Parish Courthouse (1939). Contributing element. Three story limestone faced Art Deco courthouse with an above-ground basement. Features a dramatic central projecting pavilion with sets of broad superimposed shafts culminating in a central parapet. Rising above the roofline, the pavilion is a strikingly vertical element in an otherwise horizontal building. Other noteworthy features include proletarian relief ornamentation, the original Art Deco lamp standards flanking the steps, and a sleek brushed aluminum spiral staircase on the interior.
3. Union Bank and Trust (c.1910 - on 1912 Sanborn map but not on 1907 map).
Contributing element. Grand one story stucco and terra cotta neo-classical corner bank fully articulated on two elevations. The slightly projecting entrance pavilion on each elevation features engaged fluted Ionic columns flanked by wide pilasters and a pediment outlined with heavy dentils and accented with a teas relief pelican at the center. Other noteworthy elements include a bold entablature, decorative strips with triglyphs and geometric shapes, and huge arched openings with
keystones. Above the entablature is a parapet and above that a curvilinear Baroque style roof.
The only exterior alteration has been the construction of an elevated walkway on the side elevation. Although the walkway abuts the pavilion, it has not damaged it and does not obscure the all important three-quarter view of the building.
4. 122 Court Street. c.1930. Contributing element. Plain one story "commercial vernacular" building with fixed awning, a brick cornice and thin bands of contrasting decorative tile framing the shopfront. Transoms covered, but still clearly visible. Shopfront glass and kickplates replaced.
5. Court Street. c.1905 (on 1907 Sanborn map but not 1899). Contributing element. Two
story brick building with fairly elaborate brickwork. The three bays are marked by pilasters formed of battered brick quoins, with the same battered brick used to form the jack arches on the second story windows. Transoms survive as do some elements of the original shopfront. Twelve over one windows on second story.
6. Court Street. c.1950. Non-contributing element. Two story nondescript commercial
building. (Although it is two stories, it is the same height as the contributing one story buildings.)
7. Old Federal Building (National Register). Built c.1890; enlarged/remodeled in 1932. Contributing element. Large two and three story brick Romanesque Revival corner building constructed as a combination U. S. Courthouse/Post Office. Additions to the east and north done in 1932 copying the building's original Romanesque Revival styling and brickwork. Significant features from the c.1890 portion included the finely crafted broad entrance arch with its elaborately ornamented terra cotta spandrel panels, the string courses, and the upper story round arch windows with brick hood molds. The only significant exterior change since the 1932expansion/remodeling project has been the insertion of concrete modular units in the courtroom windows (west elevation).(no longer a federal building--privately owned)
8. 133/137 E. Landry Street. c.1905. Contributing element. One story brick building with rusticated concrete block front and elaborate parapet with central raised portion and pilasters with block capitals projecting above the roofline. Also features decorative bands of cast fleur-de-lis. Transoms have been covered and shopfront reworked (although it retains a similar shape to the original).
9. 129 E. Landry Street. c.1905. Contributing element. One story brick building with
ornamental pressed metal cornice topped by two short decorative projections. The three bays are delineated by pilasters and each bay features a brickwork diamond pattern. Fixed awning; transom covered; shopfront reworked.
10. 123 E. Landry Street. c.1930. Contributing element. Fairly plain one story brick building featuring decorative parapet with pediment shaped central portion. Transoms covered; shopfront reworked.
11. 115 E. Landry Street. c.1920. Contributing element. One story brick building with
relatively elaborate detailing, including a pilaster on each end with a rounded top projecting above the building, a multi-layer cornice at the top, and three rectangular panels. Retains historic fixed awning; shopfront reworked.
12. 113 E. Landry Street. c.1920. Contributing element. Twin to #11. Awning gone and
13. Shute's. Corner of Landry and Court. 1924. Contributing element. Two story brick
building with cast cement trim accenting the windows, shaped parapet, corners and shopfront. Windows on the facade feature a jack arch, while openings on the side elevation use segmental arches. The shopfront, which turns the corner, has been reworked, but it does retain its transom windows. The cast cement trim on these windows features triglyphs.
14. 101 W. Landry Street. Contributing element. c.1920. Corner two story tapestry brick building with cast cement details, including a teas relief eagle, two linear panels with stylized fretwork, diamond patterns over two of the windows, and string courses. Alterations include a modern shopfront that wraps around the corner and the insertion of a large plate glass window on the facade. Although these are serious alterations, roughly seventy-five percent of the prominent side elevation survives as does the top one-third of the facade with its teas relief eagle and stylized
fretwork panels. Because so much of the original building survives and because the surviving detailing is superior within the context of Opelousas, the building is listed as a contributing element.
15. 127/131 W. Landry Street. c.1905. Contributing element. Large two story Italianate stucco over brick building. Segmentally arched windows on the side and upper story of the facade. Bays are marked by pilasters which project well above the roofline. Other noteworthy features include a multi-layer decorative band with corbeling below. Shopfront completely reworked and balconies added to the facade. Evidently the fourth bay (west side) had an earlier gallery which was replaced by the present balcony with pent roof.
16. 139/141 W. Landry Street. c.1930. Contributing element. One story brick "commercial vernacular" building with decoratively shaped parapet, corner pilasters with round tops projecting above the roofline, and brick panels above the transom level. Shopfront level completely reworked.
17. 145 W. Landry Street. c.1930. Contributing element. One story brick "commercial vernacular" building with shaped parapet and inset rectangular brick panels. Retains transom windows; fixed awning gone; shopfront reworked.
18. W. Landry Street. Non-contributing element. One story, low scale modern brick
19. 153 W. Landry Street. c.1845. Contributing element. One story frame Greek Revival law office with a well proportioned temple front.
20. 163 W. Landry Street. c.1840. Contributing element. One story brick law office sparingly articulated with gable parapets, six over six windows, and sunburst tiebar ends.
21. Palace Cafe. Non-contributing element. 1950s one story brick cafe.
The district is significant as an outstanding historic commercial/ governmental sector, with contributing elements ranging from c.1840 to 1939. While some of the buildings obviously make a greater contribution to the significance than others, any 50+ year old building that has not been badly altered should be considered a contributing element.
There are only three intrusions in the district, or 14% of the building stock, which is relatively low for a Register district in Louisiana. More importantly, the intrusions are low in scale and are dominated by the visually stronger historic buildings.
Integrity of Contributing Buildings
All in all, the district's contributing elements have not been too badly altered.
The major modification has been the loss of most of the original shopfronts on the conventional commercial buildings, although this is very common in Louisiana. Even so, many of the transom windows survive and most of the replaced shopfronts are not glaringly inappropriate. The most seriously altered building is No. 14, and its integrity has already been discussed.
Significant dates c.1840-1939
Poiret Place (c.1820) is a frame and brick fully raised Creole plantation house located in a rural setting about seven miles northwest of the town of Opelousas.
Despite a few alterations, the house remains eligible for the National Register.
The two and one half story raised house has open galleries in the front and a semi-enclosed gallery at the rear. The tripped roof is steeply pitched, with two gable-end dormers at front and back, and two tall inside chimneys at either end of the center ridgepole.
The lower floor is of solid masonry construction with three layers of soft, handmade brick laid up in common bond. The upper floor is briquette-entre-poteaux, with outside walls covered with the original wide, beaded cypress weatherboard. The gallery face is plastered, as are all interior walls.
The front roof overhangs to form the gallery, which is supported at ground level by eight round brick columns with square bases. Eight slender octagonal solid cypress colonnettes support the upper level. These are nicely detailed, with rounded capitals and lamb’s-tongue detailing. The solid cypress handrail is of simple design, with slender square spindles on the balustrade.
Three beaded cypress double battened doors open onto the galleries at both levels, with similarly shuttered windows at either side of the central doors in balanced symmetry. The original casement windows remain at the ground floor level, All other windows are double hung 6/6 with a few replacements being 4/4.
The interior shows the typical Creole floor plan of three symmetrically placed rooms across the front, each opening onto the gallery at both levels, with two cabinets at the rear flanking the recessed gallery.
All ceilings are of wide, beaded cypress, with double beaded, massive hand-hewn exposed beams. The chair railing is nicely detailed, matching the simple window and door framing. Many of the interior beaded battened doors still remain, with all of their handwrought strap hinges, hooks and keepers Glazed French doors open onto the galleries at both levels, from all of the front rooms.
Many of the original crude Adams style mantels remain. These have fluted engaged
pilasters and heavy molded tops.
In the attic the walls have been covered between the beams, leaving the tie beam structural members exposed. The mortise-and-tenon joints are fastened together with large pegs. Many of the structural members appear to have been taken from earlier buildings.
The two chimney shafts are left free-standing. All flooring and ceiling is of the original wide cypress planks, hand-planed and beaded. Much of the old glass remains in the windows and doors Since the house was built, the rear galleries have been partially enclosed and a staircase has been built on the interior.
At one side of the house is a large underground cistern, bricked in, with a hand pump. The cistern is surmounted by a small cistern house which dates from the 1920's. Both the cistern and the cistern house are listed as contributing elements because they contribute to one's appreciation of Poiret Place as a historic rural property.
Assessment of Integrity:
Despite the aforementioned changes, Poiret Place still retains the essential features which establish its identity as a French Colonial style plantation house (see Item 8). This identity is the basis of the house’s architectural significance.
Specific dates c.1820
Builder/Architect Builder: Florentin Poiret
The Ray Homestead (1853) is a one-and-a-half story frame galleried cottage featuring a combination of Creole and American Greek Revival elements. It is located on a large well-treed lot just west of downtown Opelousas. The most serious alteration has been the replacement of the original columns.
Creole characteristics include the method of construction and the floor plan. The walls are briquette-entre-poteaux (brick-between-posts), presently covered with sheetrock which replaces the original plaster. The hall-less plan consists of two large equal size rooms in front and two smaller rooms in the rear. The narrow staircase is set between the two rear rooms in its own compartment.
As in most Creole houses, the front rooms at the Ray Homestead communicate directly with the front gallery. This yields the familiar facade with two front doors. What makes the Ray Homestead very unusual is that each of its two front entrances takes the form of a fully developed Greek Revival doorway with a transom and sidelights.
Unlike most Creole houses, the chimneys are set against the end walls of the house. In addition, there is a wide opening with pocket doors between the parlor and the room behind. These features represent the American Greek Revival influence as do the mantels which do not wrap around as they would in the Creole fashion. The house's stylistic details are entirely derived from mainstream American influences of the mid-nineteenth century. Most of these are Greek Revival.
The pilasters and an old photo survive to document the original paneled pillars which formed the front gallery. Most Greek Revival houses had rectangular wooden pillars, with a minority of examples featuring the additional embellishment of an inset panel, sometimes with bolection molding. The Ray House was unusual in that its columns had two panels each, one above and one below the chair rail. Other Greek Revival details include the gable end returns on the side elevations, the gable windows which have sidelights of their own, and the two front dormers which
feature pilasters and tympana outlined with dentils.
The interior openings feature fairly standard, relatively plain Greek Revival moldings. The downstairs mantels, however, are far from typical. The one in the east front room features three beveled panels in the entablature and a relatively plain pair of pilasters. The one in the west front room is more elaborate, with beveled panels set in the pilasters and a blind lancet arcade set in the entablature. These lances cuts are also beveled and feature roundels at the impost line which may
have been intended to suggest foils. The two mantels in the finished attic have plain board surrounds and a shelf.
St. Landry Catholic Church
The St. Landry Catholic Church is located at 900 N. Union Street in Opelousas in a mixed residential/commercial area with an essentially modern character. It is a large, brick, basilican plan building with a massive central tower, a nave and side aisles, a single transept and a broad apse. In its day it would have been called Romanesque. Although it was built in 1908, it has much in common with churches built under the influence of the mid-nineteenth century Romanesque Revival. The exterior is essentially a Gothic parish church form which is articulated mainly with Romanesque motifs, a few minor alterations have been made; however, they in no way should be considered detrimental to its architectural integrity.
Romanesque features include:
1. The broad flat wall surfaces.
2. The almost complete lack of buttresses.
3. The extensive use of blind arch trim.
4. The fact that most of the fenestration openings are small in comparison to the
surrounding wall surface.
5. The exclusive use of round head fenestration.
6. The multiple round arch entrances.
7. The double arch mullions.
*8. The four octagonal turrets which embrace the westwork.
*9. The four additional corner turrets which embrace the corners of the upper
10. The faceted conical roofs which surmount the towers.
* The use of subsidiary round or octagonal turrets is a Romanesque feature, butthe turrets at St. Landry Church are relatively delicate and seem more Gothic in feeling.
Gothic features include:
1. The use of a spire atop the central tower.
2. The use of entrance gables.
3. The fact that the larger central entrance gable protrudes above the first stage of
4. The essentially vertical lines of the building.
5. The rose windows at each end of the transept arms.
The interior features a false barrel vaulted nave with false groin vaulted aisles. The aisles are divided from the nave by a Corinthian arcade with enlarged capitals and false marble shafts. The nave ceiling is articulated with elaborate tie bars.
Since the church was built, the following changes have been made:
1. Sheetrock screens have been erected around the lower level of the apse.
2. The pews have been replaced.
3. A rear office wing has been added which encompasses the apse.
Specific dates 1908
Builder/Architect Architects: Owen and Diboll
St. Landry Lumber Company
St. Landry Lumber Company is a late nineteenth/early twentieth century retail lumberyard located on a linear strip of land between the railroad and North Railroad Avenue to the west of downtown Opelousas. There are four buildings attached in a "U" shape and two large rectangular sheds to the south (see sketch map). The complex is amazingly intact, and hence easily conveys its historical significance.
St. Landry Lumber's developmental history, which can be traced with Sanborn maps and a historic photo, is somewhat complicated and will be dealt with building by building. Suffice it to say that the present appearance is basically the same as it was in 1912, with one relatively small exception.
Office Building (Building A on attached map) The centerpiece of St. Landry Lumber is a two story Queen Anne Revival residential-looking building constructed in about 1890. Sanborn maps for 1885 and 1892 do not show the appropriate section of Opelousas, but the 1895 map clearly shows the present building as the office of what was
then J. T. Stewarts Lumberyard. (It was St. Landry Lumber by the 1912 Sanborn map and was acquired by the present owner's family in the 1920s.)
The office building is fairly elaborate in massing and detailing considering its functional use. It has a cutaway bay facade under a wide crowning gable. The first story of the bay is surmounted by a skirting roof with prominent corner overhangs which echo the overhanging corners on the main frontal gable. Both sets of overhanging corners are supported by large elaborate scrollsawn brackets. In addition, the skirting roof culminates in a projecting ornamental gable over the front door. Both this gable and the larger main gable feature scrollsawn vergeboards. The main gable is additionally ornamented with various patterns of imbricated shingles as is the upper portion of the skirting roof. Finally, the various overhanging corners are marked by hanging pendants. Windows are two over two plate glass.
The ground floor interior's most prominent feature is a balustrade cordoning off the cash register area. Some of the beaded board walls have been covered in the front room, but they remain intact in the rear room. The walls of the rear room are fitted with shelving.
This building is the exception to the previous general statement that the complex presents its 1912 appearance. Originally a single story open lumber shed, it was enclosed with clapboards, enlarged slightly, and given a second story sometime between 1912 and 1921.
This is an enormous vertical board sided lumber barn built between 1907 and 1912. It has a central enclosed driveway between lumber stalls and is surmounted by a monitor roof.
This single story, gable roof, clapboard lumber shed existed as part of the complex in 1912. By 1921 the gable roof had been raised and the shed had acquired a second story with an elevated catwalk across the complex to the new second story of Building B. Sometime before 1927, the catwalk was removed, and sometime after 1927 the second story was removed, the roof was lowered, and the building resumed its original appearance. (This conclusion is based by comparing the Sanborn maps, a c.1910 photo and the building's present appearance.)
This frame gable roof lumber shed first appears on the 1896 Sanborn map. The present
corrugated metal siding probably dates from about 1930.
This gabled vertical board sided lumber shed was added to the complex sometime between 1897 and 1907.
Significant dates c.1890-c.1930
HISTORY OF ST. LANDRY LUMBER
St. Landry Lumber Company has been in existence for as long as most people can remember. The company dates back as far as 1890, this date is the last legible date found by the owners. The first owner of St. Landry Lumber was Alonzo C. Skiles. The exact dates in which Skiles was operating the company is still unknown to us at this time. What is known though is that in 1900 Mr. Skiles sold the company to Mr. B.F. Tucker and O.L. Gregory.
Tucker and Gregory were the sole owners up until 1916 when they began to solicit local investors. Many investors decided to participate in this grand opportunity but the one name that jumps out is J.A. Perkins, Sr. who took great pride in his investments. In 1925 Mr. Perkins, Sr. offered his associate investors a deal they could not refuse and at that point he became the sole owner of St. Landry Lumber Company. Mr. Perkins, Sr. operated and owned the business located at 207 North Railroad St. until his death in 1942. Upon his death Eva Perkins, his wife, became the administrator of his estate.
In 1944 Mrs. Eva hired Victor Barousse, Sr., her son-in-law, to manage the company. Once completing his schooling at L.S.U. in 1949, Ray Perkins, one of Eva's sons, became the assistant manager. The company was not handed over to Mr. Ray as most would have assumed. He worked under Barousse until he retired in 1974. Once Barousse retired Ray relinquished his title as assistant manager and became the manger of St. Landry Lumber Company. A tough decision would have to be made in 1987 after the death of Eva Perkins.
Eva Perkins' four sons and two daughters would have to decide at this time what would become the company their father had acquired so many years ago. At this time Mr. Ray Perkins decided to purchase the shares that his siblings had obtained so he could then be the sole owner of St. Landry Lumber Company.
Ray's children soon proved to share in their father's interest. Austin Perkins also completed his schooling at L.S.U. in 1982 and decided to join his father in the family business. This proved to be a significant start for Austin who later became the C.E.O. of St. Landry Lumber in 1990. Austin would not be the only child to join their father. In 1992 Chris and Lorraine Perkins also decided to be a part of their father's business.
Every aspect of St. Landry Lumber Company was growing, therefore the company needed to expand. In 2001 they purchased the right-of-way located to the west of the property from Acadiana Railway, and then in 2003 they bought the adjacent land from Union Pacific Railway. St. Landry Lumber began to take over an entire city block which consists of six covered lumber areas, millwork warehouse, and a state of the art retail outlet. This location serves not only Opelousas and the surrounding areas, but also all of Louisiana.
The Venus House is a one story frame structure in the French Creole style.
Architectural evidence suggests that it was built sometime during the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century.
For the purposes of this nomination, we will use c.1800 as the construction date. The house currently stands between the two branches of U.S. Highway 190 at the eastern edge of Opelousas.
It was moved to this location in 1973 when the owner donated it to the city. The original site is about ten miles away in the Grand Prairie region northeast of Soileau (same parish). The house is now the centerpiece of a museum complex which also includes a visitor's center, a pigeon house, and another small house. Although it is unfortunate that the home cannot be viewed in its original rural setting, the age and rarity of some of its features far outweigh the lost setting and the alterations and justify its nomination to the National Register. It should also be noted that the move occurred within St. Landry Parish, the context for the house's significance.
The Wier House (c.1820) is a two story brick residence with Federal style details located on a prominent corner in downtown Opelousas. Despite various alterations over the years, the house easily retains its National Register eligibility.
The Wier House is in the so-called "I" house tradition, a house type popular for farm dwellings in the eastern states during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In these states the "I" house generally indicates a rural occupant of medium to affluent means. Specifically, the type denotes a dwelling two stories high, two or more rooms wide and one room deep. Each story of the Wier House consists of two rooms of unequal width (roughly three foot difference) with an off-center hall between. There is also a cellar, a very unusual feature in Louisiana. A chimney set at each end of the house provides heat, both upstairs and down. The house is laid in common bond brick and culminates in a low pitched roof.
Despite the Wier House's somewhat asymmetrical plan, its facade is rigidly symmetrical, culminating in a central, single bay, pedimented portico. The portico is fairly intricate, with a modillion cornice and a simplified Greek key completely encompassing the tympanum. This, together with the portico's overall lightness and delicacy, strongly indicate the high Federal taste.
Other Federal features include:
1) the central front doorway with its round arch and intricately glazed fanlight;
2) the delicate chair rail and complementary baseboards which survive intact in the upper west room and largely intact in the upper east room;
3) the use of cornerblocks with roundels on the doorways in all four rooms, the upstairs hall and the front doorway;
4) the house's four mantels.
All the mantels follow the basic Adam style. Two are fairly conventional with decoratively molded pilasters, five-part paneled entablatures, and a multi-layer shelf. The mantel in the lower west room is the most elaborate, featuring engaged fluted Roman Doric columns, fluted panels and a central sunburst. The mantel in the upper east room is the most unusual. It incorporates an elliptical arch, which is uncommon but not unknown. More unusual is the fact that its entablature features curved ends, giving it an almost oriental appearance.
Over the years the house has passed through many hands, and, for much of the twentieth century, it has been used as an office building. Most of the numerous alterations the house has received are clear; however, there are still unanswered questions. Indeed, it is not possible at this point to determine the house's original appearance in all respects.
The present staircase, which is "shoe-horned" in at the back of the hall, appears to have been built of salvaged parts. It did not exist in 1960 per a photograph of that date. The question as to where the original staircase was is difficult to answer. The hall is not a good candidate because it is bisected with doorways into the rooms on each side. In addition, it originally had a rear door as
well as the present front door. In short, the arrangement of openings in the hall seems to make it an impossible candidate.
A bricked over opening showing the location of an upper hall rear door suggests that
perhaps the stair was located on a one-time rear gallery. But if this were the case, one would expect to see slots in the rear brickwork indicating where the gallery floor joists had once been inserted. No such slots exist and there is no evidence of repairs that could have obscured them. (The present mark in the brickwork across the back below the second floor fenestration is where a shed roofed addition was attached, per a 1930s photograph.)
At present the portico rests upon a pair of two story posts which seem to have been
installed within the past fifty years. The above mentioned 1930s photograph shows the house with a two stage portico with round columns on each story and a balustraded balcony. In addition, the front of the upper hall has a "ransomed doorway, with original doors (complete with their strap hinges), that was clearly intended to provide access to a balcony. Yet, here again, the facade brickwork
shows no evidence of joists that would have supported such a balcony. It is also not possible to know whether the round columns shown in the picture were original or Colonial Revival replacements (although they look appropriate).
Wooden Members Incorporated into the Brickwork
In the lower east room the plaster has been removed, leaving the brickwork exposed. There are wooden blocks indicating where a chair rail may have been attached. More curious are small pieces of wood (perhaps 1 inch by 1 inch) set in numerous places throughout the brickwork. At present their purpose remains a mystery.
Other alterations include:
1) The baseboards have been replaced on the first floor and the upstairs hall, a
simple chair rail has been installed in the west front room, and simple cornices have
been added in most spaces.
2) All doors are twentieth century except for the previously mentioned upper front
door. The modern glass doors on the first floor rear elevation may have replaced
windows, but it is uncertain.
3) The installation of waist-high cabinets to each side of the mantel in the upper
4) Much of the flooring has been replaced.
5) Decorative molding which once accented the fascia of the front eaves has been
6) The walls in the halls have been covered with paneling and a celotex tile ceiling
has been added in the lower floor hall.
7) The ceiling has been removed in the first floor east room, revealing the wooden
beams, and the chimney breast has been sheathed in wood. (This is also the room
where the brick walls have been exposed.)
8) Most of the six over six windows have been replaced with three over ones.
The admittedly large number of alterations the Wier House has undergone has not
obscured its distinctive architectural identity. Most importantly, the house retains the bulk of its handsome, high style Federal detailing, including the delicately detailed tympanum of the portico; the front door with its elegant fanlight; some of its chair rails; and all of its mantels, one of which is particularly elaborate.
The Date of the Wier House
The date of construction for the Wier House has not been documented, but there are
parameters. An 1811 sheriff's sale document indicates that, as of that year, the lot on which the house stands was still unimproved. Given this and the style of the house, an appropriate date range would be 1811-1830. Thus c. 1820 has been chosen as the official date of construction for the purpose of this submission.
Significant dates c.1820
Dominique Lalanne Store and Residence
The Old Schmit Hotel exhibits an unexpected influence from Dutch Colonial architecture in an area of Louisiana predominately influenced by a mix of French and English styles.
The building, which has two and a half stories plus a full cellar, is constructed of brick laid in common bond with five rows of stretchers alternating with one row of headers. At both ends of the building, the gable wall is terminated in a series of steps leading to the chimney at the top. Other refinements in the brickwork include the flat arches over all doors and windows and the corbelled cornice across the front with its row of dentils. The roof, which is still covered with its original red
Belgium slate, is punctuated by three symmetrically-placed dormers both front and rear. Doors and windows are symmetrically arranged except where altered on one end, and on the front first story, where two doors and two windows alternate in an unsymmetrical way. A second story door on the front of the building opens out onto a decorative ironwork balcony. All doors are double and are of the French variety with paneled wood on the lower third and eight lights to a side above. Both doors
and windows have exterior batten shutters. Most doors and shutters are still the original red cypress.
Doors and windows on the first-story level are each headed by a transom which is protected by iron bars.
The rear of the building has a two-story gallery. Structural evidence indicates that the building was originally this way. However, at some later date a two-story frame addition was appended to the rear gallery and the gallery was enclosed, as evidenced by the HABS photograph taken in 1940. The frame addition was removed in 1948 and the gallery has been reopened.
The cellar foundation is five bricks thick measuring the bricks lengthwise. The brick walls above ground are eighteen inches thick. On the first floor the ceiling beams are beaded cypress 32' long, about 6" wide and about 12" deep. These are covered by cypress boards to form the second floor. The ceiling beams on the second floor are 32' long, about 4" wide and about 14" deep. The timbers are tongue and grooved and pegged. Nails are handmade square ones. The eight doors on the second floor are each composed of one piece of cypress and the moulding is hand planed. One
fireplace on the first floor has its original cypress mantel, and on the second floor there are two fireplaces which had black marble mantels, reputably from Belgium. One of these is still intact, while the other has been broken up, although the pieces are in the possession of the present owner. The gutters are copper.
The building served originally as a store on the first floor with living quarters above. The first floor was just one large storeroom and had no inside stairs from the first to the second floor. This floor has been divided into rooms by the present owner and an inside stairway, similar to the one from the second to the third floor, has been added.
The second floor is as it was originally, except that two partitions have been removed from the south side so that the original black marble mantel would be in the center of the room instead of off-center. Originally the second floor had a hall down the center with two large rooms on either side, and two smaller rooms behind the larger ones. The north side of the house is as it was, except for the addition of plumbing. The south side has one large 20 x 30 foot room instead of the three rooms.
The third floor has a central hall with two 17 x 20 foot rooms on either side and storage space beyond these rooms.
The building is situated on a corner lot, with two sides close to the street. A brick and ironwork fence has been added along Bridge Street and Dejean Street. An 18 x 20 foot house of Acadian design has been added in the back yard.