See Rock City

See Rock City

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Homeplace Plantation

Homeplace Plantation House
Courtesy of the Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation
  Historic view of Homplace, c.1900
Photograph from National Register collection
Homeplace Plantation, designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970, is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River in St. Charles Parish. Constructed between 1787 and 1791, it is one of the finest and least altered examples of a large French Colonial raised cottage left standing. Similar in plan to another National Historic Landmark, Parlange in Point Coupee Parish, Homeplace is two rooms deep and four rooms across with a 16 foot-wide gallery on all sides, providing separate access to each of the second story rooms for cross ventilation. The upper story walls are constructed of cypress timbers in-filled with clay and Spanish moss. The lower story, with its thick brick walls and floors, contained seven service rooms, including the large dining room, a pantry, two wine rooms, a hall, and two storage rooms. The wine rooms still retain some of the original wine racks and the dining room walls are decorated in original green-gray and white Italian marble tiles.

Once the center of a large sugar plantation, Homeplace was originally surrounded by slave's quarters, pigeonniers (structures used by upper-class French for housing pigeons), a carriage house, and other dependencies used in plantation operations. Only the carriage house remains to the right rear of the house. An interesting feature of the house are tall brick pillars at the south end that once supported a large wooden cistern that supplied water to the house. The builder and first owner of Homeplace are unclear, but documents show that the plantation was owned by both Pierre Gaillard and Louis Edmond Fortier during its early years. The Fortier family owned the house until 1856 and it changed hands a number of times before Pierre Anatole Keller purchased the property in 1889. Keller dismantled the sugar production operation and tore down the sugar mill in 1894. Adding stairs to the front of the house in 1900, in addition to the original side stairs, the Keller family modernized the house and made some minor alterations. The Keller family continues to own the property today.

Homeplace Plantation House, a National Historic Landmark, is located in Hahnville along State Hwy. 18, half a mile south of the post office. It is privately owned, and not open to the public.

Source: Internet