Courtesy of Lagniappe Tours,
Foundation for Historical Louisiana
Plantation before renovation
Photograph from National Historic
One of the oldest and best-documented
buildings from the State's colonial period, Destrehan Plantation House
represents three major phases of construction and illustrates the changes
in architectural style in Louisiana. Erected in 1787 by Charles Paquet,
Destrehan Plantation was purchased by indigo planter Robert Antointe Robin
DeLogny and his family. Besides his profitable indigo cash crop, DeLogny's
local claim to fame was his famous son-in-law, Jean Noel Destrehan, who
married his daughter Marie-Claude in 1786. Destrehan was the son of Jean
Baptiste Destrehan de Tours, royal treasurer of the French colony of Louisiana,
and it is from him that both the name of the plantation and the name of
the town are derived. After DeLogny's death in 1792, the Destrehans inherited
the plantation and house. While under the ownership of the Destrehan family,
both the house and grounds went through considerable periods of change.
In the 19th century the major cash crop at Destrehan became sugarcane
rather than indigo and the house went through two further phases of construction.
The original gallery columns were replaced in the 1830s or 40s with massive
Greek Revival Doric columns of plastered brick and the cornice was altered
accordingly. Its original colonial appearance was altered with the post-colonial
addition of semi-detached wings.
In the 20th century, the use of the grounds and house underwent yet
another change. The house served as a facility of a major oil company,
when Louisiana made the transition from an agricultural to an industrial
economy. Destrehan Plantation House consists of a central, two-story
house with open galleries on three sides and flanking two-story wings
separated from the main body of the house by the side galleries. The
central unit, the oldest part of the house, is composed of masonry columns
on the ground floor and wood columns on the upper. At one time a colonnade
had surrounded the central unit. The roof is double- pitched all around.
Destrehan Plantation is located at 13034 River Road, one half mile
east of Destrehan Bridge. Fortunately, the house was not damaged by Hurricane Katrina, but please check with them directly to confirm the current hours of operation. The Plantation is open for guided tours by
costumed interpreters 9:00am to 4:00pm, daily (except major holidays).
The Plantation celebrates an Anuual Fall Festival the second week-end
in November. There is a fee for admission, special group rates are available.
Call 985-764-9315 or visit the plantation's website
for more information.