ST FRANCISVILLE LOUISIANA, VISIT THE HISTORY, STAY FOR THE CHARM

 
 
HISTORIC DISTRICT WALKING TOUR MAP

 

museum with historoc information offered.

1. The Museum of The West Feliciana Historical Society

Exhibits interpret local history and tourist information, brochures, and guidebooks are available 9am-5pm daily except holidays, Sunday 9:30am-5pm. Telephone 225-635-4224. A walking or driving tour of a mile long loop is suggested. Most structures have green Bicentennial markers; private homes are often opened for the annual Audubon Pilgrimage the third weekend in March.


2. White's Cottage

It is a 1903 urban adaptation of that emblem of Upland South culture known as the dog-trot or pen and passage house-two 'pens' or rooms divided by an open passage or 'dog-trot'.

Old town hall, later Audubon Market Hall

3. Audubon Market Hall

It was built in 1819 as an open-air public market with magistrate's office upstairs. Notice the arches at each end for the passage of wagons. Enclosed in 1868, the hall has served as Masonic Lodge, theater, library, and from 1974-78, as town hall. Recently returned to its historic state, it is maintained by the Historical Society.

Seabrook

4. Seabrook

Built c1817 by a Baltimore merchant along Anglo-Creole lines, the house is named for later owner Henry Seabrook, a master plasterer responsible for its Federal-style interior decorations, as well as those in other parish landmarks.

Rob House in the historic district of St. Francisville Louisiana

5. Robb House

Built in 1895 by pharmacist F.M. Mumford as a gable-front commercial building with living quarters above.

first united med. church in Saint Francisville, Louisiana

6. United Methodist Church

Methodism arrived here in 1803 with fiery missionary Lorenzo Dow; an imposing church was built in Bayou Sara in 1844. The present church was built in 1899 and includes the bell tower from the old church.

Virginia house with pilgrimage girls

7. Virginia

This magnificent Greek Revival town house began humbly in 1817 as a one-room store. Expanded in 1826 to a storey-and-a-half cottage, it reached its present size in 1855 when Massachusetts-born lawyer L.D. Brewer added the two-storey section with elaborate cast iron balconies. Brewer enjoyed his home for only four years before boarding the ill-fated steamboat Princess at Bayou Sara. Bound for New Orleans and delayed by fog, overloaded boilers exploded with great loss of life, including Brewer's.

8. Golsan House

Joseph L. Golsan came here in 1877, a young Alabama lawyer eager to enter Post Reconstruction politics. He married the great-grandniece of Lucy Audubon, never lost an election, and built this charming Queen Anne cottage in 1885.

9. Romanesque Bank Building

It was built in 1905 anchors one corner of Royal and Prosperity Streets.

10. Stucco Structure

In its original state was one of the finest brick buildings in town. Built as the leading mercantile counting house in 1809, it served as the first court house of West Feliciana Parish in 1824 and later as the branch of the Bank of Louisiana.

11. The Greek Revival Law Office

It was built by a lawyer from New York state in 1842 and has been devoted to the practice of law ever since.

west feliciana parish courthouse

12. The Court House

It was built in 1903 to replace the 1852 structure damaged when the town was shelled by Federal gunboats during the Siege of Port Hudson in 1863. The demolition of the classic slate-covered brick structure proved so unpopular that those responsible refused to have their names displayed on the cornerstone, which remains blank. The temple-like well house from the earlier building remains in the rear.

13. Propinquity

One of St. Francisville's oldest brick buildings, Propinquity was built of some 200,000 bricks in 1809 as the store of John Mills with cellar underneath and dwelling house above. Lucy Audubon was carried on the account ledger during the years she taught plantation misses as a means of earning the money. Which allowed her husband to publish his Birds of America. In 1966 the building was restored as a private residence.

14. Barrow House

Cast iron railed balconies on the banquette and sloping rear roof. Built as a store-cum-dwelling, there is no central hall; french doors gain access. The single-storey addition was once a separate house. J. Hunter Collins, law partner of L.D. Brewer of Virginia, noted in this ledger the $260 cost of moving the cottage and $224.38 for the ironwork. Like Brewer, he could not choose between two admired patterns. As at Virginia, the upper and lower balcony rails differ.

democrat newspaper in saint francisville

15. St. Francisville Democrat

The town has had a weekly newspaper since the third newspaper in the Louisiana Territory, The Time Piece, was established in 1811. The Democrat was begun in 1893 in opposition to the Louisiana lottery and moved into its present office in 1908. Today the front room contains a computer for generating news stories, but the back portion remains the printing shop of the late Horse and Buggy Printer, Elrie Robinson. Old presses and paper folding machines and even the pig iron smelter for casting hand-set type remain.

printers cottage

16. The Printer's Cottage

It is the small restored post and beam house to the right of the Democrat office. The legend persists that bodies about to be buried in the Old Spanish graveyard were housed in it. Its heavy corner posts and load-bearing outer walls allowed many interior changes over the years, but the original sturdy construction is apparent in the attic as is damage from Civil War bombardment.

17. Prospect

Built before 1807, is constructed of bousillage(heavy timbers filled in with a mixture of mud and moss) after the manner of the Creole House elsewhere in Louisiana. The full cellar, however, is of eastern seaboard derivation. An early classical well house remains in back.

hillcroft on royal st in the historic district of st francisville

18. Hillcroft

A grand Neoclassical townhouse, was built in 1905 for Judge Samuel McCutcheon Lawrason as a gift from his wife's brother, a wealthy South Louisiana sugar planter.

Catholic Church in St. Francisville

19. Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church

Built from plans drawn by Confederate General P.G. T. Beauregard in 1871, the church was completed in 1893. The interior columns are of hand hewn heart pine and the altar was hand-crafted in Natchez. From the Catholic Hill can be seen the part of town known as The Foot of the Hill, With its small pedestrian park commemorating the West Feliciana Rail Road, 28 miles of track first talked of in 1828 and completed after arduous labor in 1842, the first standard gauge track in the nation.

Episcopal Church in the historic district

20. Grace Episcopal Church

Organized March 15, 1827, Grace Church is the second oldest Episcopal Church in Louisiana. The present Gothic structure was built 1858-1860, its cornerstone laid by Leonidas Polk, the Fighting Bishop of the Confederacy. Grace Church's beauty owes much to the restraint of its builder, local master carpenter C.N. Gibbons. Severely damaged by shelling during the Civil War, Grace Church nevertheless saw the burial by its rector of Federal gunboat captain John E. Hart. A Mason, Hart had desired a Masonic burial, and fighting stopped for a day while Confederate and Union Masons honored a brother's request. The Reverend D. S. Lewis read the Episcopal burial services as Commander Hart was laid to rest in the time-honored Masonic Plot.

21. Window Ross's House

Dora Ross was a frugal German hausfrau who had outlived two husbands by the time of the Civil War. She set a good table and served many gunboat officers, oblivious of the ire of her Confederate neighbors. It is said that Admiral Dewey, then a midshipman, often dined at her board.

22. Black Burial Society

This is a 1883 Greek Revival lodge.

23. Brasseaux House

This is a late 19th-century home.

24. Trinity

Trinity church was built in 1901.

25. Evergreenzine

The Descriptive Yiddish name chosen by a German merchant for his 1885 Home.

26. Wood Cottage

It was built of hewn logs covered by clapboards.

27. The St. Francisville Inn

This inn establishes the architectural character of a Southern market town, where residences co-exist with step-front commercial buildings.