The Cottage Plantation is located on U. S. Highway 61, six miles north of St. Francisville, Louisiana on the east side of the road. It stands complete as it did in antebellum days, having in addition to the plantation home the old school house, out side kitchen, milk house, carriage house, barn, slave houses, and other out buildings. The house is furnished with much of the original furniture.
The Cottage Plantation is located on land secured by John Allen and Patrick Holland by Spanish land grant in 1795, and acquired by Judge Thomas Butler about 1810.
Low, rambling, with an exceptionally long front gallery, the main house is composed of a series of buildings joined together erected from 1795 to 1859, with the core, or original structure, from the Spanish colonial era.
The house consists of two buildings in the form of an L with the original house as part of the foot of the L. The original house was about 42 feet in length, and it was extended to 85 feet in the very early 1800's. The extension copied the architecture of the original building so that it appears to be one structure. The roof at the rear of the house was raised in the early 1800's to provide a gallery running the length of the house and it copied the front of the house.
The last section of the house to be built was the great wing, or the side of the L, 65 feet long, whose front gallery adjoins the back gallery of the original building. A unique feature in its construction is that the whole length of the cornice is pierced by a series of louvers, serving the double purpose of ventilating and keeping the glare off the gallery.
The Cottage is completely built of virgin cypress except for the massive sills which were made of various woods from the plantation.. All of the pillars on the galleries are hand wrought, as is the exterior and interior woodwork. There are twelve square rooms in the main house and four in the wing. The rooms in the main section of the house open onto the gallery through door-windows with stationary shutters. Every room is furnished with a handcarved fireplace mantle, some of extreme simplicity and others elaborate with fluted Doric columns and panels in a sunburst design.
The roof of cypress weatherboarding is broken by second floor dormer windows.
The dependencies are all of wood construction, generally cypress and wherever located in the yard have shingled roofs.
School house: 14 ft. by 26 ft. with 8 ft. overhanging roof on west side, 6 ft. gallery on north side, 2 rooms each with fireplace. In the days when the building was used as a school, one room was used as a school room and the other the tutor' s bedroom.
Milk House: 12 ft. 3 in. square, in this building milk from the plantation dairy was processed into milk, cream, butter, etc.
Kitchen: 30 ft. 3 in x 18 ft. 6 in., contains two rooms, one the kitchen, the other the laundry. Massive fireplaces rear extending 7 ft. 8 in. from the building.
Greenhouses: 2 in number, of brick construction, 12 ft. 8 in. wide and 20 ft. in length.
Cistern Sheds: 2 in number, roof supported by corner posts and are 10 feet square.
Carriage Barn: 20 ft. 4 in. wide, 30 ft. long with overhanging shed on east side extending 18 ft.
Horse Barn: 2 ft. 6 in. wide, 32 ft. 6 in. long with overhanging sheds on east and west sides each extending 10 ft. 8 in. (recently destroyed)
Slave Cabins: 2 in number, each containing 2 rooms, fireplace in each room, 32 ft. 6 in. long.
Cemetery: Walled, 40 ft. x 55 ft.
Smokehouse: 15 ft. 3 in. wide by 15 ft. 2 in. in length.
Utility House: 20 ft. 3 inches square, contains four rooms, as follows: Saddle or tack room, Commissary for plantation workers, room for storage of dishes and items for thee dining room, Lumber room for storage of trunks, suitcases and traveling equipment.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
The Cottage Plantation has practically all of the original outbuildings or dependencies remaining in good condition, therefore, constitutes a complete working plantation just as it was in the early 1800's.
The plantation contains the main house; the School House, which was at one time the law office for Judge Thomas Butler, the first Criminal Court judge of the Florida Parishes and a member of Congress; the outside kitchen; a smoke house; and the utility house containing saddle and harness room, commissary, china storage room, and lumber room. Also on the grounds are two green houses, a carriage barn, a horse barn and three slave cabins.
MAJOR BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES
The Felicianas of Louisiana - Miriam G. Reeve, Baton Rouge, La. Claitor's Bookstore 1967.
A Treasure of Louisiana Plantation Homes - J. Wesley Cooper Philadelphia, Penn. Edward Stern
and Co., Inc., 1961.
Beau Sejour - Ben Earl Looney, Baton Rouge: Claitor's Publishing Division 1972.
Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1927 U. S. Government Printing Office,1927.
The Cottage Plantation|
Antebellum Tours & Lodging
10528 Cottage Lane
St. Francisville, Louisiana 70775
Web Address CottagePlantation.com
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