So, who doesn’t love to hear the history of an old Louisiana Plantation! Well, there are a ton of old homesteads in our state, nearly all of them have traumatic pasts which today renders them nothing less than haunted! Here’s one that I just stumbled across:
Construction of the Chretien Point Plantation began in 1831 and was complete, in Sunset Louisiana in 1835. It’s owner Hippolyte Chretien and his wife Felicite moved in upon completion. Four years later, Hippolyte died of Yellow Fever, his wife stayed on to fun the 3000 acre cotton farm. She and her 500+ slaves would see the farm grow to 10,000 acres and all was well until October of 1863. The plantation became a war zone when the Battle of Buzzard’s Prairie erupted, and then later in November, the infamous “Bloody Battle of Bayou Bourbeux” all but consumed the grounds. *More on this later in the blog!
The main house was used as a hospital during this period, catering mainly to local Confederate Soldiers. Many lives were saved, and lost on the property, it is said that the spirits of the soldiers which remained on the grounds continue to fight their battle even today.
The boots of soldiers and slaves were not exclusive to having trodden the plantation grounds. Garrr! There be pirates in this tale too! That’s right, none other than Jean Lafitte resided at the main house. He and Hippolyte were known business associates, but he was not the only Pirate that traded goods with the Chretien dynasty. One Pirate named Robert (pronounced Ro Bair) met a well deserved fate at the front steps of the main house. It seems that greed took hold after Hippolyte passed. Intent on robbing the widow Felicite, he approached the front door, pistol in hand. Felicite knew his plan exactly! She opened the front door dangling a diamond choker in front of her. When Robert reached out to take the choker, Felicite shot him in the head with a pistol of her own that had been tucked within the pleats of her skirts!
Ok, so I told you that to tell you this: The Chretien Plantation was the model for Tara of “Gone With the Wind” complete with the true story of the Mistress of the house defending herself against an ill-willed invader!
Felicite and her children, along with Robert can still be seen on the grounds to this day. Felicite goes about her normal routine, overseeing the plantation just as she did in life. Robert still searches for the Chretien treasures while both Union and Confederate Soldiers re-enact their battles complete with the sounds of marching feet, the smell of gunpowder and the eternal wailing of the injured and dying.
Here’s the extra tidbit that I teased earlier in the blog: Marland’s Bridge
The bridge is said to be the most haunted place in Lafayette. It is located beside the Chretien Plantation and was in the midst of both the Battle of Buzzard’s Prairie and most notably the Bloody Battle of Bayou Bourbeux! Named after a brave Confederate Soldier, a twenty-three-year-old Lieutenant, William Marland of the Second Massachusetts artillery (later honored with the Congressional Medal of Honor for his brave actions that day).
When Union Soldiers advanced, Marland baited them by standing in the center of the bridge, leaving the soldiers under the impression that he was surrendering. When the Union Soldiers were all on the bridge, Marland and his hidden artillary squad charged the bridge forcing the soldiers to jump. Those that did not perish from the jump were met by awaiting Confederate soldiers below, only to meet a far worse fate!
Today, on Marland’s Bridge, could encounter glowing orbs, disembodied voices, cold spots and shadowy figures. One recent investigation by GhostsN Spectors of Breaux Bridge was found to be quite successful. Here is what they had to report:
“One of our parked vehicles had the head lights and interior lights turned on when all investigators were across the bridge and this phenomena took place at the time we captured an EVP saying ‘get in your truck and leave,’” they claimed on the web site report, along with a recording of the actual EVP. “While walking the area on the anniversary of the battle, an investigator complained of sudden pain in the arm as if she’d been struck with something. After removing a jacket and rolling up a sleeve, a round red mark about the size of a dime was visible. The investigator reported feeling as if she’d been ‘hit’ with something small and it burned like being stabbed with a hot iron. The description of the sensation is similar to that given by gunshot victims. The pain eased after about thirty minutes but the mark lasted a few hours then faded.”
Sounds like a nice place to visit, anyone up for a road trip!?!