Parlange plantation houseEdit profile
The Parlange Plantation, built about 1750 in southeastern Louisiana, is a classic example of a large French Colonial plantation house in the United States. Exemplifying the style of the semitropical Louisiana country house, the Parlange Plantation House is a two-story raised cottage. The main floor is set on a brick basement with brick pillars to support the veranda of the second story. The raised basement is of brick, manufactured by slaves on the plantation. The walls, both inside and out, were plastered with a native mixture of mud, sand, Spanish moss and animal hair (bousillage), then painted. The ground story and second floors contain seven service rooms, arranged in a double line. The walls and ceiling throughout the house were constructed of close-fitting bald cypress planks.
The house was once surrounded by a formal garden, which was destroyed during the American Civil War. During this conflict, Parlange alternatively served as Union headquarters for General Nathaniel Banks and his army as well as Confederate headquarters for General Richard Taylor. Built by Vincent de Ternant, Marquis of Dansville-sur-Meuse, the Parlange Plantation House remains largely intact.
Vincent de Ternant received the plantation grounds from a French land grant and developed the 10,000 acres (40 km²) into an active plantation facing False River. When de Ternant's son Claude inherited the plantation, he changed the cash crop from indigo to sugarcane and cotton.
When Claude de Ternant died, his second wife Virginie remarried. (By her first husband, Virginie was the maternal grandmother of Parisian socialite Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau, who was the subject of John Singer Sargent's portrait "Madame X".) Virginie's second husband, another Frenchman, was Colonel Charles Parlange, from whom the plantation took its name. Together they had one son, also named Charles, who survived the Civil War to begin a distinguished career as a State Senator, United States District Attorney, Lieutenant Governor, Federal judge, and finally Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court. When Virginie died, Charles and his wife moved to New Orleans.
Charles and his wife leased Parlange to tenants for the next 20 years until Charles' son Walter left New Orleans to return and take up the life of a plantation farmer. Today Parlange retains 1500 acres (6 km²), which are still used as a cattle and sugarcane plantation. It is owned and operated by descendants of the original owners. The house is occasionally available for private tours by appointment only. The home is located near the intersection of Louisiana Highway 1 and Louisiana Highway 78.