2646 Louisiana 44
Garyville, LA 70051
I believe that I can proudly say that I have visited at least ninety percent of the significant plantation homes throughout Louisiana. Although each one has their own unique beauty and history, I can honestly say that as far as appearances go, there is no other plantation home that resembles San Francisco Plantation. Depending at what angle you are looking at the house, you may see something different. Visitors have suggested that from where you are standing, the home resembles everything form a grand riverboat to a colorful wedding cake!
San Francisco Plantation was built in 1856 by Edmond Bozonier Marmillon. It is the most distinctive and only authentically restored plantation on River Road. It features five artistically hand painted ceilings, faux marbling, and faux wood graining throughout and antique furniture by master craftsman John Henry Belter.
Although the house is considered antebellum in regards to when it was built, it is certainly not typical of the period. Its style and coloration are totally distinctive. The house is so distinctive, in fact, that it inspired novelist Frances Parkinson Keyes to write "Steamboat Gothic", a story about a family
The most important period in the history of the mansion was the time of prosperity in the late 1850's, when the intricate decorating and remodeling were undertaken. Little was done after that, until the Bougère period. The Bougères, who had a larger family, added two bedrooms on the first floor and removed some of the large doors in the main entrance. The stairways were partitioned and gas lights were installed. In 1904, the Ory family purchased the property and added a kitchen and bathrooms but fortunately undertook few other alterations.
As a result of the Great Flood of 1927 the Army Corps of Engineers constructed the present standard levee and completed it by 1932. Local residents were among persons who lobbied the Louisiana legislature to pass a measure that would save as many plantations along the River Road as possible. Fortunately, the Corps was able to curve the levee around San Francisco at the time it was owned by the Ory family. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 when the San Francisco Plantation Foundation began restoration. In 1954, the Ory family leased the house to Mr. and Mrs. Clark Thompson who maintained the premises and opened the mansion to the public where it is a regular tourist attraction to this day.
Based on records, the original owners, Edmond and Louise, had five daughters. One died at child birth and another died a tragic death under the age of two, by falling down one of the stair
|An elder Louise Marmillion and several of her daughters.|