Thursday, September 1, 2016

Madewood Plantation - Napoleonville, LA (The Paranormal Pooch)

4250 Louisiana 308
Napoleonville, LA 70390

            Nicknamed the “Queen of the Bayou”, Madewood plantation is a grand home that sits right along Bayou Lafouche in Napoleonville. The plantation was built in 1846 by wealthy sugar planter, Thomas Pugh. The plan was to build one of the most elaborate homes in the area. No shortcuts would be taken and no expenses would be spared by this extravagant and "busy" father of fifteen! As with his “seed spreading”, Mr. Pugh didn’t know when to stop and such was also the case in designing and decorating Madewood.
            The home consisted of over six hundred thousand bricks, all made and treated on the property. With the help of his architect, Henry Howard, the plantation was literally a fortress, with its twenty-four inch thick exterior walls that went eight feet into the ground. The home would be different than most of the traditional Acadian-styled residences in the area, as it was built in more of a Greek revival fashion.

            Madewood nearly saw the same demise as many of the other plantations, yet it was one of the only homes not burned and destroyed by the Union Army during their river campaign. Story tells that the soldiers took pity on the Confederate widow who lived there at the time. Almost every one of the
Madewood Plantation Dining Room
other plantations in this area were not as fortunate, or possibly their homeowners were not as attractive!

            After the home went through several owners’ hands, it went abandoned for nearly twenty years and fell into great disrepair. The home was purchased in 1964 by Naomi Marshal and the massive renovations began. Naomi’s son, Keith Marshal, then took over ownership of Madewood. Keith decided to continue remodeling and adding on to the property to establish the grounds as a bed and breakfast. He expanded the grounds by bringing in various old buildings from around the local area that were set to be destroyed. Some of these buildings include an old blacksmith’s shop and slave quarters which were built in the early 1800’s then moved to their current location, adjacent to a small family cemetery located on the grounds. The home sits here today as a luxurious bed and breakfast in its original splendid glory.
            The small family cemetery on the property is said to be a substantial portion of Madewood’s paranormal activity. One of the former owners and her dog were buried here. It has been said that guests have seen the apparition of, not just the woman, but her small white dog, wandering around the home! Believe it or not, this is not that rare of an incident, as I have heard of many cases of “paranormal pooches”, or any other pet for that matter, lingering around just as their
Living Room/Study
human counterparts might have done.

            In one incident, multiple handymen were eating their lunch outside when several guests inside began screaming. As the men rushed in to see what was wrong, the guests, who were in shock, claimed that the large glass centerpiece in the center of the table violently flew off, shattering to pieces. Other unusual reports at Madewood include guests hearing disembodied voices and footsteps when no one else was around and objects mysteriously being moved from one placed to another.
            If you are ever in the town of Napoleonville, stop by the grand Madewood Plantation. Enjoy the scenery, admire the architecture and bring a few “Scooby snacks” just in case a spectral canine brushes your legs. Pay him no mind, as he will vanish before you can pet him!

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