Destrehan is billed as the oldest documented plantation house in the
Mississippi Valley. Destrehan is a raised Creole mansion which was
built over the years of 1787-1790 for Robin de Logny, by a free man of color
named Charles Paquet.
The wings were added in 1810 when Jean Noel Destrehan, son-in-law to
Robin de Logny became the home's owner.
In 1811 Destrehan became the site for the trial of participants in the
great 1811 slave revolt, which had begun upriver at the Woodland Plantation.
In 1840 when Judge Pierre Adolph Rost became the owner (he was
Destrehan's son-in-law) the house was remodeled in the Classical Revival
style and the rear gallery was enclosed.
Members of the Destrehan family controlled the property until 1910 and by
the late 1950's the property had been abandoned. It had been
vandalized, and was badly deteriorated and on it's way to oblivion. In
1971 local preservationists contacted Amoco Oil Company, who owned the
property, about preserving the historic old home. Amoco donated the
home place and four acres to the newly formed River Road Historical Society,
a non-profit organization, which had been established specifically to
oversee the home and it's restoration.
Local lore has it that pirate Jean Lafitte was a frequent guest to the
plantation, being a dear friend of it's owner. Rumors of buried
treasure on the grounds, still abound. A drainage canal at the rear of
the plantation, courtesy of Jean Noel Destrehan, is reputed to the the
artery by which Lafitte and his band of pirates were able to escape from the
authorities. Another rumor is that on stormy nights, the specter of
Lafitte haunts the house and points to the hearth before vanishing.
It is also said, that the ghost of Nicholas Noel Destrehan, son of
Jean Noel Destrehan, also occupies the old home.