"The Ghosts of the Past Speak to
All Who Will Listen”
The purpose of this particular blog post is connect the dots on what eventually happened to the Antebellum homes of the Sugar Planters at Bayou Pigeon. The Civil War ended the Era of Agriculture at Bayou Pigeon. We have included a lot of data from our research because we believe it is important to be right. “In God We Trust’ all others bring data / pictures.
The word Antebellum conjures up thoughts of Pre Civil War large Southern Cotton and Sugar Cane plantations, Black Slaves and palatial mansions.
It took 9 years, but The Riggs Family and their ‘in laws’ established sugar plantations and produced sugar by 1860. The George Mitchelltree family established their plantation by buying his brothers’ property at succession, (John Mitchelltree) in 1850. John Mitcheltree was married to Mary Philomena Riggs, thus he was part of the early Riggs family movement to the area.
Page 75 - Bayou Pigeon, LA. Spirit of the Atchafalaya
Page 68 - Bayou Pigeon, LA. Spirit of the Atchafalaya, 1850 US census
Page 69 & 70 - Bayou Pigeon, LA. Spirit of the Atchafalaya
These were working sugar plantations with cultivated fields, black slaves, Sugar boiling houses, including plantation homes for the owner. As evidenced by the documents below, i.e., the succession of John Mitchelltree upon his death in 1850. Note: The succession clearly describes their was a main dwelling house on the property.
# 1 The George Mitchelltree Plantation
Page 107 - Bayou Pigeon, LA. Spirit of the Atchafalaya
Page 115 - Bayou Pigeon, LA. Spirit of the Atchafalaya
In 1895 Nestor Michel, lifelong resident of Bayou Pigeon purchased this property from the F.B. Williams Cypress Company. He moved his family into the big house on the property. The picture below is the only known picture of the Mitchelltree / Michel house
# 2 Laughlin –Nettleton Plantation
Pages 80 83 - Bayou Pigeon, LA. Spirit of the Atchafalaya
We / I did not connect the dots on this one prior to the printing of the Bicentennial edition, i.e., The Laughlin _Nettleton / Berthelot Family connection. Granville Clifford Laughlin lived with his wife Mary Riggs Laughlin on their Down home plantation on east side of Grand River at its confluence with Lower Grand River.
A young Lawyer from Plaquemine was hired to do the succession of Granville. He was Thomas E. Grace, in doing the succession he fell in love with Granville’s and Mary's daughter, Elizabeth Camilla Laughlin. He married her in 1860 at the Down Home plantation.