The Destrehan Manor


The story of Destrehan Manor.

The Destrehan Manor, located in Louisiana, sits in the lower valley of the Mississippi River and is about thirteen miles from New Orleans. Destrehan Manor is known for many things, among them being the oldest antebellum home found along the Mississippi River. It was originally built in 1790 for Charles deLogny and his new wife, Robin. The manor consists of two storeys with the first floor being raised to protect against flooding, which the area is known for. The top floor features a wide roof, shady galleries that protect the occupants from the heat, and dormers to move air around the attic and protect it from humidity. Over time, deLogny changed the structure to provide his entire family with one main living structure, but space for private living. Two wings were built to accommodate deLogny’s daughter Celeste and her husband, Jean Noel d’Estrehand. There ended up being fourteen grandchildren in all for Charles and when the boys of the family reached adolescent years, they were moved to the separate wings with servants.

Charles deLogny raised mainly indigo on his property until the early 1800s when he switched to sugar cane, due to how this crop thrived in the hot, humid weather. There were many slaves that worked the plantation as at this time, slaves were a vital part of plantation life. One of the Destrehan daughters, Eleanor married Stephen Henderson, who was thirty years older than she. Henderson tried to free the slaves in his will but the surviving family challenged the will and won. This allowed for the property to be sold in 1838 to Charles’ granddaughter, Louise and her husband Jean Pierre.

During the time of the Civil War, the Union army had control of the property and used it as a place where freed slaves could learn a trade. Once it was reconstructed, the family took over control once again and remained the main owner’s of the land until 1940 when they sold it to an oil company. When the oil company was shut down in 1958 and the home became a popular place for thievery and vandalism. People came looking for Lafitte’s pirate treasure and anything else they could find of value.

The River Road Historical Society formed in 1970 and attempted to take ownership of the land. After many talks, the oil company sold four acres of the property to the society. Once they had some ownership, the society began to make repairs and obtained proper security for the property. The society had the mansion in proper order by 1973 when the mansion became a museum and tours were offered throughout the property. Destrehan Manor was also chosen as one of the sites for the movie Interview with a Vampire.

Hauntings at the Destrehan Manor began in the 1980s at the same time that the River Road Historical Society began to make changes on the property. The spirits and ghosts that still hang around the property are said to be very kind and have the gentile southern personalities. The staff and visitors at the manor have heard voices but when they turn to see who is speaking, there is no one there. Visitors that have come to the property are surprised to see orbs in the pictures that were taken once they had them developed. These orbs and entities were not there when the picture was originally taken. Today, the staff display these photos once the tourists have returned home and sent copies of the photos.

A white figure has been seen sitting in the second storey window in a chair, overlooking the driveway. It’s said that this chair is the ghost’s favourite as it is there quite often. In one of the upstairs bedrooms there sat a rocking horse. The horse would continuously rock back and forth very aggressively, frightening the workers that were working to restore the room. The rocking horse was eventually taken out of the room. A figure in the shape of a woman has also been seen standing on the back staircase. The main spirits that lurk around the property seem to be those of Stephen Henderson and his young bride. They are seen wandering around the property by staff and visitors. The ghost of John Lafitte has also been seen around the manor.

Destrehan Manor is still haunted today. Staff and tourists continue to report that paranormal activity has been seen taking place.

Destrehan Manor

The Destrehan Manor

The Destrehan Manor

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