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The Nicolas LaCour house in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana, was “discovered” as an early Creole cottage during the summer of 1980 by Louisiana State University Architecture students, Guy W. Carwile and David Hutchinson, while gathering vernacular architecture field data for Dr. Jay D. Edwards at L.S.U. The house was vacant in 1980 and sported a pseudo Victorian/ Federal Cloak obscuring its true nature as a Creole cottage. As a result, it was not considered significant by most except local preservationists Mrs. Pat Holden and Dr. Jack Holden (owners of Maison Chenal). The Holden’s attempt to locate a preservation sympathetic buyer for the structure, which included an inquiry the Smithsonian Institute’s National Building Museum, ended with the sale of the house in 1983 to the Live Oak Gardens Foundation. The foundation’s director, Jack Baylis, intended moving the house down to Jefferson Island in South Louisiana as part of a recreated sugar plantation environment. Baylis assembled a restoration team that included Mike Richard, manager of Live Oak Gardens: Robert Smith, historic structures consultant: and Ruth Fontenot, courthouse records researcher. During the initial phase of research, the chain of title and corollary circumstances tied the structure back to Nicolas LaCour (1699-1791) an immigrant from Normandy, France.
LaCour and his family settled in Natchez, Mississippi, until the Natchez Indian Revolt of 1729 forced them to flee to the safety of New Orleans. After a short time in New Orleans, LaCour and many other former settlers from Natchez relocated to Pointe Coupee in Louisiana. LaCour and his descendants lived on the Mississippi River at Pointe Coupee from 1731 to 1856. Records on the LaCour land, improvements and transactions are incomplete and spotty, at best; however, LaCour’s youngest sons, Jean Baptiste and Nicolas (Colin) were living on the plantation at the time of their father’s death and would have received an equal portion of the plantation. Records indicate that J. H. Morrison purchased a plantation from Jean Baptiste on land that was formerly Nicolas LaCour’s. The earliest known courthouse record entry indicates the house was in existence in 1823; unfortunately, most 18th century records for Pointe Coupee parish are no longer in existence. It cannot be disputed that the house was on LaCour land; however, who built it and when is in dispute.
J. H. Morrison, great-grandfather to Ambassador Lindy Boggs and great great-grandfather to
network news personality Cokie Roberts, expanded the house vertically and horizontally and renamed it Brunswick Plantation. It was the intervention of J. H. Morrison and his transformation of the structure that kept the true essence of the house obscured for the ensuing 125 years and no doubt kept it from almost certain demolition. The property stayed in the Morrison family until 1922 when it was acquired by the Thibaut Family who held the property until the sale to Baylis in 1983.
As the house was being dismantled under the watchful eye of Robert Smith, it was clear that the structure was of early 18th century vintage thus completing the tie to Nicolas LaCour. Significant architectural elements corroborating the early 18th century date include: 1.) A heavy colombage frame. 2.) Arched head lintels. 3.) Molded ceiling joists. 4.) Extraordinarily large corner posts. 5.) a robust Norman roof truss. 6.) Massive sills. Additionally, it was reported that the bousillage infill contained artifacts such as a coin dated 1720 and military buttons from the early 18th century, though the location of these items is unknown.
Invigorated by the realization of the structure’s significance, the restoration team prepared to move the 121,000-pound structure to its new home on Jefferson Island. As the structure was being transported, it collapsed a small rural bridge resulting in the house falling from the moving truck. Though the structure sustained a substantial amount of damage, it was recovered and finally arrived on Jefferson Island in late 1983 and restoration began. Fundamental differences of opinion between the project’s principal players, coupled with the untimely death of Baylis in 1985, resulted in the suspension of restoration work for eleven years. The live Oak Gardens Foundation was no longer interested in restoring and maintaining the LaCour house and decided to sell the structure. The Holden’s reappear in the life of the LaCour house in 1996, when it was jointly purchased by Dr. Jack Holden, Pat Holden, Dr. Wade Hollensworth, and Marjorie Hollensworth. The house was moved back to Pointe Coupee Parish only a few miles from its original site. Restoration and care for the structure was re-initiated.
The building has a typical asymmetrical Creole cottage plan-two rooms wide and one room deep with an internal fireplace. The large room to the south could have been subdivided into smaller rooms matching known Creole

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