Coulon Plantation Oaks

The Coulon Plantation Oaks are on the Bayou Lafourche  Live Oak Tour, a project I’ve been working on for the Bayou Lafourche Cajun Bayou Tourism.  There is a beautiful group of oaks on the property, located at the intersection of LA. Hwy. 308 and Hwy. 3266, in north Thibodaux.  Most of the oaks are just under 100 years of age, but the oldest oak on the property, located to the right rear of the Coulon House, is approximately 300 years of age.

Coulon_old oak 1a

Oldest Coulon Oak,  color study 1

However, the most photogenic oaks at Coulon are along the entry road and across the massive front lawn stretching from Hwy. 308 to the Coulon House.

Front yard oak 4_Coulon

Front yard oak, study 2, Coulon

According to the current owner, there was once a matching oak to the right front of the house (similar to the one in the left front corner as shown below. The oldest oak can be seen to the right in this photo.), but it was lost to either lightning or disease.

Coulon House and two oaks_front_3

Near view of Coulon house and two oaks

Coulon Plantation was named for Victor Coulon, who may have owned the property but probably only grew crops there. It was not uncommon during that time for plantation land to be owned by wealthy families who lived elsewhere. Coulon’s primary residence was in Jefferson Parish, according to an 1830 census.

Coulon entry 2

Oaks along entry road

In 1835, Victor Coulon sold the plantation to Thomas Bibb, who also purchased Rienzi Plantation in that same year – 1835.  Bibb served as the second governor of the state of Alabama between 1820 and 1821 and likely kept a home on Bayou Lafourche as a second or third residence. Bibb’s main residence was in Alabama.  Local land records show that the property was purchased circa 1880 by Edward J. Gay, who acquired plantations as a function as a creditor for owners unable to pay off their debts. The land was later sold to a Beattie family.

Front yard oak_1_Coulon

Front yard oak with Coulon home in background

According to information from descendants of the Leche and Caldwell families, the Coulon House was built around 1940–1941 by John (Jean) Leche for his wife Albertine P. Leche. Leche bought Coulon plantation from E.G. Robichaux and Thomas H. Rogers, possibly in the 1930s. The Greek Revival architectural style of the home is reminiscent of antebellum plantations.

 

 

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