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Evergreen: 1938

Evergreen: 1938

St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana, 1938. "Evergreen -- Wallace vicinity. Structure dates from 1835. Abandoned. Canal Bank Liquidators." 8x10 inch acetate negative by Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.


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Lop off a bit here, add a bit there

The rainwater storage containers are gone, but the in-ground cisterns are still clearly visible. I wonder if they've been sealed and repurposed as planters or something. Looking at the other LOC photos from this set, it appears that the renovations were extensive, and more an expression of someone's architectural vision than an accurate historical restoration (i.e. the new house, while beautiful, barely resembles the old house - at least on the outside).

[Some of the latter-day additions (the bay, for instance) were subtracted. So I suspect the house's current footprint more closely resembles the original than its 1930s incarnation. On the other hand, the sleeping porches at the rear have been enclosed. - Dave]

- You may be right. For more on the history of Evergreen, see this history (PDF) from the National Register of Historic Places, and this history (TIFF) from 1993 (Click here for the rest of the architectural drawings from 1993). Seems the house was built circa 1790 (looking much like this neighboring house), extensively remodeled in the 1830s, then remodeled again in the years leading up to its abandonment in the 1920s. While the current configuration might more closely resemble the 1830s version, no one knows for sure, as the only documentation of the building from that era is the building contract.

Yellow fever

originated in water storage containers in New Orleans and elsewhere, if they were above ground. They were outlawed, eventually, in cities, to reduce and then prevent fever outbreaks and discourage aquaphilic nuisance insects generally.

If stagnant rainwater-gravity-tower systems are coming back, well, perhaps mosquito-vectored diseases will become more common, just as bedbug infestations are spreading due to the DDT ban.

This beautiful building was preserved, thankfully, sans the water tower!

Kind of high on this house

The widow's walk on the rooftop most likely is high enough to see the canal that runs through that part of the state, but I'm supposing it was more architectural form than function. But maybe it was useful for the lady of the house to see how near her sternwheeler or barge captain-husband was for docking, so she'd know when to draw some water from the cistern to heat for cooking dinner. Lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas with the serious boats would be too far away, I think.

Rainwater collecting

What a great example of rainwater catchment. This is becoming more popular today as a way to water plants and gardens. Collect water from a building gutter system for use later. Back when this was thought up it was more likely used for indoor water access, of course.

Thanks to Larc for noting that this place still exists. I'll add it to my list of places to see in LA.

It didn't stay abandoned

The shot above is the back of the plantation house on Highway LA-18 in Edgard, near Wallace. The restored plantation is open for tours Monday through Saturday. It consists of 29 antebellum buildings, including 22 slave quarters, plus 8 other buildings. Below are current pics of the remodeled back (roof work in progress) and front of the main house.

Weather vane?

Check out the glass globe up on the roof weathervane. Surely someone on Shorpy must be able to explain its function.

[That's a lightning rod. The glass balls were purely decorative, though it was once thought they served the purpose of indicating a lightning strike by shattering.]

Old bones

That indoor plumbing setup is so cool! Would love to explore the old bones of this structure.

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