Class & Culture at Parterre Place
Not everyone who came to Dixie Landings in the early days was filled with enthusiasm and excitement. Take for example Elizabeth “Betsy” Baron, wife of Edward Baron (of the famous Louisiana Cotton Barons and quite possibly the richest man in all of the 19th century South). A real “city girl”, Betsy was the only daughter of an astoundingly wealthy Port Orleans family, and was to say the least, not thrilled by the prospect of moving north into “this forsaken swampland“ as she was heard to call it.
To appease her, Edward Baron gave Betsy a free hand and a blank check with which she could plan every facet of their Dixie Landings home. Without a moment’s hesitation, she sent for the famous Port Orleans architect, Gaston Poupon Jr. (For the record, Poupon’s famous architect father was the territory’s governor in the late 1700s and a driving influence in the design and success of the city of Port Orleans.) Using the unique philosophy he had acquired from Poupon Sr., Poupon Jr. created in Parterre Place a striking mansion combining Spanish wrought iron and a flowing French style. With its ornate trellis and stylish French roof, its stairways and spacious foyer, Parterre Place was (and is!) every bit the reflection of Port Orleans society. It quickly became known for lavish parties, socials and soirees, and Betsy blossomed in her role as Dixie Landings’ belle of the ball.
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