Henri Le Marin & Company, also known as “Boatwright’s”, 1877.

Dixie Landings reached new heights with the arrival of Henri Le Marin in 1877. A Frenchman from upper Louisiana with a real talent for floatables and a knack for knowing what would work where and when, Le Marin purchased a small strip of land next to the Colonel’s Cotton Mill and moved his boat-building company from nearby Natchez. He saw the raw materials he required were plentiful around Dixie Landings, and he discovered a wealth of willing workers to get the new Le Marin & Company off the ground.

The place promptly became known as the Boatwright Shop, for that is indeed just what it was! (A boatwright, you see, is one who builds boats, and Henri and his men were the best in the business!)

Henri went out of his way to lure Louisiana’s most skilled artisans and craftsmen from up and down the big river to his shop. With his in-depth understanding of the bayou and their supreme talents, they soon developed an entirely new kind of flat-bottom boat ideally suited to the often shallow and difficult to navigate waters of the Sassagoula.

Soon the concentration of craftsmen and the invaluable new style of boats brought Dixie Landings a new level of respect. Boatwrights and just plain folks from miles around would visit to see the masters at work, and it was the heartfelt dream of many a young man to become a boatwright’s apprentice in the prestigious shop.

Today, Boatwright’s Restaurant is home to the legacy of the artisans who once worked here within its wooden structure. Its walls are adorned with the tools of their skilled trade and, hanging from the rafters, is the Louisiana Lugger, one of the flat bottom boats that brought Dixie Landings such acclaim.

<  Previous Page
Return to Backstory Main Page
Next Page  >