Sunday was absolutely gorgeous weather, mid-70s and very low humidity. I drove to St. Bernard Parish, south of New Orleans, to hunt for the de la Ronde Ruins, which I saw a photo of in Clarence John Laughlin’s Ghosts Along the Mississppi. I found them on a traffic island on LA-46 near the intersection with Paris Road in Chalmette (Versailles never attained town status and is really just a neighborhood of Chalmette), with a bar on one side and some kind of refinery on the other.
There’s something really sad and forlorn about them. I’m sure Pierre Denis de la Ronde thought that generations of his family would live in this house; in reality, it was inhabited for less than a decade. Construction was completed in 1805, the Battle of New Orleans during The War of 1812 happened less than a mile away. The house was looted and shelled. It burned down in 1873, but it had been an empty shell for decades by then.
To the left you can see the remains of the flagstone walk at the front of the house.
de la Ronde’s double oak alley has actually fared better than the house. It led from the river to the front door, and except where they were cut down to build the highway they’re mostly still there. (And by “highway” we’re talking a mostly-rural 2-lane road. Not some 8-lane urban expressway with hundreds of cars roaring past every minute. “Highway” has a different meaning when you live in the south.)
I shot a roll in the LC-A+ and I’ll have those up later this week.