The City of Plaquemine and Pro Sold Realty suggests taking a walking tour of the historic downtown area by starting at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. It reports that the National Register District offers styles of architecture made of cypress wood. Cypress lumber is found in historic buildings from over a century ago.
If you take the advice of talking a walking tour starting at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, you will first notice the St. John Rectory. This is a building from the 1880s which is now home to the parish’s priest. St. John School for boys reopened in the church rectory in the late 19th Century after a fire destroyed the original location of the school. The church itself is known as the “cathedral on the bayou.”
Next, you will find St. Basil’s Academy on Church Street. It will be a block down from the St. John Rectory on the left. It wasn’t built for the church though. Originally the building was built as a mansion in 1850. It’s best remembered as a Catholic school and the home of the Marianite Sisters of the Holy Cross. It stayed in the church until 1976 and is now the home of the former Lieutenant Governor Robert L. Freeman.
Across the street from St. Basil’s is a historic mid-1800s colonial raised cottage. It’s been fully restored. This is known as the Fremin Home.
After that, head down a few steps to 57725 Court Street and you will find a three-story Queen Anne home built in 1895. You will see the ornate millwork trim and a slate roof with a “widow’s walk.”
If you keep walking, you will see the stained glass windows of the First United Methodist Church and the Joseph Wilbert home. As you are heading up Meriam Street towards Eden Street, you will notice the Schwing/Middleton home which was built before 1842 on a Spanish land grant! This structure was damaged during the Civil War when it was hit by cannon fire.
Once on Eden Street you will see the two-story, brick Roth Building and the oldest pharmacy in Louisiana, Barker’s Pharmacy. You can also find the old post office and the Brusle Building which was built in 1889.
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