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Historic plantation sold at auction

March 15, 2012
The Mining Journal

BRAITHWAITE, La. (AP) - A plantation house built nearly 200 years ago in Plaquemines Parish near the Mississippi river was sold at auction for $770,000.

Saturday's noon auction of the Mary Plantation is the latest chapter in the history of the French Creole-style home.

Bettine Field Carroll of Neal Auction Company in New Orleans said a New Orleans hotelier, Blake Miller, was the high bidder. Carroll described Miller as a man who had always wanted to own a plantation home.

Article Photos

This recent photo shows the Mary Plantation in Braithwaite, La. The grand white-pillared plantation house built on historic River Road near the Mississippi nearly 200 years ago was sold Saturday at an auction. (AP photo)

Also up for auction Saturday were many items among the home's contents. Carroll said close to 300 people were on hand to bid for the various antiques and artifacts as the auction continued into Saturday evening.

The yellow home with green shutters overlooking exotic gardens survived a British invasion, the Civil War and the ravages of hurricanes Betsy, Camille and Katrina.

The home offers a glimpse into Louisiana's past, with original horse hair plaster walls, red brick floors and upstairs French doors that open to a wraparound gallery ushering in breezes.

Few early land records exist, but Mary Plantation is believed to have been built by slaves on land owned by French planter Francois Delery in the late 1700s and expanded to its current state on tall white pillars with a raised red brick foundation around 1827. The plantation was presumably named for Delery's wife, Marie Marthe Victoire Bienvenu.

The plantation had been listed for traditional real estate sale by its owners, historic preservationist and noted antiquarian Blaine Murrell McBurney and his wife, Stephanie, since 2010, with listing prices in the $1 million range, albeit in a slumped real estate market.



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