History of the Carter Plantation!
The Villas at Carter Plantation are a modern luxury hotel with all of the amenities and service that one would expect of a world class vacation resort. The villas and the Carter Plantation Golf Resort are built on an historic plantation property that dates to the original Spanish Land Grant deeded to James Rheims in 1804.
Thomas Freeman, the first African American to own land in Livingston Parish, acquired the property from Mr. Rheims in 1817. Mr. Freeman built the plantation house, which he named Sycamore, between 1817 and 1820. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in the dog trot style, the house is representative of a middle class plantation home common in Louisiana. The "dog trot" style was a way to deal with hot, humid summers of the deep South. The design was such that it accelerated air flowing through a passage, which served as an early form of air conditioning. The materials for the home came from the property. The foundation and fireplace were built from bricks made on the plantation. The hand hewn pine and cypress boards were from two of the three primary crops of the plantation (the third being citrus). Mortar was made from native clay, shell, lime and sand.
The house is one story with front and rear galleries and a central hall plan with two rooms on each side. A 5-bay front gallery on the house has an exterior of stucco that is troweled and beveled to look like cut stone. Columns are modern. There are two arched federal dormers. A Greek revival transom and sidelights frame the front door. Windows are 6 over 6 with fixed lowered shutters.
The house sits on brick piers approximately three feet above the ground. Sills are hewn12" square and have pegged construction on the corners. Some of the sills are 40 feet long. House construction is frame with exterior clapboard. A side wall has been replaced with brick. The house has four main fireplaces connected to two interior chimneys.
Mr. Freeman, his wife and five children resided at Sycamore until 1838 when the plantation was sold to the local Sheriff, William Breed. Mr. Breed later became a State Representative and remained sheriff until his death at home in 1856.
In 1856 George Richardson purchased the plantation following Mr. Breed�s death. Judge Marcus T. Carter married Mr. Richardson�s daughter, Amanda, and the property became know as The Carter Plantation. The property continued under control of the Carter family, sometimes handed down through female linage, for seven generations. As was the style at the time, for safety reasons, the original kitchen and dining area were built as a free standing structure separate from the main house. The original kitchen and dining room burned in the late 19th century, and the current kitchen and dining room wing were added to the rear of the house. These rooms have since been greatly altered. A side entry, a cellar complex, utility room, and a porte-cochere have been added to the wing. The rear gallery of the house has been filled in and converted into a living room and guest bath. These additions are at the rear of the house and do not impact the view of the main entrance facade. Additions have been constructed with comparable materials, with equivalent roof pitch and fenestration. Due to wear, floor boards have all been flipped. During the 1970s and 1980s, the house was restored by Wiley H. Sharp, Jr., former President of the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System, and his sister, Beverly Sharp Burgess. Today, the genteel Southern charm of the Carter House remains along side of new structures, including the guest Villas, which have been built so that you can enjoy the beauty and pleasure of the Carter Plantation