House History, terrebonne parish

Belle Grove of Little Bayou Black


In 1972, “The Houma Daily Courier” ran a historical piece on Belle Grove. This is not the plantation that stood in Iberville Parish. This Belle Grove was on Little Bayou Black.

Here’s the story:

“The home of James Monroe McBride, son of Peter McBride of the ‘Eastern Shore’ of Virginia, and Olive Ann Conklin of New York City, was located on the Little Bayou Black between Ardoyne and Rebecca plantations. Peter McBride settled in Thibodauxville, as it was first called, about 1835.

His son, James Monroe married Miss Emily Daunis and it was from the Estate of Marcellus Daunis, her father, that Mr. McBride purchased Belle Grove Plantation. Mr. Daunis started construction of this large home in 1847, completing it after the close of the Civil War. The first Mrs. McBride died and Mr. McBride later married Mary Elizabeth Allen of Centerville, Louisiana, in St. Mary Parish. Of the children of this union two are now living, a daughter, Mrs. J. Farquhard Chauvin of 629 Verret Street, Houma, and the youngest son, Robert Rankin McBride, of Lake Charles, Louisiana.

James Monroe McBride

Mr. J. M. McBride undertook an extensive renovation of the lower floor of Belle Grove house and added a very large two-story wing onto the rear of the structure.

The plantation was cultivated in sugar cane, processed in the sugar mill on the property and later Mr. McBride added a syrup factory to his operations. Some time after the loss of his second wife, Mr. McBride married Mrs. Lucretia Horner, widow of William Grace Horner, of New Orleans, whose daughter Mrs. Stella Horner Blackburn still lives in Houma. She is the widow of the late Reverend John Neson Blackburn, the Presbyterian pastor for so many years in the community.

The familiar woe of cane mosaic disease that plagued all of the sugar planters set in at Belle Grove also and in 1926 the plantation was acquired by the Canal Bank and Trust Company of New Orleans. Many years later, in the early 1950s, the house only was purchased by Mr. Lionel Babin, who had it taken apart and using much of the materials, constructed his new home on the Schriever Highway.”

4 thoughts on “Belle Grove of Little Bayou Black”

  1. Thank you for preserving this. James McBride is my Great Grandfather and I ran across this while doing family research in Houma this week. I wish this beautiful place still stood!

      1. I know, how I would love it, at least I was able to see some of the Interior at AnnCarol, the home Babin built for his wife in Houma (now the Terminix office), they were so accommodating letting me look around, now if I knew where the “Seasons” painters landed in New York, I’d love to know if they’d be available for sale back to the original family. Thanks so much for your site!

    1. Bobby McBride, when my great grandmother’s sister married in 1915, the church record listed place of birth as McBride Plantation. (The record is written in a confusing manner–New Orleans is written before McBride Plantation, and Thibodaux is written in the margin–but I’m assuming the specificity of the named plantation is probably accurate.) The family was Sicilian. Do you have any idea if foreign labor was commonly employed there? Thans

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