Newspaper articles, terrebonne parish

Hotard Home in Bourg

Another from the newspaper archives:

“At Bourg stands a picturesque homestead of hand-built cypress timber, pasted with adobe and decorated with white plaster and a cool, comfortable sixty-five foot front porch.

This landmark, one of the oldest in the parish, will disappear when Mr. Joseph Lecompte, present owner tears down the old Euprhosin Hotard residence in order to replace it with a new modernly equipped home.

The exact date of the erection of the original east wing of the home has become lost in the cloudy pages of the past. It has been definitely established, however, that the house was purchased and a west wing added by Euphrosin Hotard in 1832, two years before the founding of the city of Houma.

The old home has seen a “heap of living.” Mr. Hotard, a widower whose children numbered 13 moved from St. James Parish to Lafourche and thence to Terrebonne in 1832 and married the widow of Hubert Madison Belanger, nee Celine Mars, the mother of five.

Cypress timber, the wood eternal, was hand-hewn and sawed on the water wheel mill owned and operated by Mr. Hotard himself. As testimonial of its endurance, Mr. Lecompte plans to use in the erection of his new home many of the 12-inch cypress beams and much of the original timber, which has withstood perfectly the test of nearly a century and a half of service.

That the 150 acres of fertile farmland surrounding the old homestead have remained in possession of the Hotard family for nearly a century is a matter of exact record in the parish courthouse. The site upon which the ancient home is located was originally a part of an Indian grant to Etienne Billiot from the Spanish government. It was sold to J. B. Duplantis and later purchased from him by a Mr. Folse, an uncle of Euphrosin Hotard’s first wife.

The marriage of Celine Mars and Euphrosin Hotard was blessed with three offspring, the youngest of whom, Olympe, married Teles Blanchard. Mr. and Mrs. Teles Blanchard, now residents of Houma and celebrating their 64th year of married life, were the parents of 11 children. Their grandchildren number over 30, according to Mrs. Blanchard, who has lost count of the exact number and they boast of two great-grandchildren.

Teles Blanchard purchased the old homestead and farmed on it successfully until 1920, when he sold it to Joseph Lecompte. He also maintained a 30 acre orchard and neither he nor his wife were ever too busy with the farm of their children to keep growing a beautiful flower garden, which still remains fresh in their memory. Their orchard, when they sold the place in 1920, had 26 bearing pecan trees and as well as many pear and other fruit-bearing trees.

According to Mrs. Blanchard, her father, Euphrosin Hotard, in addition to his water wheel mill, owned a line of boats which operated through Bayou Lafourche to New Orleans to buy and sell cotton. He was also employed in hauling sugar through Canal Belanger to Lockport.

Mrs. Blanchard also recalls that one room of her father’s house was dedicated entirely to religious purposes. Several times during the year, the Catholic priest drove down from Thibodaux in his horse-drawn surrey to administer to the spiritual needs of his parishioners.

On the occasions of the priest’s visits any babies born since his last visit were baptized and all couples desiring to wed awaited his appearance to bless their nuptials.

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