Once upon time, Ellendale plantation on Little Bayou Black was the Widow Tanner’s place.
Things changed in 1851 when Andrew and Eleanor Elizabeth Slattery McCollam bought the antebellum home. The McCollam family let the Widow Tanner’s home stand for 23 years before they pulled it down and replaced it with the current Ellendale plantation.
Andrew and Eleanor met in Donaldsonville. Andrew was in town with his brother John on a surveying trip. Eleanor was visiting her aunt, Mrs. Maurin. Andrew’s family came from Scotland. Eleanor’s family came from Ireland. Both Andrew and Eleanor lived in New York so it was natural that the two Northerners should meet.
Together they had 11 children and renamed the Widow Tanner’s place Ellendale after Eleanor. They were a busy couple.
The surviving children were:
- Edmond, who went off to the Civil War at age 16.
- Henry who studied law at the University of Virginia
- Alexander who studied with Henry
- Eleanor Elizabeth who was schooled at the Ursuline Convent in New Orleans.
By 1874, it was just Edmond and Alexander at the homeplace. Alexander would die in 1905 of yellow fever. Edmond lasted until 1921, caring for the wife and five children his brother William left behind upon his death in 1894.
William’s five children were:
- Andrew married Esther Baskette and had Andrew and Eleanor Elizabeth
- William married Marie Mason and had William, John and Edmond
Source: Houma Daily Courier, Oct. 8, 1972