Chretien Point Plantation Mansion, Sunset Louisiana
The original grant was given to Hypolite Chretien in 1776. The plantation originally boasted four thousand acres of land and five hundred slaves with fifty brick outbuildings to house them. The slave houses have disappeared.
The original building contract, quoted below provides a detailed description of the home:
"That the said Samuel Young and Jonathan Harris undertake and engage to build and construct for the said Hypolite Chretien a dwelling house near that of his present residence - the said house is to be built according to a plan to this agreement anext and made a part of this contract. The walls shall be of brick, the walls sunk two feet below the surface and raised nine inches above the ground. All the outside walls in foundation four bricks thick and long partitions same all cross partitions two brick. All outside walls above foundation two brick - all partitions brick and half the house to be two stories twelve feet each in the clear the first floor to be brick pavement gallery same to be one double chimney above and below and one single one same.
All the doors in front as well as windows except one door below opposite the stairs shall be circular head as represented in the plan of a door, five inside doors in lower story to be finished plain with architraves.
All the doors in the upper story to be finished with pannel jambs and pilasters with grounds. All the doors to be double worked pannel shutters* All window frames to be double boxed and each flight of sash to be hung with weights and cord. All windows in the three front rooms of the upper story to be splayed and recessed below to the floor finished pannel jambs with backing and pilasters. All other windows to be splayed jambs, and those in the back rooms in the upper story to be finished with pilasters and all those in the lower story with plain architraves. All the windows to be enclosed with Venetian blinds morticed and hung with parliament buts. Two flights of stairs Ramphinee (?). Four handsome and well finished chimney pieces and two other plain. Solid water cornice all round the eaves (with lead spoutes and tin conductors) finished with dentals and madillian blocks. All the rooms and gallerys to be ceiled with plank except the largest room in the upper story which shall be plastered walls and ceilings three coat work and hard finished cornice all round. The front of the wall in the upper gallery to be plastered in the same manner except cornice. The walls of the large room below plastered the same, the colloms to be well plastered with hard finish. Two small back rooms below to be plastered two coat work and whitened - all other rooms except those as above mentioned to be plastered two coat work and hung with paper a suitable quality to corrispond with the finishing and stile of the room. All the woodwork through the whole building shall be painted with a taste and stile suitable to corrispond with the architect and joiners work of the building of the best materials the roof slate colour. There shall be stone cills to the outside doors all the locks and fastenings to the doors and windows shall be of the best and a suitable quatity to corrispond with the building.
The building shall be completely finished by the sd Young & Harris or their executors and delivered in fifteen months from and after the 'date hereoff the sd Young & Harris are to furnish all the materials necessary to complete said Building except the following described - to wit which the said Chretien shall furnish at his own proper expence all the wood necessary such as timber plank shingles & Lathes and all the bricks and sand necessary to complete the building and one hundred and fifty tierse (?) of lime the whole on the spot at the building.
In consideration of the work and labor to be done in and about the sd house and the materials furnished by the sd Young & Harris the sd Hypolite Chretien agrees and promises to pay to the sd Young & Harris the sum of seven thousand dollars, to wit in advance eight hundred dollars when, the foundation of the building is laid two hundred dollars when the first story is up and joist laid eight hundred dollars when the building is to the top of the square five hundred dollars when the roof is on five hundred dollars when the building is finished four thousand and two hundred dollars or his notes for that sum bearing ten percent until paid and further the sd Chretien for his part shall furnish a house for the sd Yound & Harris and their workman to live in whilst carrying on the building and shall furnish all the necessary laibourers to attend the workman in building and shall do all the necessary hauling of materials to the building, that is to say: of bricks, planks, timber, sand and lime - - et. two thunder rodds would be necessary for fear of accidents the said Young & Harris shall furnish them and place them on the building, without further compensation.
This agreed on passed and signed before Pierre Labocbe notary public in and for the parish of St. Landry at his office in the town of Opelousas, in the presence of John Moore and Livard (?) Simon, witnesses, who have signed with the above mend parties on this day the seventeenth of May in the year eighteen hundred and thirty one."