Lisburn Plantation House, Ferriday Louisiana
Lisburn plantation house is an outstanding example of a Greek Revival raised plantation house in northeastern Louisiana. It is probably the largest example in the area. It has full front and rear galleries, which is a feature rare in the region. Most other period examples have only a front gallery, with possibly a kitchen wing in the back. False marbling is extensively used on the front facade and on the mantels.
Lisburn plantation house was built in 1852 by Thomas McAllister, a young man who had inherited its original site from his mother. It is said that he built the home for his bride Harriet Hagaman, whom he married in 1853. For the remainder of the 1850s, McAllister operated a cotton plantation on land surrounding the home. The original site was in Tensas Parish near the town of Waterproof.
In about 1862, McAllister moved the home into the town of Waterproof, perhaps seeking safety for his home and family during the Civil War. No records concerning the home have come to light for the period between 1862 and 1878, during which McAllister died. In 1878, Mrs. Louise Dunbar Hagaman obtained possession of the home at a succession sale which was made to satisfy a judgment in a case involving the estate of Thomas McAllister. About this time the Mississippi River began to change its course in this area. (The river has been a problem throughout the area's history. The site of the site-of-the town of Waterproof, for example, has changed three times.) As a result, the home was moved again in about 1878. Mrs. Hagaman soon sold the home to the heirs of Thomas McAllister, and it has remained in the hands of his descendants down to the present. The home's present owners moved it once again across the parish line to a site in Concordia Parish.
Lisburn Plantation has an open park-like setting near Lake Concordia with a long gravel approach. It was moved to this location in 1977 from the town of Waterproof.
The one-and-one-half-story house is raised a full story above the ground on a new brick base. Originally the house had a one-story brick base, but by the time it got to Waterproof it had lost its base and was raised three feet above the ground on brick piers. When he brought the house to its new location, the present owner set the house upon a new full-story brick base, containing family rooms and a kitchen. The chimneys were also replaced.
The main floor of the house (the second) has a central hall plan with double parlors, and front and rear galleries. The exterior stair is at the rear. The attic contains a full story, which is lighted by one large front and one large rear dormer. The attic is reached by means of a heavily proportioned stair with a large turned newel post. One of the four parlors is divided up into bathroom space but the remaining three are intact.
Behind the heavily proportioned Greek Revival front gallery is a five-bay wooden facade painted and stippled to resemble marble. The interior mantels are similarly treated. Most of the doors and windows have ear-molded frames with pediment-shaped tops. The exception to this is the front door to the central hall. Here, the transom, side-lighted door is set within aedicule motif which has four pilasters, a heavy entablature, and a drip cornice. The shutters are original. Interior ceilings are treated with heavy moldings and acanthus leaf medallions.