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1815 Lakeshore Drive. Flagstaff, circa 1850. National Register of Historic Places. This property is one of the many investment parcels purchased in the 1849 Citizens' Bank auction by Athalie Drouillard, a wealthy free woman of color in New Orleans.
This 'fwc' following the name in English or 'fcl' (femme de couleur libre) in French documents was an important legal designation allowing for the purchase and ownership of property during the years of slavery.
Martin Huntington purchased the property and built this house soon after. However, he would sell within the year to the Perrilliat family who enjoyed long tenure here until 1900.
Its unique name 'Flagstaff' first appears in the 1962 transfer from Robert Wilson to Dr Harvey and Melba Colvin. This sale includes a full inventory of all the furniture (lots of window ACs) in the house, 'known as Flagstaff'. The story goes that a tall ship's mast had been installed in the front yard to display the flag.
Highlights of this classic Creole Cottage's exterior include the steep gable-sided roof, a five-bay facade, deep front gallery and casement openings. The original kitchen building, visible on the east side, was recently elevated.
In the ensuing years of changing ownership and tastes, the roofline's cross gable now has Art Nouveau style bracketing. After the punishing hurricane of 1915, the cottage was elevated and new, round components were added to the box-shaped columns lending a Classical Revival element.
The family of Joseph Vial (1818-1885) include this house in their inventory of buildings built by their ancestor.