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A History of the Fleming Plantation in Rough Form with Notes and Sources

The next mention that I have comes from a pamphlet entitled “Truck Gardens and Orange and Fruit Groves” published by the Louisiana Truck & Orange Land Company, Ltd. of New Orleans, La. With Sales and Executive Office located at 404 Oppenheim Building, Saint Paul, Minnesota.

By Way of Introduction

The Louisiana Truck & Orange Land Co., Ltd., owns six thousand acres of land lying due south of New Orleans at a distance of 12 miles. The entire track is alluvial land; part has been cleared and cultivated, part is covered with virgin forest of cypress and hardwood and the remainder is prairie.

The portion that has been cleared and cultivated, consisting of about two thousand acres, and which is now offered for sale in small tracts, formed before the Civil War one of the most famous plantations of the South. It was known as the Berthoud or Mavis Grove Plantation, and was for many years operated in the cultivation of sugar and rice with the labor of African slaves, there being at one time as many as one hundred and fifty-five negroes living and working on its broad and fertile acres. Two brick smoke stacks of enormous size and height mark the location of the immense sugar mill formerly in use and a long double row of negro cabins, some still occupied, show where the slaves were quartered and where they lived their care free and happy lives.

Since the war the plantation has been cultivated from time to time in a haphazard manner and the original plantation house and barns, blacksmith shops, store buildings and bayou dock still remain.

The natural location is one of the most beautiful in the South, the broad bayou-bordered fields and the enormous live oaks with their wide-spreading branches and drooping gray moss forming a scene of great picturesqueness.


Crossing the Mississippi river on the south side of New Orleans at the Harvey dock and canal (the latter a channel eighty feet wide running six miles south in a straight line); passing through this canal one arrives at the Bayou Barataria, one of the many abandoned channels or branches of the Mississippi river, and following the course of this bayou a few miles, we arrive at the plantation buildings. There is, therefore, direct and easy water communication with the great city of New Orleans and there are also wagon roads and the New Orleans, Grand Isle & Fort Jackson R. R. runs within four miles of the land.

The land itself is bounded practically on all sides by Bayou Barataria, Chaland and Aux Oies and across the Bayou Barataria lies the quaint Acadian village of Barataria, extending abou a mile and a half along the Bayou, with some six or seven hundred inhabitants, stores, a church, a school for whites and a school for blacks.

A track of one hundred and fifty acres, including the plantation buildings, almost opposite the village of Barataria, has been reserved for a town site and a number of new buildings are in process of construction and contemplated by Northern people.

Freight and passenger steamers, a mail boat, and an ice boat, pass along the bayou at intervals and make landing whenever and wherever desired. It requires barely two hours in an ordinary gasoline launch to go from the ferry at New Orleans to the plantation buildings.

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