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Kismet Plantation, taken sometime in the 1990's

Kismet Plantation, taken sometime in the 1990’s

I have chronicled some of my personal family history here on this blog (here and here). I found another interesting tidbit while digging through my files this morning. A distant relative, Anthony Tassin, and my mother, Mary Montero Newhart, had sent several letters of communication back and forth about a decade ago, in an effort to compile the family genealogy. In the process, they also exchanged some intriguing family history. Today’s post is part of Anthony Tassin’s personal recollections of Kismet Plantation from when he lived there in the mid-20th century. He has quite a few recollections, so I will break them up over a few posts in the ensuing weeks. Enjoy:

KISMETThe Name. When I asked my father why our place was KISMET, he said it had to do with the sugar cane railroad which ran from Columbia Sugarhouse to the derrick behind our house. That derrick was the last of several, hence the end of the line. The word kismet comes from the Turkish word gismet meaning portion, lot, destiny, fate.

Actually, our family used the name frequently in conversation or correspondence, thus: “What’s going on at Kismet?” Or Dad would write to his children away from home: “When are you coming to see us at Kismet?”

Kismet is a raised Creole cottage. When we lived there it had nine rooms (3-3-3) and a separate kitchen. However, it seems that originally it had only 6 rooms, the bathroom, small bedroom and the pantry in line with the back porch being added later. The walls are part briquette-entre-poteaux and part bousillage. the inner structure of the walls was evident esp. at the time the house was moved (1929/30) when portions of plaster broke off the walls here and there.

When we say it was a raised cottage, it should be noted that the house was built about 6 feet off the ground, on massive brick pillars. I remember my brother Rene parking his 1928 Chevy under the house. After the house was moved, however, the level was decreased to 4 feet.

Check back on Friday for more information Kismet’s geographic location and structural description…