Antebellum, Bourbon, Civil War, Creole, Creole plantation, French, Garçonnière, historic brick, Historic Preservation, Houmas House, Louisiana, Old Crow, Old South, Plantation, Plantation homes, Sazerac, Schoolhouse, The Cabin Restaurant, Turtle Bar
The Cabin Restaurant has several restored buildings on site, ranging from slave cabins to Creole plantation homes to historic Schoolhouses. However, one of the main buildings in the restaurant is a reconstructed “Garçonnière”. A garçonnière is the French term for a bachelor’s apartment. The name originated from the French word for a boy or bachelor – garçon.
Prior to the Civil War, most large antebellum plantations in Louisiana constructed these buildings away from the big house. It was the custom on the larger plantations to have a separate house for boys once they reached their teens, so they could do “manly” things. It also kept them from being tempted by the influences of unmarried women in the extended family, and from any unmarried women staying in the house. The Old South was very particular with its customs, and keeping young, unmarried men and women separated was a key concern for them. In smaller plantation houses the attic was considered the garçonnière.
The Cabin’s garçonnière was reconstructed with salvaged historic brick. The roof is supported by four massive beams that were manufacturer’s rejects, obtained for a bottle of Old Crow bourbon (as the old saying goes, “Old Crow will make you crow!). It’s a beautiful place to eat or throw a party in!
If you are interested in seeing an original garçonnière, head right down the road from The Cabin to Houmas House, which has both original garçonnières, one of which serves as the Turtle Bar, one of my favorite places to grab a Sazerac.