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Mathurin and Pierre Dreux's "Plantation"

Background on the Dreux Brothers from a New Orleans question-and-answer website

The Dreux Plantation was located in the area known today as Gentilly Terrace. Its boundaries are Fillmore Avenue, Elysian Fields Avenue, Peoples Avenue and the Louisville and Nashville Railroad.

The Gentilly area had its beginning when Mathurin Dreux came to Louisiana. Dreux, who was reportedly with Bienville when he came to New Orleans in 1718, became a military officer. It is believed that Dreux also helped to lay out the new city. When he left office, he was rewarded for his service with land. Because he had a choice, Dreux -- being no fool -- chose property that was relatively high and dry. This was in 1727, and he'd been here long enough to see the hurricane of 1722 wipe out the fledgling city. The tract of his choosing was along Bayou St. John and Bayou Sauvage and included the Gentilly Ridge. This region was least likely to flood, as it was one of the highest in the area.

Together with his brother Pierre, Dreux built a grand home, an elegant house. With huge rooms, fine galleries, and beautiful gardens surrounding it, it was a showplace of its day. The brothers named their plantation Gentilly after Gentilly in France, and they became known as the Sieurs of Gentilly. And Bayou Sauvage soon had a new name -- Bayou Gentilly.

The Dreux brothers each married, and they all lived happily in the same house. Operating their land as a plantation, they engaged in various enterprises such as making bricks, raising cattle, and cutting timber. Fortune smiled on the brothers, and throughout their lives they were very successful and respected in the community.

When Mathurin died in 1772, the property stayed in the family for generations, and a street honors the family name. Originally called St. James Street from Elysian Fields to Peoples Avenue, it was renamed Dreux Avenue in 1924.


Linked toMathurin Dreux; Pierre Dreux

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