Submitted by FHMaster on Sat, 12/17/2016 - 18:39

Southdown Plantation was founded in 1828 by Stephen Minor, former secretary to the Spanish Governor of Louisiana, Manuel Gayoso de Lemos.[3] The land had first been a Spanish land grant and was later owned by brothers Jim and Rezin Bowie,[4] who began planting and harvesting indigo there.[5] Minor purchased the land, approximately 1,020 acres, together with James Dinsmore. In 1831, sugarcane became the principle crop, and the first sugar mill was built in 1846.[6] By 1852, Southdown was home to 233 slaves, most of whom lived in family units on the property.[7]

The first plantation house was built by Minor's son, William J. Minor, in 1858, and was named for a breed of sheep that the family raised.[5] The house was built of hand-fired brick and wood from cypress and pine trees that grow in the area.[6]

The original one-story brick home was expanded in 1893, when a second story and Virginia style colonnaded walkways were added.[8] In the same year, Favrile glass panels depicting the plantation, palmetto leaves, magnolia branches, and sugar cane stalks were installed in the house.[6] The plantation consisted of over 10,000 acres of sugar cane fields, a sugar mill, and a race track.[4] Southdown Plantation was instrumental in launching and sustaining the sugar industry in the area, ensuring the survival of the crop by developing a variety of sugar cane that was resistant to mosaic disease.[6]

The Minor family was known for frequently entertaining guests and hosting many extravagant balls and receptions.[8]



29°35′19.5″N 90°44′25″W
Stephen Minor
NRHP Ref Number