Bocage Plantation is a historic plantation in Darrow, Ascension Parish, Louisiana, about 25 miles southeast of Baton Rouge. The plantation house was constructed in 1837 in Greek Revival style with Creole influences, especially in the floorplan. Established in 1801, the plantation was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 20, 1991.
Bocage Plantation was established in January 1801, 5 years after Étienne de Boré proved that sugarcane cultivation could be profitable in southern Louisiana and 2 years before the Louisiana Purchase. It was a wedding gift from St. James Parish planter Marius Pons Bringier to his eldest daughter, 14-year-old Francoise “Fanny” Bringier, on the occasion of her marriage to 34-year-old Parisian bon vivant Christophe Colomb.
The original house, built in 1801 and destroyed by fire in or before 1837, was a "raised Creole house—brick on the first floor supporting a heavy-timber frame above". At first, it was thought that this house was at the same site as, and the basis for, the current house, until, "during the process [of the 2008 remodeling], the bases of four symmetrically placed chimneys[,] surrounded by extensive charred remains and fragments of brick and broken glass, were discovered buried about 40 feet behind the [current] house."
Although sources vary as to the certainty of it, the design of the current, 1837, house has been attributed to James H. Dakin, who came to Louisiana in 1835, was employed by the Bringier family, and was skilled in Greek Revival architecture. Distinctive features of the façade include the massive entablature, with pediment design on the parapet and denticulated cornice, supported across the entire front by square, giant order columns forming a double gallery. The front staircase is not original; it was added after 1970. The upper gallery opens into the premier étage, where rooms open into each other, without halls, in the Creole style, with a cabinet-loggia at the rear. The roof once served as a rainwater catch basin or compluvium, with the fresh water shunted through pipes to a cistern on each side, in back of the house.
After many years of neglect, the house was restored in 1941 by Drs. E. G. Kohlsdorf and Anita Crozat (Mrs. Kohlsdorf). An auction in 2007 sold various furnishings from the house and grounds. In 2008 the house—further restored by its new owner, Dr. Marion Rundell—became a B&B which also offers public tours.
The name Bocage translates to ‘Shady Retreat.’ It is a Greek Revival plantation with a Creole floor plan whose primary living space was on the second floor. The plantation has been completely renovated to its original state with thought and love, and then furnished/decorated with many antiques that the owner has collected over the years.