In 1821, the Rillieux brothers, Francois and Elise’, purchased the Fleming property, which was one half of the original Laubel tract. In 1823, they bought the upriver 2-3/4 arpents adjoining the property. This included a small plantation for growing rice. Two months later, they purchased four additional arpents downriver from Christome Borne’s brother, Jean.
Then in 1825, they made the final purchase, the second half of the Laubel property, from another Borne relative. The Rillieux property is now 14 1/2 arpents, or about 2,800 feet fronting the Mississippi River. The brothers form a partnership to operate the plantation. However, on April 21, 1827, Francois dies, leaving his widow, Aimee Picou, to raise six children. Two years later, in 1829, Elise’ sells his interest in the plantation to Aimee, allowing him to continue persuing his career in real estate.
At this time, the plantation has 49 slaves. The plantation has a master house, kitchen, storehouse, hospital, carriage house, servant quarters, stone mill (probably for rice), sugar house and “purgerie”(where sugar is bleached by removing molasses).
On January 5, 1833, the plantation was auctioned and purchased by Antoine Boudousquie and his brother-in-law Michel T. Andry for $40,500. Antoine was married to Sophie Andry, Michel’s sister. Michel was married to Antoine’s sister, Martha Boudousquie. The Andrys were grandchildren of Manuel Andry, a wealthy landowner and military leader. He owned the Woodland plantation in Laplace, a large plantation in Algiers and several properties in New Orleans. Sophie and Michel’s maternal grandfather was Jaques Deslondes, owner of the large Belle Pointe plantation. The Boudousquies were also a wealthy family. Antoine’s grandfather was one of the largest landowners in the state. The 1820 census shows Antoine’s father and 2 brothers owning adjacent plantations in St. John parish.(Historical note, these 3 brothers fought in the Battle of New Orleans, 1815). The 1830 census, before the purchase, shows that Antoine owned a small plantation adjacent to the Rillieux property. Apparently, Antoine was expanding his enterprise with the help of his rich brother-in-law.
On a historical note, Sophie and Michel’s father, Gilbert Andry, was the first person killed during the slave rebellion of 1811. At the time, Sophie was 2 and Michel was being carried by his mother.
On the Rillieux side, Francois’s daughter and sister both married into the Voisin family of Reserve, also plantation owners. Most of the family remained in Reserve after selling the property. (unable to find any record of Aimee Picou’s death)
Antoine purchased another 5 arpents to bring the total river frontage to 19 1/2 arpents. The main house underwent many improvements from late 1840s to 1850. Antoine and Sophie were raising four daughters and two sons. Antoine became Speaker of the La. House of Representatives 1840-1850. The plantation became one of the highest sugar producers in the area. During this period, Michel’s wife (Antoine’s sister) died November 5, 1845. She died in Antoine’s house. In the 50’s the Boudousquie sons were sent off to Jefferson College in Washington and Spring Hill College in Mobile. Sometime in the early 1850’s, the plantation got its name “La Reserve”.
One story goes that as Antoine, as Speaker of the House, made frequent trips by riverboat to New Orleans (capitol of La. at the time). When he would leave, he told his wife to ‘reserve’ a spot for him when he returned (in French of course).
On November 26, 1855, Antoine Boudousquie died, leaving his widow, Sophie to operate the plantation. It seems safe to say that she was not alone in managing the plantation. Her brother Michel lived next door, according to the 1860 census. At this point it is not clear whether Michel is still part owner or not.
A little on Sophie’s brother, Michel Andry owned a plantation in St. Charles parish and another in St. John (Lions area). His wife, Antoine’s sister died in 1845. He remarried in 1851 to Rosa Haydel. In 1856 he sold the St. Charles plantation and in 1859, the one in Lions. Unfortunately, this was just before the Civil War. The purchasers of the Lions plantation (Burbank brothers from New York) only paid half of the sales price. Then, due to the war, they declared bankruptcy. Michel sued to regain ownership. It was granted, then revoked.