The Godchaux-Reserve House originated at the upper end of the 18th century as Jean Baptiste Laubel purchased six arpents and a house in 1764 from Jacques Hofman. After Jean Baptiste Laubel died in 1774 his widow and two sons, Jean Baptiste and Louis operated the plantation. With the death of their mother, the Laubels partitioned and sold the house and their plantation to Christome Borne. Christome Borne kept the property for five years before selling to Jean Baptiste Fleming and Jeanette Teinter, free people of color. Fleming and Teinter might well have partially remodeled the Laubel’s former home.
Fleming and Teinter owned the house just six years and sold their estate to two prominent free men of color, Francois and Elisée Rillieux. In 1829 Elisée sold his interest to the widow and children of his brother. The estate was auctioned on January 15, 1833 when Antoine Boudousquie and his brother-in-law Michael T. Andry purchased the estate for $40,000. It was Boudousquie who applied the name “Reserve” to the plantation sometimes prior to 1850.
Antoine Boudousquie and his wife Sophie Andry operated Reserve as a sugar plantation until his death in 1855. His death created a financial problem because five years later Sophie mortgaged the plantation to secure a loan of $35,000. It was the failure to pay off this loan that led to Leon Godchaux purchase of the estate.
It was Leon Godchaux ‘s revolutionary entrepreneurship of consolidation his sugar mills to one mill and one refinery and his development of a narrow gauge railroad system that led to his development of his sugar empire in Reserve. The Godchaux family kept their property until 1956 when it sold the refinery to National Sugar Refining Company.
In 1961, National Sugar gave up the refinery and sold to Julio Lobo of Cuba and David C. Blintliff of Houston who operated under the name of Godchaux Sugar Refining Company. Five years later Lobo and Blintliff sold the refinery to the Godchaux-Henderson Sugar Company, Inc. Godchaux-Henderson operated for years and closed the refinery in 1985. They held the property until 1988 when they sold to Godchaux-Henderson Properties, Inc. for real estate development. Four years later, Godchaux-Henderson sold the property to the current owner, the South Louisiana Port Commission.
Land was purchased from the St. John the Baptist Parish School Board on July 27, 1993 by the River Road Historical Society and the Godchaux-Reserve house was moved to its current location along the River Road and West 10th Street in Reserve. In time, the River Road Historical Society donated the home to the Godchaux-Reserve Historical Society for restoration. Little was done to restore the magnificent home and in 2013, a group of Reserve and concerned citizens reorganized the Godchaux-Reserve House Historical Society Board of Directors.