BUILDING TECHNIQUES

The Godchaux-Reserve Plantation house was partially constructed with the colombage method, which is important in understanding this building due to the heavy influence of readily available materials at this time within this region. Bousillage, abundant in south Louisiana during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, can be found in the oldest parts of the house.

Colombage pierotté: Half-timber construction; a timber-frame wall with a bousillage infill. This construction technique was a common substitute for solid wooden walls during a time in which the lumber in western France was becoming more expensive. This practice was carried over into areas where wood was plentiful such as Louisiana. Though its popularity started to wane post-17th century in favor of stone walls for improved insulation, the scarcity of stones in lower Louisiana increased this technique’s popularity.

Bousillage: A type of construction method created by mixing Spanish moss in with tempered earth, which is then used as infill overtop of wooden staves between the posts that make up the timber-frame structure. Bousillage is found in a vast number of French Colonial, Creole, and Acadian buildings of timber-frame construction throughout North America. This earthen infill application is a technique seen used frequently in Louisiana through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In contrast its use and number of surviving structures in other states such as Mississippi and Illinois, there are currently over one hundred examples of extant structures containing bousillage in Louisiana showing its abundance in this region.

The exterior features in particular are apparent on the Godchaux-Reserve Plantation.

BUILDING TECHNIQUES

The Godchaux-Reserve Plantation house was partially constructed with the colombage method, which is important in understanding this building due to the heavy influence of readily available materials at this time within this region. Bousillage, abundant in south Louisiana during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, can be found in the oldest parts of the house.

Colombage pierotté: Half-timber construction; a timber-frame wall with a bousillage infill. This construction technique was a common substitute for solid wooden walls during a time in which the lumber in western France was becoming more expensive. This practice was carried over into areas where wood was plentiful such as Louisiana. Though its popularity started to wane post-17th century in favor of stone walls for improved insulation, the scarcity of stones in lower Louisiana increased this technique’s popularity.