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Originally constructed in 1820, this well-preserved example of Creole architecture is now part of a privately-owned plantation. This plantation and the area known as “Cherie Quarters” which are behind the plantation were featured as settings in Ernest Gaines's novels "Catherine Carmier' and "A Gathering of Old Men." Gaines is an African American author, and his work Catherine Carmier tells the story of love between a light-skinned woman of mixed racial ancestry and a dark-skinned African American man. Although little is known of the enslaved people who constructed and worked at this plantation, Carmier's work shares some of the experiences of the diverse sharecroppers that followed and the often complex nature of race relations in this part of Louisiana.

Main house of Riverlake Plantation

House, Home, Property, Roof

Riverlake Plantation was first constructed in 1820 then underwent further construction for a 5 year period between 1840-1845 and finally in 1890. The house is located in Oscar, Louisiana in Pointe Coupee Parish on the West bank of the False River(an Oxbow Lake). The house features Creole style architecture and is one of very few Louisiana plantations to maintain the original pigeonierres. The plantation was home to acclaimed author Ernest J Gaines who grew up in the “Cherie Quarters.” These were former slave cabins on the grounds of Riverlake Plantation. The grounds of the plantation were also home to what is now the Mount Zion Baptist Church and Cemetery which Mr. Gaines and his wife restored and maintained.

Riverlake, National Park Service US Department of the Interior. Accessed November 29th 2020.

Teutsch, Mathew. Land, Literature, and Preserving Black History in Louisiana, Black Persepctives. October 25th 2017. Accessed November 29th 2020.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation