Historic Carter Plantation House
Carter Plantation House
The Carter Plantation House is situated on property acquired by James Rheem under a Spanish land
grant in 1804. In 1817, Thomas Freeman became the first African-American man to own property in
Livingston Parish when he acquired the pine forest that he would transform into what has come to
be known as the Carter Plantation. He was also the first African-American to record a legal
transaction in the Greensburg District. By the year 1820, Freeman had built the renowned,
Federal style house and remained there with his wife and five children until 1838 when he sold
the house and land to then current state representative and later sheriff of Livingston Parish,
W. L. Breed. Breed died in Carter House in 1843 while still serving as the parish’s sheriff.
After Breed’s death, George Richardson, acquired the plantation. Richardson lived at Carter
Plantation House until his death in 1858. It is Richardson’s descendants who carried the surname
Carter by which the plantation is known.
Carter Plantation House is one and a half stories high, with front and rear galleries and a central hall plan with 2 rooms on each side. The old rear kitchen and dining room, which was a separate building, burned in the late 19th century; a kitchen and dining room wing on the rear of the house replaced it. There are four main fireplaces in the house, feeding into two interior chimneys. As an early 19th-century house which was built by a free black man and lived in by an important local political figure, the Carter House is significant in the area of African-American history, as well as local politics and government. The Carter House also enjoys a degree of architectural significance as a local example of a raised plantation house. A pine forest area surrounds Carter House and its immediate grounds. The landscape features, including shrubs, flowerbeds and the lake, are comparatively recent in origin.