Arabi, Louisiana -The LeBeau House

19 Jul

The LeBeau House - Old Plantation Home in Arabi, Louisiana.

No matter how much I learn about the New Orleans area there is always something “new” to stumble upon.  A year or so ago I was looking at some photographs and saw one of a very interesting old home.  One cold tell it was very grand in its day but the years had taken a toll.  I was shocked to find that the “house” was in Arabi, just a few miles from downtown New Orleans.  The old home that I saw in the pictures, and which I later visited, is called the LeBeau House.  As with many old homes around New Orleans the LeBeau House has an interesting history – but it is hard to tell fact from fiction.

I paid a visit to the house back in the Spring and took pictures. While there I did not get the feeling that the place was haunted but then again the house has been fenced and boarded up.  A boarded house is sad.  It seems the windows to a house are much like the eyes of a person.  The expression of the windows can say a lot about a place but when they are sealed the mind has a hard time going beyond the plywood or planks. Here is a brief history of the house:

Francoise Barthelemy LeBeau purchased the property  in 1851 and soon after began construction of this home.  The home was completed in 1854 and a few months later Mr. LeBeau died.  That is a sad story but one befitting of a place like the LeBeau House.  What better way to start a story that will last for generations!  For the next 50 or so years the house remained in the family but in 1905 it was purchased from the family and it became a gambling center named Friscoville.  During this time it was operated as the “Friscoville Hotel.”  In 1928 the house was purchased by another group.  Legal gambling was on the decline but the house lived on and was used as an illegal casino known as the “Cadone Hotel.”  It served too as a boarding house for casino dealers.  Since the late 1930s the house has seen little use and time and wear and vandalism have scarred the once grand house.  Now the above gives an outline of the history of the house but there is more.  Much more!

A house as old as the LeBeau House and in the New Orleans area has to be haunted.  As I mentioned when I visited I did not feel that the place was haunted but Indeed the LeBeau House is the focal point of many local ghost stories.  Legend has it that the LeBeau family had a history of mistreating slaves that worked the plantation.  Sometimes punishment resulted in death and the dead slaves were buried in the adjoining fields.  That wasn’t a good move as the departed slaves began to find their way to the home and they began to haunt and to torment the LeBeau family.  One by one members of the LeBeau family succumbed to insanity.  It is reported that two LeBeau family members hanged themselves on the second floor of the home.  There are also stories of other types of strange and ghostly behavior but one of the stories comes from as recent as the 1970s.  The home was rented at that time, and one of the occupants, a little girl, was thrown from a window of the fourth floor cupola.  She was thrown from the cupola but not by human hands.  Since then the place has not seen human occupation.

More information about the LeBeau House can be found in local books and libraries and even some old photos are in the Historic New Orleans Collection.  As per taking photos, or visiting, the home is easily seen – if you can get to Arabi or Chalmette you can certainly get to the LeBeau House.

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7 Responses to “Arabi, Louisiana -The LeBeau House”

  1. Barbara July 19, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

    great story…….loved it. I read the story before I looked at the photo, didnt expect it to be so big. Wish I had some LeBeau’s in my family line.

  2. Frances D Boyd July 20, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

    A great write up about such an interesting place. I would love to see it restored.

  3. MB July 22, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    Ghost stories give me goose bumps! What an interesting place you found!

    • rdvernon July 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

      When you are in NO next you should ride out and see it!

  4. wayne fabra September 22, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    Cool. I live about a half a block away from it. I can see it from my bedroom window. My Dad’s Grandmother use to be a caretaker there. I use to always go there when I was a kid. Back then it was not fenced or boarded up. That place was scary. Everytime we went in there you could hear footsteps in the above floors. We would go up there and no one would be there. We heard moans, screams. Bottles breaking. It’s a scary place. Lots of people died there. I heard slaves were buried under the house. You can almost stand up under the house it’s so high off the ground. I could write a book on the stories I heard and things i’ve experienced in that Plantation. Right where I live on the very grounds were slave shacks where they lived and also had many Pauper Graveyards all around the peremeters of the property. Our house is haunted and at night you can see weird things especially when it’s very foggy. I’ve seen people walking down the street who looked and dressed like they were from a different time era. We’re so use to this kinda stuff it’s just everyday talk now. No big deal.

  5. Ann Lavergne November 23, 2011 at 2:14 am #

    Having seen a picture of this house on FaceBook sometime back I was very interested in it’s location and it’s history. By fluke, on Veterans Day weekend I found myself exploring New Orleans and the 9th ward … and from a distance I spotted the Le Beau House. I had to get up close and personal. It’s an amazing home. I’m only now reading and finding out about it’s history. I was drawn to it and am not sure why … but I feel in my gut there’s something else there that needs to be shared … something good … going do some digging in old records …

  6. Amber Dew December 10, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    i grew up in arabi. i lived on friscoville and lebeau street as a kid me and my brothers would sneak in. there was a grounds keeper that watched the house and lived in a trailor next to the plantation. it is definatly haunted.when i was a kid there was a wooden privacy fence that ran along the street.it wasnt fenced like it is now.we would crawl under the wood fence go all the way up to the cupola put sticks to hold windows up then run back to the street and turn around and all the windows would be shut. amazing there is no way anyone could have shut them all that fast.it was scary but fun. amber dew

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