Tag Archives: Clinton

Clinton, Louisiana – St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church – “Carpenter Gothic”

7 Sep

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church (1871) is a Good Expample of a "Carpenter Gothic" Church in Louisiana

When one passes through Clinton, Louisiana, it is easy to miss the many historical and architectural jewels that this town has to offer. There is the historic courthouse in the center of town that catches everyone’s attention and other buildings that can be seen along the traveled highways through town.  It only takes a few minutes to get off the beaten path and to turn up some sights that one would never expect to see.

The Marston House, churches, old schools, Sillman Institute, The Confederate Cemetery and other places are there for those that do a little exploring.  One unique church has been providing “atmosphere” in Clinton since 1871.

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church sits atop a small hill. Although it is in a small built up area St. Andrews commands the view and gives the impression of an isolated rural church.  The church even retains the original stained glass.  It is very beautiful in its rural setting with blooming trees and flowering bushes and tall pines dotting the grounds.

St. Andrew’s can best be described as an example of “Carpenter Gothic.”  “Carpenter Gothic” was popular in America, especially for rural churches in the middle of the 19th century. Popular is a relative term in that the style was not used that much in Louisiana.  Perhaps there are a half dozen examples in the whole state.

St. Andrew’s Church expresses itself quietly and beautifully in its setting.  Completely made of wood,  its light members and vertical proportions, in addition to being Gothic, are considered to be in keeping with wood construction..  The structure presents itself in the proper proportions and in no way does it suggest a massive and heavy style.

A visit to the grounds of this church is a “spiritual” experience.  Not spiritual in the religious sense but in the sense that the mind and heart are indeed brought to a higher level and all it takes is to roam around the grounds – one doesn’t even have to think about things – which is a hard thing to do when you visit here.

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Clinton, Louisiana – East Feliciana Parish Courthouse

13 Aug

East Feliciana Courthouse in Clinton, Louisiana

Having grown up not very far away from Clinton, Louisiana, I always accepted the town as a very pretty place with some nice looking buildings that were much older and much prettier than those in my hometown.  It was only after I was grown that I began to have an appreciation for the history and for the beauty of Clinton. In the center of town is one of the most historic courthouses in Louisiana.  The old south charm of the building is complimented by the Historic Lawyers Row situated directly behind the East Feliciana Parish courthouse and the obligatory confederate soldier memorial out front under the large live oaks that dominate the grounds.

Clinton and the East Feliciana Parish Courthouse have shown their significance and beauty by appearing in a number of movies and television shows.  I do not know all  of them but I do know of some.  As many HBO subscribers already know, Clinton has appeared in episodes of the hit series True Blood.  Prior to HBO many of us can remember that the 1958 movie The Long Hot Summer was filmed in Clinton. Then in 1972 Sounder was filmed here.  More recently The Dukes of Hazzard filmed scenes in and around Clinton.  There are some more instances of filming taking place here but that is not the significance associated with the courthouse.

The East Feliciana Parish Courthouse is the oldest continuously operated courthouse in Louisiana.  It was built in 1840 and is one of four courthouses in the state of Louisiana that were built before the Civil War and are still in use today. The two story Greek Revival structure, surrounded by a Doric colonnade, is centered in the public square.  The masonry walls and columns are plastered and painted white.  A domed, octagonal cupola sits on top.

Watermelons Being Sold in Front of Courthouse

Clinton has a number of historic buildings that would be of interest to a visitor.  Although True Blood may be filming in town, one is more likely to find a red flowing substance oozing from some cut watermelons being sold from the back of a truck under the shade of the large oak trees in front of the courthouse.  Now that is something I can sink my teeth into!