Built in 1857, Whitehall Plantation was originally built for Francois Pascalis de la Barre and his family, and operated as a sugar plantation until 1891. At that time, the plantation covered 8,000 acres extending from the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain.
Records indicate that life at Whitehall Plantation was one of gaiety and festivity. Christmas season in particular was most festive with other plantation owners, their families, and friends invited to celebrate Christmas Eve. The ladies danced to the Minuet in G by Chopin and waltzed to the strains of the Vienna Woods by Strauss in their old-fashioned gowns with the gentlemen of their choice.
During the Civil War, the plantation served as headquarters to Union General Morgan, chosen because of its close proximity to New Orleans and its connection to a dirt road commonly known as Labarre Road.
In 1919, the grounds were converted to a gambling casino and featured dancing to the music of well-known orchestras. A fabulous restaurant was also now part of the manor. The meals were delicious, the music superb, and if Lady Luck smiled on you, your trip home was delightful.
Today Whitehall Plantation shares its beautiful landscape with Magnolia Community Services. Developed in 1935 by Dr. Charles Bloom, Magnolia School grew out of a need for specialized training for those with intellectual and developmental challenges. Wishing to provide for his son, Dr. Charles Bloom soon discovered that there were few resources available to meet his son’s needs, and in turn led a group of businessmen in search of finding property to develop a school. Through private donations, the Magnolia School was born and today operates as a private 501 c3 non-profit organization. You can feel gratified knowing that a percentage of the rental fee of Whitehall Plantation goes back into this worthy cause.