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HISTORICAL HOUSE DESTROYED
This 140-year-old home in Longbridge, owned by Terry Ashworth, was destroyed by fire around 4 a.m. on Aug. 9. Its loss leaves only one 19th Century home remaining in the Longbridge area. Several have burned in recent years. {Photo by Tiffany Trichell}

Fire destroys 140-year-old Longbridge home

‘Olde Boy Plantation’ was boyhood home of Dr. F. P. Bordelon

Avoyelles Parish lost another link to its past in the pre-dawn hours Aug. 9 when the “Olde Boy Plantation” home in Longbridge was destroyed by fire.

The home was built in 1879 by Olivier Coco. It is known to many as the boyhood home of the late Dr. F.P. Bordelon Jr., who served as a physician and coroner in Avoyelles for many years.

His father, F.P. Bordelon Sr., named the home “Olde Boy” because he had had four daughters and then a son, whom he called the “old boy.”

Dr. Bordelon’s son, F.P. “Fil” Bordelon III, sold the house to Terry Ashworth in 1996.

The Ashworths were out of town when the fire started at about 4 a.m. on Aug. 9.

Cottonport Fire Chief Chris Lemoine said Cottonport, Mansura and Moreauville firefighters responded to the call. A Fire Marshal’s Office investigator also examined the scene.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined.

“I can’t believe it went up in smoke like that,” Margie Melancon, Dr. Bordelon’s daughter, said of the old family homeplace. “It is a terrible loss. So many memories. I learned to drive a car in the front yard of that house and I learned to ride a horse there.”

Melancon said the family gathered there for Sunday dinner while her grandmother lived there through the mid-1970s.

Even after it was sold, the old home still held that special place in the lives of family members.

ONE HOUSE REMAINING

The loss of the house leaves only one old home in Longbridge -- the one owned by Rob and Allison Ferguson. The Fergusons recently purchased the home from Allison’s parents, Al and Kathy Lemoine.

Kathy Lemoine said she has seen several old homes in the Longbridge area burn over the past several years.

The home they sold to the Fergusons has been renovated and enlarged over the years. Two of the original four rooms built in 1852 are still part of the house. Two of those original rooms had to replaced after the Great Flood of 1927, she said.

“It is so heart-breaking to see an old home destroyed,” Lemoine said. “It is so sad to know that all of that history is gone.”

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