Bosco, home of the eminent judge and planter Henry Bry

A historic cottage steeped in Greek Revival and Federal-inspired architecture in Ouachita Parish once housed a prominent settler.

Boscobel Cottage, located at 185 Cordell Lane just off US 165 about 20 miles south of Monroe, was once the home of prominent judge and planter Henry Bry, an important figure in the development of the parish of Ouachita.

The property is also significant because it is one of the oldest plantation houses in northeast Louisiana. The narrow central hall, the slightly proportioned gallery, the narrow transom door, the Adams mantle in the dining room and the late Georgian mantle in the front parlor all speak of a house built during the first third of the 19th century.

There are few houses in the area that date so far back and show the character of a raised plantation house before the Greek Revival influence became prevalent. The previously mentioned features, which are best considered in the context of the Federal style, are very rare in this region of the state.

For subscribers:Restoration, not remodeling: Bosco Plantation House on the National Register of Historic Places

Bry was originally from Geneva, Switzerland, who moved to the Ouachita Valley after the Louisiana Purchase. As early as 1807, he claimed 500 acres along Bayou DeSiard.

By the time Louisiana became a state in 1812, Bry served as a parish judge, legislator in the House of Representatives for the Orleans Territory, receiver of public funds for the office of public lands in the Northern Red River District, and member of the convention that drafted the state’s first constitution.

Bry was a close adviser to Louisiana Governor William C. Claiborne. He was also involved in local politics, leading the impromptu celebration when the first steamboat to travel up the Ouachita River – the James Monroe – arrived. Bry also promoted a postal route to Ouachita country and served as a trustee of the local academy.

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Bry was also a prosperous planter and slaver. By 1850, he owned over 70 slaves and owned real estate valued at $59,450, or over $2.2 million in today’s dollars.

A scientist and amateur naturalist, Bry wrote an excellent description of Ouachita Country for “De Bow’s Review,” which was published in 1847, according to records posted in the National Register of Historic Places.

The chalet was built around 1820 by Bry, who at the time acted as agent and caretaker for the owners of the land. Henry M. Bry, the son of the judge, obtained title to the land and house in 1835 from Daniel Coxe. According to local lore, the judge and his son were farming and logging in the area in 1820, and they lived in the cottage while the nearby ‘big house’ was being built, which became the center of their estates. . Young Bry owned the cottage until 1846, when the land was seized by the sheriff following a lawsuit and sold to A. Ledoux and Company.

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Boscobel Cottage is one of only three remaining buildings associated with the Bry family. The other two are Bosco Plantation and Mulberry Grove.

The property was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 7, 1979.

The property is currently owned by Auchara Karnjanakit, according to records from the office of the Ouachita Parish Tax Assessor.

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