By Hannah Richardson
The Badin-Roque House, a historic building in Isle Brevelle that holds a rich, cultural history dating back to the 1700s, has been in dire need of donations to remain an icon for several months. One organization has offered their efforts to raise funds to go towards the site.
The Louisiana State Daughters of the American Revolution (LSDAR) decided to put up two items for sale, an ornament and a pendant depicting the Badin-Roque House, and will use the proceeds towards the restoration. This is an official project of the Louisiana State Society, but there are 43 chapters within the society taking part in promoting this project and raising funds.
According to Dr. Mark Guidry, president of the St. Augustine Historic Society (SAHS), this partnership with the DAR is to help raise the remaining dollars needed, about $120,000, to fund saving the house by fixing the serious problems outlined in the preservation plan. “Our partnership reflects our shared passion for saving this great icon of American history- right here in Cane River Creole Louisiana, on Isle Brevelle,” said Dr. Guidry.
The LSDAR elects new officers every three years and each state regent has the responsibility of choosing a project for the state society to promote and support. Prior to her election as State Regent, Charlotte White became aware of the Badin-Roque House. With Honorary State Regent Carolyn Fowler Brown, the two decided raising funds would make an excellent project for the Louisiana Daughters.
“Historic preservation is one of the main objectives of the DAR,” said White. “The preservation of the Badin Roque house is truly significant in our Louisiana History. As the last remaining structure of its kind in our state, we just couldn’t stand by while this important part of our history was lost. The fact that this house dates back to the American Revolution period is equally important to our society.”
As White became aware of the house in 2019, and the efforts made by the SAHS to preserve it, there were discussions of forming a new DAR chapter in the area. “I had the great pleasure of meeting several women who are members of the St. Augustine Historical Society and they graciously took me on a tour of the area. I knew after seeing the house in person that it would be the project for my administration. Since that time, I have worked closely with Dr. Guidry of the SAHS and its members, many of whom are members of the Cane River Chapter, which successfully organized in 2020.”
The DAR worked with Architectural Memories to create a ceramic Christmas ornament depicting the Badin Roque house. Presently, there are 30 ornaments available. They are $30 plus $7.50 shipping and handling. Visit www.lsdar.org for more information about ordering.
According to White, the Louisiana Daughters generally have numerous sales items for the promotion of projects. These items range from note cards, jewelry, and novelties that are available to members. However, this administration has another item- a limited edition Badin Roque Egg Pendant custom designed by Artel. This intricate piece of art showcases a golden Badin Roque house, nestled in the interior of a miniature egg encased with magnolia flowers. Each pendant comes with a 20” chain and a gold stand. The pendant is $125 plus $7.50 shipping and handling.
“Due to our inability to meet in person, we have branched out in a new area of fundraising,” said White. “We are utilizing Mobile Cause for an online fundraising campaign. We do hope people outside of the DAR and SAHS will also consider giving to this effort. Mobile Cause is such a convenient way to give and every donation matters!” To donate to the Mobile Cause campaign, visit www.lsdar.org.
The Louisiana Society celebrated 125 years of service to God, Home and Country in 2020 and looks forward to many more years of service promoting patriotism, education and historic preservation in the communities around the state.
About the Badin-Roque House
This house has great significance to Cane River Creoles of Isle Brevelle. In the early 1800s, the house was purchased by Nicolas Augustin Metoyer (1768-1856), the founder of St. Augustine’s Catholic Church in 1803. A devote Catholic, Metoyer was a prominent and respected planter who was the firstborn of a Frenchman and a former slave whose 10 children are the ancestors of Isle Brevelle’s Cane River Creoles. The house was used by French Daughters of the Cross nuns who came to the parish in 1857, at the request if the Bishop, to educate the Metoyer family children and others in the parish. Thus, the house was both the first Convent, and later was used as a Catholic schoolhouse until a new building was built near the St. Augustine Church. To donate to the Badin-Roque GoFundMe page, go to www.gofundme.com and search for Badin-Roque or donate directly at https://www.gofundme.com/SAVE-CANE-RIVERs-1857-CONVENT. You may also contact SAHS Fundraising Campaign Leaders Tommy Roque Sr., Anita Metoyer Evans and Dr. Rand Metoyer. All donations will be used to support its repairs and maintenance.