Barge Board Homes


Scott and I live in the Carrollton neighborhood of New Orleans, also known as Riverbend. I bought the circa 1890s shotgun house nine months before Hurricane Katrina, and was grateful to discover that since it is two blocks from the Mississippi River, it is on higher ground and did not flood. It is situated on what is known as the Carrollton Ridge. The houses in my neighborhood are made of barge board, large wooden planks once pushed by barges to move produce and cargo up and down the river.

Once the produce was delivered to the markets such as the French Market and the Carrollton Market and cargo was delivered to the Port of New Orleans, the boards would be disassembled and thrown over the levee or sold as cheap lumber. People would then take these enormous boards and make homes out of them. My house is one such barge board house, and it is sturdy and nearly sound proof.

When Scott and I were walking along the Mississippi River in the French Quarter last Friday, I saw this plank that looks very much like the barge board in my house. I had to photograph it to share a little bit of this New Orleans history.

If you are interested in learning more, here is just one link I found with some photographs -   I don't know this architect, I just thought his description was good.