From the National Register summary (1986)
One of the earliest, extant buildings in Bay St. Louis, Elmwood Manor is a significant example of the French Colonial style of architecture in the community. No other buildings remaining from the early 19th century are as architecturally intact as this house.
It is believed that the construction of the house was begun before 1812, but was not completed until 1828. One significant feature of the house is the infrastructure of the roof which is an important example of early 19th century timber frame construction with its large beams held together by wooden pegs.
Louis Alexis Lassassier acquired this property through a Spanish land grant. The land passed into the possession of his widow, Melite Macarty Lassassier, in 1823, and she sold it to Jesse Cowand in 1826-1829. Cowand died in 1852 and his widow, Elizabeth, resided at Elmwood Manor until the Civil War.
From an undated article (Sea Coast Echo?) by Fred Wagner, local architect (c.1970?)
This beach front home is without a doubt the most important example of historic architecture in Hancock County. It is probably the only structure of national significance standing in our community. This house is reputed to date from 1803 and that date is probable. The structure is basically Federal in style but with a strong influence of the Caribbean reflected in its galleries. (Originally the rear of the house had an open gallery matching the front. The rear one story wing is an unfortunate 20th Century addition). The excellent brickwork, the fine joinery, the steep roof, and the inordinately handsome dormers all testify to sensitive design and the most careful selection of materials and workmanship. Fine hardware and delicate moulded plaster cornices and mantels all speak of one of the finest and most sophisticated structures ever built here. The original roof was wood shingle and the brick left unpainted until the 20th Century.
Elmwood Manor was completely washed away by Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005.
This post is the 2nd in the week-long Katrina’s Lost Landmarks series. Read other posts in the series:
See also Katrina Survivors series:
- Katrina Survivors: Beauvoir
- Katrina Survivors: Randolph School, Pass Christian
- Katrina Survivors: Charnley Houses(s), Ocean Springs
- Katrina Survivors: Regular People Saving Their History
The Hancock County Historical Society is the best organized historical society I’ve ever known. Check out their building-by-building documentation of their historic buildings, including Elmwood Manor online at http://www.hancockcountyhistoricalsociety.com/preservation/nationalregister.htm