Bayou Salé’s Caretaker of History: What’s Your Story

Posted at 7:59 AM, Apr 16, 2018
and last updated 2019-03-17 16:30:55-04

Deep in St. Mary Parish following along Highway 317 as it winds from Highway 90 to the coast, a ceiling of Spanish moss hangs down, while vibrant wildflowers make up the floor.

Life seems moves a little slower here, but the cars do not.

After no luck on the roadside, we headed to a home along 317 where one man working on his property had a story to tell.

Barry Peltier, a St. Mary resident, grew up along Highway 317 across the street from and in the shadow of a home that he now cares for. The home, Peltier says, has been there long before he was.

“My grandpa bought the house in 1920.  It was built in the 1820s, 1830s something like that.”

Known as the Ellerslie Plantation, the home has been cared for by Peltier’s family for many years. Now, it’s Barry’s turn to keep the house up and running.

“I was the oldest one, so I got hung with it,” says Peltier about his duties. To maintain the home, Barry says, is a full time job.

“You don’t want it to get run down or anything but it’s a lot of work.”

Over a century old, the history of the house is built right into the foundation. An old kettle once used for making syrup is now a fountain in the front, framed by azelias and ancient old oak trees.

Despite its years, the home has kept on standing through the years, the trials, and of course in South Louisiana, the storms

“You got to watch that water, we got in the back a levee and when that water starts coming over that levee you got to watch it close and be ready to go.”

While it’s quiet now it wasn’t always. Barry explains that when he was younger play time was abundant with the kids down the road.

Fast forward to now, it’s Barry’s kid’s who play in the yard, enjoying the country and the house that’s watched over the family for generations

Before we leave Barry and his beautiful home he tosses the dart sending us along our journey. This time, in Iberia Parish.